No one wants to be told they have problems with their sewer line. Unfortunately, most people don't realize they have sewer line issues until raw sewage is flooding their backyard or home. Don't let this happen to you. The good news is that you are not at the mercy of your home's sewer system. The even better news is that your sewer system gives you warnings before it breaks down. Stay alert for the following signs of sewer line problems and get ahead of disaster.
1. Frequently Clogged Drains
Have the drains in your home started clogging more often? Are you experiencing toilet clogs for no apparent reason? If you're constantly plunging, consider what's going on. It's highly likely that a blockage has formed in the sewer line and is making it harder and harder for you to flush your toilets.
Also, pay attention to slow drains. Sometimes a slow drain is nothing more than a shallow clog that has made its way deep into the pipe. These types of clogs usually respond well to plunging. So, if you plunge and the water still drains slowly, it might be something deeper in the pipe or in the sewer line.
2. Sinks and Bathtubs Backing Up When Toilet Is Flushed
When a single pipe is affected with a clog, only the drain attached to that line will back up. On the other hand, when a main line is affected, it's very likely that more than one drain will back up at one time. For example, when you flush the toilet and the bathroom or kitchen sink backs up, this means that the main line is affected. There's no wiggle room here. Call a licensed plumber to come out and take a look at the problem right away.
3. Raw Sewage Smells
Do your household drains emit a smell that resembles rotten eggs? This is not normal, and it's a very strong indication that there's a clog in the sewer line. The reason drains smell when this happens is that the sewer odors have nowhere to go, but back up and out of the interior drains. If you smell this rotten egg smell, don't try to mask it with air freshener. Instead, call a plumber right away. When sewer lines clog, sewer gas gets pushed up into the house. That's what you're smelling. When this gas stays in the house for too long, it can make you sick and lead to explosive situations.
4. Wet Spots in the Yard
Have you noticed soggy areas of your yard around the sewer line? It's likely that the line has a leak and is oozing sewage into the soil. Another sign that this is happening is when the grass is greener along the line than other parts of your yard.
Preventing Sewer Line Problems
The best way to prevent costly sewer line repair and replacement is to have your outdoor plumbing inspected regularly. Get regular sewer line cleaning and inspection to identify potential problems before they get out of control and wreck your home.