An essential part of our homes is our sewer line. It is responsible for removing waste and ensuring cleanliness and hygiene. Sewer lines often go unnoticed; we never really think about them – until something goes wrong.
As homeowners, we should ensure that the drainage system of our homes is working at its best. Sewer line problems are worrisome for more than one reason: they are incredibly inconvenient, quite expensive on the pocket, and very unpleasant (literally!).
While cutting down on cost, homeowners often try to fix plumbing problems themselves. While DIY-ing menial repair tasks is great, unlike several other maintenance tasks, sewage issues are a little more challenging to resolve.
As is the case with many repair tasks, the sooner you catch the issue, the lesser is the damage.
Now, you must be thinking….
“But how do I know something is wrong?”
Worry not because when dealing with sewer-related issues, it is best to know what to look for and be prepared.
One of the first warning signs is a change of smell because the sewage smell is not hard to miss.
We have devised a comprehensive list of additional signs that might indicate the need for a sewer line replacement.
Does your sewer line need replacing? Let us find out together.
- Pooling water
The pooling of water is never a good sign – especially if the water is pooling in your lawn. If the water is discolored and carries a foul odor, there is a very high likelihood of a burst sewer pipe.
You cannot repair a burst pipe. The only feasible option left is to replace it.
Why is sewer line replacement necessary?
The seeping of raw sewage is very damaging to both you and the environment.
Sewage contains harmful microorganisms, including bacteria, viruses, and protozoa cleaning materials, heavy metals, chemicals, pathogens, and radioactive materials.
Direct contact with sewage or sewage-contaminated surfaces can result in illnesses such as gastroenteritis.
When the situation gets worse, get in touch with a professional to look into the matter and find out what caused the damage.
- Clogged drains and toilets
Clogged drains and toilets result owing to an array of causative factors such as cotton pads, toilet paper, paper towels, and more.
If you notice persistent clogs in your home despite being careful about what you are flushing down the toilet, note that this might be pointing towards a more significant problem such as a blockage in the plumbing vent or a main sewer line blockage. Such issues cannot be fixed but call for replacement altogether.
- Overflowing toilets
None of us are strangers to clogged toilets. Overflowing toilets, on the other hand, is something not many of us have experienced.
If you notice your toilets frequently overflowing from time to time, there is a possibility of a major sewer line issue.
The external obstruction could be due to multiple reasons. One of the most common reasons is trees. The roots of more giant trees often grow extensively to make their way inside the sewer’s lines and clog them. This hinders the smooth flow of water and instead results in the toilets to overflow.
Roots can also result in severe pipe damage by encroaching the sewage system.
- Worn out pipelines
Things get worn out over time – there is no surprise to that. With age comes wisdom but also a lot of other issues.
If your home is more than twenty-five years old, your sewer line might need replacement. Older sewage pipes were made using cast iron. Over time, they rust and start to deteriorate – no surprise there.
This process causes waste to escape from the pipes and accumulate elsewhere, creating an array of issues.
If your home is old, get your sewer lines inspected from time to time so you can determine whether your sewage lines need work.
- Strange sounds
Hearing strange sounds from your pipes obviously cannot be a good sign.
If you hear an unusual gurgling sound when you drain the flush or bathtub, there is a possibility of a line clog or break.
If you hear the water running after you flush the toilet, the most common issue is a leak between the tank and toilet bowl.
If you notice a banging sound, a sound many often refer to as a “water hammer,” chances are it is coming from your toilet’s pipes.
After the sink refills, water flows through the pipes. However, it stops abruptly in the middle owing to an obstruction, hits a closed valve, and generates a banging noise.
Any sound other than that of a regular flush should concern you. If you harbor enough experience to take on the task yourself, go for it. If you are a newbie, we suggest saving yourself the trouble and calling a pro before the problem worsens.
- Rising water bill
Increasing water bills should alert you enough to monitor your water usage.
Take note of the duration of your shower, your piles of laundry, and more. Try to reduce usage and track any changes in the results. If your bills continue to rise despite your efforts to reduce usage and wastage, you should suspect a leakage.
The deal with leakages, however, is that they can vary in size. While small leaks are easy to fix, the big ones are more difficult to tackle and usually require replacement only.
Sewer pipes are durable. However, much like other things in life, they get worn out or damaged and thus require replacement.
The time for replacement, however, is variable. While some might not need a replacement after three decades, others might be forced into doing it much earlier due to various possible reasons.
The lifespan of a sewer line is unpredictable. If the luck is in your favor, you might not face any major issues aside from a few minor clogs. If you are less fortunate, you might have to replace the entire system and have it reinstalled from scratch.
If you notice any of the warning signs mentioned above, we recommend you call a professional to help diagnose the real cause behind the problem.
Not only does this save your time and money, but it also ensures your safety because, in the unfortunate case of a DIY fail, you might end up paying more than what you would have for the problem initially.
Sit back and relax because the pros have got it covered.