The sewer lines running from your home to the septic tank or city sewer (which lead to a wastewater treatment facility) are buried deep beneath your property.
As a homeowner, maintenance of these drain lines – at least to the street — is your responsibility. But, you can’t see the sewer pipes, so how are you supposed to know if one of the lines needs to be repaired or replaced?
Learning to recognize the telltale signs of sewer pipe problems can prevent a damaged line from becoming a major household catastrophe. If you notice any of the following issues, call American Plumbing Services immediately.
Sewer Line Bursts Causing Problems in Your Yard
Are there any unexpected soggy patches, damp spots or pools of water on your lawn? When one of your sewer drain lines cracks or bursts, you may see evidence of the issue in your yard. If you cannot account for any areas of wetness, it’s possible that they are the result of underground pipe damage.
A sewer line leak or break releases wastewater into the soil. This can actually fertilize your lawn. So, keep an eye out for patches of grass that are greener and lusher than the rest of the yard, as they may indicate a problem.
Many homeowners don’t just see signs of drain line damage in their yards; they can smell the trouble. Sewer line troubles are often accompanied by a distinct odor of sewage in that area.
Backed-Up Drains That Result from Sewer Line Problems
If one of your sinks or toilets is backed-up, or if your shower is slow to drain, you probably have a clog somewhere.
But, when several of the drains in your home aren’t working properly, it’s likely an issue with the main sewer drain line. All of your drains feed into this line, so if you are experiencing multiple plumbing problems simultaneously throughout your home, you may need a sewer line replacement or repair.
Don’t attempt to resolve this problem yourself with harsh drain-cleaning chemicals. These won’t be effective on a major problem and may damage your pipes in the process.
Sewer Line Damage Can Cause Flooding and Backups
Damage to one of your sewer drain pipes can contaminate the groundwater and flood your home with sewage, putting the health of your family at risk.
Before this happens, however, warning signs can often be seen in the basement. Check out the floor drains. If you notice the odor of sewage or damp spots near the drains, you may have a problem with one of your sewer lines. When things are about to go seriously wrong, sewage backups will start in the basement first before moving to the upstairs portion of the home.
Many sewer drain lines, particularly those in older homes, haven’t been replaced in decades. Many homes built during the post-war period (beginning in about 1945 or so) were built using an inferior sewer line material. These are especially prone to rupture and damage from tree roots. If your home was built during this time, we recommend having an inspection, even if you are not yet experiencing problems.
To find out the condition of your underground pipes and prevent future problems, you can have your lines inspected. And, it won’t be necessary to dig up your lawn, as an experienced plumbing contractor can run a camera through the pipes instead.
The professionals at American Plumbing Services, located in Provo, Utah, are experts at diagnosing plumbing problems of all types, as well as completing the necessary repairs. Contact us today for a consultation if you suspect you may need sewer line replacement or repairs.