Sewer line problems are more common than you think. Although they may start as minor inconveniences, sewer line problems can quickly escalate if left untreated and lead to serious issues that threaten your health and home. From a plunger to a high-end sewer camera, there are a variety of tools designed for laypeople and experts to address sewage issues. Below are some of the common signs of a sewer line problem and what to do if you experience them.
Common Signs of a Sewer Line Problem
A problem with your sewer line can cause drainage problems on your property. This can include a slow drain, a clogged toilet, a wet area in your yard near the sewer line, or an overflow from the toilet tank. In some cases, these issues may be the result of a problem with the main sewer line leading from your property to the sewer mainline. In others, the problem may be an isolated blockage in one section of the pipe. If the issue is not addressed promptly, it can lead to serious problems including water damage and mold growth.
If you have noticed a foul odor coming from your home, you may have a sewer line problem. This smell often indicates that there is a blockage in the pipe or the drain is starting to backup. Sometimes you may also have a bad odor rising from your shower drains. If you smell a strong chemical odor when you open your bathroom door, you may have a plumbing leak that is allowing sewer gas to enter your home. You should never enter a dark or poorly ventilated bathroom if you smell sewer gas as it can contain dangerous bacteria. Leave the bathroom immediately and shut the door.
If sewage is flooding out of pipes or seeping into your yard, there may be a serious problem in your sewer line. This can happen for several reasons including a clog in the line or breakage in one of the underground pipes. Sewage being diverted into your yard or your basement will cause significant damage to your home and can result in complaints from your neighbors. Not to mention that it will also create an unhealthy environment for your family. Never try to clean a sewage spill yourself as this can put you at risk of being exposed to harmful bacteria.
This last sign is a little less obvious than the others. If you have verdant patches of grass in isolated areas of your yard, it could be due to sewage leaking from a faulty underground sewer line and inadvertently fertilizing the soil. Another contributor to sewer line issues is trees. If you have a tree or several large, established plants in your yard, their root structures may be gradually crushing or clogging your drainage pipes.
How to Fix a Sewer Line Problem
If you suspect that you have a sewer line problem, you can try to use food coloring drops in your sink or toilet to pinpoint the location of the leak. Pay attention to the color of any pooling water as this will make it easier for you to find the leak. You can also use a wet/dry vacuum to extract as much water as possible from the area so that you can determine the exact source of the leak. If the leak is in an accessible area or from an easily replaceable part, you may be able to repair it yourself.
That said, it is best to call a professional service to diagnose the problem. Hiring a professional will ensure that the job is done right the first time. They also have the expertise and tools required to do the job quickly and efficiently so that you can get back to your normal routine as soon as possible. Using the wrong tools or materials can lead to further damage to your sewer line and can end up costing you more money in the long run. You also do not want to risk exposure to harmful substances and bacteria.
A qualified sewer work contractor can perform a sewer scope inspection to thoroughly examine your property’s sewer lines. They will use a specialized sewer camera attached to a long cable to traverse the pipes on your property and search for signs of existing or potential damage. The scope can help the inspector locate hairline cracks and signs of buckling before they become serious. After the inspection, you will receive a report of the findings and recommendations on further steps to prevent or repair any damage.
Sewage line problems have the potential to damage your property and severely inconvenience your life. A serious sewage fault can even endanger your health. It is important to have routine maintenance performed on your sewer line to ensure that it is in good working order. It is recommend that you consult a professional once you suspect a problem. This will prevent the situation from worsening and ensure that your sewage system keeps running smoothly and efficiently.