Homes that utilize a municipal sewer system for waste management purposes use a large pipe, called a sewer line, that runs from the house, through the yard, and connects with the sewer at the street. These pipes are typically made of clay, cast iron, or plastic – while they are designed to be durable, they can develop problems, especially if they are several decades old.
If there is a problem with a home’s sewer line, it is important to have the issue promptly repaired by an experienced plumber. Failure to make repairs to the sewer line can result in major damage, making it necessary, and very expensive, to replace the entire sewer line. Continue reading to learn more about some of the most common signs of residential sewer line problems.
Slow Drains Throughout the House
A slow drain can be very annoying to deal with. If you have one sink or shower that is draining slowly, it may be due to a localized clog in the pipe connected to the drain. But, when there are draining issues with several drains in a home at the same time, it usually indicates that there is something wrong with the sewer line. In many cases, slow draining is due to a blockage in the sewer line that needs to be removed.
Foul Sewage Odor
A homeowner should never smell sewage inside or outside of the home. A sewer line in good condition is a closed system, so the smell of raw sewage should never be apparent. However, when there is a crack in the sewer line, sewer gas can escape, creating a foul sewage odor. The presence of a foul sewage odor is a red flag of a sewer line problem that needs to immediately be addressed by a plumber.
Patches of Extra Green Grass
Most people desire a lush and green lawn, but patches of extra green and healthy grass can also be a sign of a problem. If a sewer line develops a crack, the waste inside the pipe can seep out into the surrounding soil. The waste will act as fertilizer for the grass, which can lead to small patches of grass being greener and thicker than the surrounding lawn.
Unexplained Indentation in Yard
When a sewer line develops a serious crack, large amounts of liquid waste can flow out. This can cause soil to shift and become compacted, creating a noticeable indentation. Seeing an unexplained indentation in the yard is reason enough to contact a plumber to have the sewer line inspected.
Sewage Backing Up Into Drains
A very obvious sign that there is a problem with a home’s sewer line is a sewage back up. Sewer lines can become completely blocked by invasive tree roots or when items such as “flushable” wipes, paper towels, or feminine hygiene products are flushed down the toilet instead of being disposed of properly. When the sewer line is completely blocked, sewage will back up into the home.
If a sewer line is completely blocked, the sewage will back up into the lowest drains in the home first: typically shower drains. A sewage back up is a plumbing emergency and needs to be addressed immediately. Exposure to raw sewage can be a health hazard – if a homeowner experiences this problem, he or she should avoid trying to clean up the sewage and wait for a plumber to arrive.
It is never a good idea to ignore the signs of a problem with a residential sewer line. If you suspect that your home’s sewer line is in need of repair, give us a call: (317) 423-7289