6 Warning Signs of a Sewer Line Problem You Shouldn’t Ignore

6 Warning Signs of a Sewer Line Problem You Shouldn't Ignore

Every modern home depends on a chain of invisible systems to run smoothly. Although most of the systems are primarily underground, such as plumbing systems and buried cables, they have a significant disadvantage.

In case of a system breakdown, the problem can go on for a long time before you notice it.

It is especially the case with your home’s sewer line. Unless you have had problems with it before, chances are you have not paid attention to it in recent days.

The sewer line runs from the home to the city sewer and carries away any used water and waste.

The city is responsible for the sewer, but the homeowner has to take responsibility for the line from their house until it connects to the sewer.

Nothing is most frustrating to a homeowner than having to deal with sewer line problems. They come from nowhere and disrupt all your plumbing, so you have to take immediate action.

There are a few ways you can prevent swollen issues, but the professionals at allserviceplumbers.com recommend addressing the issue early before it gets out of hand.

To help you identify issues with your sewer line, we have put together six signs of sewer line problems.

1. Backups and Sinks Draining Slowly

The easiest way to identify sewer line problems is by watching for water backing up in plumbing fixtures.

Even if the backups only happen in specific fixtures, such as the bathtub when the toilet works fine, you need to have your secondary sewer line checked.

The plumbing system has several channels, and a problem may occur in one branch at a time or all of them at a go.

If flushing the toilet causes water to back up in the sink, for example, it is due to water being forced back due to a clogged sewer line.

You may notice backups in several places, such as your sinks and basement drains.

If water backs up in multiple fixtures simultaneously, you may have a problem with the main sewer line in your home.

If that is the case, you may have to contact a professional plumber to inspect your whole plumbing line since snake cleaners may not get it done.

2. Clammy Smell

If you do not have any problems with your home’s sewer line, all the plumbing fixtures should be okay.

Sewer line issues can result in openings such as cracks which allow the terrible smell from sewage into your home.

If you happen to smell a gas stench around your home, you should always check with your drains first.

A well-functioning sewer line should not have any openings through which the stench can penetrate, so you should not have any foul smells in your home.

Whenever you notice water backing up in your plumbing fixtures, pay close attention to it.

Water backing up directly from your sewer line often has sediment, which is not the case when the water backs up from the internal plumbing in your home.

In most cases, the residue is similar to dirt or mud. It is an indicator that part of your main sewer line has a blockage workload that needs clearing.

Also, watch out for gurgles. If water gurgles in the drains, it signifies that sediment has clogged up a part of your sewer system.

Although it seems unrealistic, roots from trees are among the biggest causes of sewer lines problems in many homes. Most big trees have root structures going beyond the above-ground footprint we can see.

As the roots grow further, they go deeper and deeper towards the sewer line system. As time passes, they can crush drains and water pipes buried in the ground.

If you experience any functional abnormalities with your sewer line, always think about the trees in your backyard.

If they’re big enough to have roots reaching your underground sewer system, you may have to get rid of them which may cause your problems.

Lush patches in the backyard also point toward sewer line problems. When sewage makes its way into your backyard, it can fertilize and feed the plants growing in the area.

If you have patches of grass that appear to be greener than grass growing in different parts, you may have to check your sewer line for problems.

5. Water Backing Up after Downpour

If you experience water backups after raining, you may have backflow issues with your sewer line. Excess water from rainwater flows back into your house, causing it to back up.

By installing a backflow prevention device on the sewer line, you can effectively control this problem since water will only flow out of your house and not into it.

However, it may also indicate foundation problems or other issues, so make sure you hire a professional to conduct an inspection.

6. Sudden Changes in Water Bills

High Water bill due to sewer line problem

Most homeowners receive a consistent water bill ranging within a specific price bracket. If you happen to notice that the water bill is getting earlier consistently without changing your water usage habits, you may be having problems with your sewer line.

Chances are, you may be having a huge leak somewhere in your planning system. It could be anywhere from the primary water line, sewer line, or plumbing connections behind the walls.

Always find a professional plumber to inspect and identify the exact problem and how severe it is.

Have you noticed some of these signs in your home but still don’t know how the problem came about? Sewer lines are subject to heavy usage.

Therefore, issues may occur due to many causes. Some of the most common causes of sewer line issues include corrosion, tree roots, sagging sewer lines, breakages, debris, and grease.

You can also determine the cause by working with a professional plumber.

If you happen to have any problems with your home’s sewer system, always call a professional. The clog will not repair itself, and failing to address the issue will result in more significant problems that will cost you more money.

Clogging can even cause your toilet to not flush correctly, so it’s worth checking out.

Experienced plumbers can use different inspection methods to determine the exact problem and conduct repairs in a non-invasive way that does not involve digging across your yard.

Russell Jones

VP of Operations @ Phyxter and Home Improvement Specialist

About our blog

Phyxter (pronounced Fix-ter) is a national home services brand specializing in Residential HVAC, Electrical and Plumbing solutions.

Phyxter is laser-focused on writing the best articles and guides to empower homeowners to get the best out of their homes.

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