Sewer line issues are serious. Not calling a plumber right away may lead to more costly repairs in the long run. If ignored, a leaking pipe may cause structural damage to your home. Do you know how to tell if there’s a leak or clog in your sewer line? Here are three signs to look out for.
- Plumbing Backups Throughout Your Home
Plumbing pipes direct water both into and away from your home. However, if there is a clog or leak in the main water line, you may notice backups developing throughout your home. The toilet may constantly overflow, or the shower may flood after every use. You may even find evidence of flooding under the sink or by the washing machine. If you notice any of these issues, you need professional help with sewage backup.
Of course, not every clog is in the sewer line. For example, a wad of hair or grease buildup may block a single pipe. You may be able to remove these simple clogs with a plumber’s snake or plunger. However, if these tools don’t remedy the situation, the sewer line may be to blame. Another tell-tale sign is if the plumbing backups throughout your entire home. If only one toilet overflows, for instance, it’s probably a single line. On the other hand, if every bathroom in the house floods, it’s a good indicator that the sewer line needs to be repaired.
- Your House Unexpectedly Starts to Settle
All houses shift and settle, but these movements should be minor. A burst sewer line, however, may leak water around your home’s foundation and lawn. When this happens, the ground becomes saturated, and the foundation may begin to move. Cracks may suddenly appear on the interior and exterior walls. Doors and windows could also start to stick. Even worse, sinkholes may spontaneously open around your property.
Foundation issues can have other causes, including dry weather or sudden temperature changes. However, in many cases, poor drainage and leaking pipes are the main culprits. Sewer line damage will only get worse with time. If you notice any new cracks in the walls or loose tiles on the floors, it’s best to have a plumber inspect your sewer line for leaks.
- It Smells Like Rotting Eggs
The sewer line carries wastewater away from your home. Every drain in your house, including the shower, clothes washer, kitchen sink, and toilet, leads to the sewer line. As long as the pipes are free of cracks and leaks, the plumbing system will carry the water away without issue. However, if there is damage to your sewer line, you may begin to notice a foul aroma around your property.
What’s that terrible smell? It’s sewage. Homeowners often report smelling rotting eggs or flesh. This unpleasant aroma is caused by the release of sulfur dioxide and methane gas. Unfortunately, sewer gas exposure can cause health problems. If you start smelling sewage around your home, it’s time to call a plumber. There’s probably a clog or leak in the sewer line.
Don’t Leave Sewer Line Issues up to Chance
Overflowing drains, foundation problems, and a putrid smell in the air may all point to a problem with the sewer line. A leaking or blocked sewer line is a plumbing emergency. It can lead to widespread flooding throughout your home and cause structural damage. If you suspect your sewer line needs repairs, it’s time to call a plumber.