10 signs sewer line

How to Identify Sewer Line Problems

sewer line

10 Signs of Sewer Line Problems

Catching potential issues early on can prevent extensive - and expensive plumbing repairs. It's important to recognize and address sewer line problems early.

Sewer Line Problems Can Cause Significant Damage Inside - and Outside of the Home, Including Potential Damage to Your Foundation. Keep an eye out for these symptoms of potential sewer line problems to be sure you address these issues quickly. It can be helpful to have a plumbing professional check your lines on a yearly basis.

1. Sewer Blockages

If you have a backup or drainage issue in multiple drains throughout the house, it is likely that your main sewer line is the culprit, as all drains rely on the main sewer line to drain properly. However, if only one drain empties slowly like the one in the kitchen, then the issue will likely be with that drain, and may have a solution as simple as cleaning out your U-Pipe. Regular backups may be a sign of broken sewer lines.

2. Sewer Gas or Odor

Smelling sewer gas in or around your home is a tell-tale sign that there is a crack somewhere in the sewer system. In some cases, though backups and sewer odors can occur as a result of clogged sewer vents due to debris such as nests entering the vent pipe from the roof.

3. Mold Problems

Mold growth is yet another sign of a break in the sewer line behind your walls. Mold requires moisture in order to thrive. If you smell a “musty” smell, you are actually smelling the digestive byproduct of mold. Possible sources of moisture include roof leaks, window leaks, and AC unit leaks. If you do not detect any of those problems, chances are you have a failed pipe somewhere. If sewage smell is comingling with the musty smell, chances are it’s the sewage pipes.

4. Slow Drain

If your pipes drain slowly despite regular attempts to clear the lines through traditional methods (do not use chemicals for this problem as they can lead to the breakdown of your pipes.) If clearing the lines does not work there is a good chance that broken pipes or root intrusion are the culprit. A sag or belly occurring along the line can also lead to slow draining and will lead to an eventual failure and should be addressed by a plumber

5. Really Green, Lush Patches of Grass

A good sign of a sewage leak is very lush, bright green grass. Remember that sewage acts as a fertilizer and gives the surrounding area extra nutrients resulting in a very lush appearance. As pretty as that area of your lawn may be, the cause is decidedly un-pretty.

6. Indentation In Lawn or Under Pavers

A cracked sewer main can allow soil to dissipate as the ground is always getting saturated because of seepage. This will cause your walkway or lawn to sink and appear as a dip above the pipeline.

7. Foundation Cracks & Leaks

In addition to the creation of sinkholes, seepage from sewer line breaks can drain directly toward your foundation, and left unaddressed, will cause cracks and leaks in the foundation. This is one of the worst case scenarios of a neglected sewer line, and one of the main reasons to have your sewer checked regularly by a plumbing specialist.

8. Sewer or Septic Waste Pooling in Yard

This issue may be a broken or damaged septic tank, clogged drain fields, or again a cracked main pipeline. This is not what you want to have on your lawn.

9. Rodent Issues

Yes, rats. The problem can start with a rat or three entering your sewer line from the city/town line pipes that tie in to your home’s lines. Rats need very little space to crawl in, and once in, generally are annoying to get rid of.

10. Insect Infestation

If your sewer lines are compromised, any number of insects will opt to enter them, cockroaches among them. If pest control doesn’t contain the insect issues, calling on a certified plumbing expert to check your lines needs to be considered.

Jersey Plumbing Service serves Middlesex, Morris, Mercer, Hunterdon, Essex, Union, and Somerset Counties, New Jersey. If you are in one of these NJ Counties, and suspect you may have a broken sewer line, please do not hesitate to call us!

Jersey Plumbing Service
(908) 281-7101

how to unclog your sink trap

My Sink Won’t Drain When I Plunge it – How Do I Unclog the Sink Trap?

We’ve all been there. We notice the sink draining more and more slowly. We find ourselves having to plunge it from time to time. Most of the time, one plunge does the trick and we’re back to full-speed draining and washing dishes like normal.
Sometimes, though, things don’t go back to normal after a plunge. At times like these – you don’t necessarily have to rush to call a plumber. If you’re a little bit handy, cleaning out your sink trap can be an affordable way to solve the problem.
Your sink trap is a U-shaped pipe under the sink. The shape of this pipe is extremely beneficial to your nostrils, as it helps keep the stink of your sewage from creeping into your kitchen or bathroom. Unfortunately, the shape also makes it easier for gunk to accumulate.

What You Need:

    • Bucket or Dish Pan (depending on how much room you have under your U Pipe)
    • Cleaning Brush
    • Optional: Old clothes that you don’t mind getting dirty, and a soft knee pad to protect your joints.

First, you will want to clean out under the sink and place your bucket/dish pan underneath the U-pipe.
Next, you will notice there are two slip joints at each end of the U (or J) shape. These can be unscrewed (carefully) by hand.
Let the debris spill out of the U joint and into the bucket. Take your brush and clean out the clog.
Reattach the sink trap and run the water, slowly at first to check for leaks, then more quickly to verify there are no leaks where you were working.
Once you have confirmed that there are no leaks, let your water flow a while to see if your drainage problem is solved. If there is a blockage further down the line, it may take a minute for the water to back up through the pipe, so be sure the sink trap was the problem before calling it a day.
If you find that your sink trap was not the source of the problem, and that you still have drainage issues, then you’ll know that a plumber is your next best step. Keep in mind that harsh chemicals that are advertised to clean your drains can cause damage to your pipes – and damaged pipes can cost you a lot of money in residual repairs.
It’s best to either snake the line or call Jersey Plumbing Service to get your drains flowing the way they were meant to.

Jersey Plumbing Service
PO Box 7371
Hillsborough, NJ 08844
Click to Email Us
Fax: 1-908-647-1517

NJ Masters Plumbers License #7359

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