Is Your Sewer Line About to Fail You? Here's How You Can Tell

Posted on: 6 December 2016

It's easy to take your sewer line for granted. Many people can go for years without ever really giving a thought to their sewer lines until there's an obvious, and expensive, problem. If you pay attention, you can certainly see the signs that indicate your sewer line is close to failure. Here's what you should look for.

Leaks and Puddles

If you see even one leak, there's a chance your sewer line, or one of its adjuncts, has an issue. You should never ignore a leak. Even a small leak can lead to far larger problems if left unchecked.

Despite what some people may believe, leaking pipes are not normal. If you have a leak that's been around for a while, then have it looked at as soon as possible.

Even if you can't find an outright leak, keep your eyes open for

  • small puddles inside and outside,
  • mold and mildew,
  • and water damage around the foundation.

These are all telltale signs of leaks from your sewer lines. A like can represent the start of line failure. It can also lead to a host of other issues from untreated water damage.

The Smell of Sewage

If you ever smell sewage of any kind, then your sewer line has a problem. It doesn't matter if the smell is coming from a toilet, drain, or just hanging around in a specific area outside. Smelling sewage indicates a backup of your sewer line.

Not only is the smell unpleasant, it's also a health hazard. If left unchecked, whatever's in the sewer line can back all the way up and come out of your drains or make a cesspool of your basement. It's a nasty problem, but it's also a sign your sewer line is not working as it should.

Standing Water and Slow Drainage

Clogs are a common issue. However, if you leave one for too long, it can start to damage your sewer line. If you notice water not draining as quickly as it should or not at all, you should immediately seek to rectify the situation.

A good indicator of a clog or block is the water level of your toilet. If it becomes progressively lower or higher, then there's likely a damaging clog in the sewer line.

This applies to standing water outside as well. If there's a patch of ground that seems more moisture saturated than the rest, then that spot may just represent the location of a clog or leak.

Other Signs of Impending Sewer Failure

There are some other signs your sewer is close to failing you.

An increase in pests or rodents – They're attracted to the moisture and the sewage.

Clanking noises – When water drains through failing pipes, you may hear loud noises.

Changes to patches of lawn – You may notice a patch of lawn that's greener than the rest. That's from sewage leaks underground acting as fertilizer. Or you may notice a patch of lawn that has risen or sunk over time. This could come from ground swell where a leak is saturating a particular part of your lawn.

Seek Professional Help before Your Sewer Line Fails

As you see, you sewer line isn't trying to go quietly. It will give you a number of signs that it needs help. This is the main reason why you should have your sewer line inspected and cleaned periodically.

If you notice any signs of sewer problems, you should call a plumbing service. In cases where it looks like your sewer line is close to failing, you should contact an emergency plumbing service. A service like Patriot Plumbing Heating Air Conditioning can help you figure out what you need to do to fix the problem as soon as possible.