7 Indicators of a Faulty Sewer Line


Given how inevitable the daily use of your home’s sewer system is, a faulty sewer line is the last thing you would want to contend with. Unfortunately, as with anything else in the home, problems can occur with your sewer line. The good thing is no sewer problem is unfixable though complexity of solutions will vary depending on the nature of the issue.

In tackling sewer line problems, speed is of the essence. Knowing the signs of a broken sewer line is therefore crucial. Here are some of the most common signs that you have a sewer line issue.

1. Sewer Odor

The odor of sewer gas within your home is one of the earliest and most reliable signs of a sewer problem. There are other reasons sewer gas could gently waft into your house such as a dried drain in the basement floor. Also, if the smell is strongest in your yard, it may be the issue originates from an adjacent property.

Nevertheless, always err on the side of caution by checking that you are not dealing with something more serious such as sewer backup or a broken sewer line. Contract an experienced gas leak detection service to be sure of the odor’s origin.

2. Gurgling Toilet

When your toilet is not in use, the water in the toilet bowl ought to be fairly still. Also, when it is flushed after use, a calm should shortly thereafter once the water settles. So if you hear strange noises coming from your toilet, you should check that it is not due to a faulty sewer line.

In particular, look out for a gurgling sound after you flush. Gurgling is simply the sound of air trapped and released. Therefore, when you hear this sound, chances are that air is being introduced to the sewer line.

3. Pest Infestation

The presence of pests in your home is not necessarily a sign of a damaged sewer line. What you should be on the lookout for though is a sudden appearance or increase in pests. Rodents and insects may travel up sewer lines and enter your home.

It could be something you can fix easily such as the water in one or more P-traps drying out. However, a sudden surge in pests could mean something more severe like a break in the sewer line.

4. Slow Drains

Clogs are not uncommon in any home’s sewer system. You are likely to run into an isolated clog or two every once in a while. But you must be concerned if you find that all of your home’s drains are clogged.

That’s more so if all your efforts to unclog the sewer lines are not yielding fruit. It implies the problem goes further inside the sewer lines. You will need to contract a professional to assess and resolve the situation.

5. Excessively Green or Thick Growth Patches on Your Lawn

Fecal matter is a form of natural fertilizer. Therefore, if sewage seeps into your lawn, that may lead to the accelerated growth of grass and greenery in the places it emerges from or flows through.

Note that this hyper growth may not last and could eventually be followed by the gradual death and decay of your landscaping. That’s because sewage contains bacteria that may be harmful to plants.

6. Cracks in Your Walls

When a sewage line is leaking beneath your house, some of the earth underneath the building could shift. Such movement may cause cracks in the walls which threatens the structural integrity of the property.

Cracks in walls may have diverse causes but you want to rule out sewer line issues before you move to other possible triggers.

7. Pools of Sewage in Your Lawn

It does not come more obvious than this but if you do notice pools of sewage forming in your lawn, you almost certainly are dealing with a damaged sewer line or a broken septic tank.

Whatever the reason for it, it requires urgent action to tackle the root cause and prevent more effluent discharge.

Brace for It

No one wants to have to deal with a faulty sewer line. A damaged sewer line can be significantly disruptive to your everyday routine. However, sewer lines do get damaged. You must prepare for the worst and be ready to deal with a broken sewer line if it does occur.

Aim for conclusive resolution by contracting an experienced plumbing professional to identify and remedy the problem.


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