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Broken Sewer Line Symptoms

Apr 21, 2017

Broken sewer line resting in the ground covered with dirt and tree roots from the ground.

A slow drain does more than just put a damper on your day. It can also be a sign of a broken sewer line, which is a big deal. If you’re experiencing multiple drain slowdowns, then read on to find out the other damaged sewer line symptoms, why it matters, and how to have your sewer line inspected.

What causes sewer line damage?

Tree roots are the main cause of clogged or broken sewer pipes, especially in older homes. The roots grow out underground and essentially cause drain blockage that can break the pipes. Other external forces that can damage sewer lines are shifting soil and nearby construction.

Flushing items down the toilet that your septic system can’t handle, such as “flushable” wipes, feminine hygiene products and paper towels also causes sewer pipe clogs.

Unfortunately, sewer pipes aren’t one of those things that gets better with age. Cast iron pipes have a lifespan of about 75 years and often deal with rusting and corrosion issues on the inside. Corrosion can weaken the pipe to its breaking point.

Vitrified clay is used in older systems and is subject to cracking and breaking, sometimes causing leak issues at the pipe joints.

Broken Sewer Line Symptoms

The following signs point to sewer line problems.

Drain issues: You might notice multiple drains slowing down, backing up, or a gurgling sound coming from the toilet or drains.

Soggy yard: A broken sewer line leaks, which can cause a soggy spot on the lawn.

Funky smells: Broken sewer lines or sewer line leaks emit sewage gas smells, which you might notice coming out of drains or in your yard.

Lush landscape: Sometimes greener grass isn’t a good thing. If you notice a particularly lush patch of grass, this could be due to leaking sewage, which acts as a fertilizer.

Water bill woes: A water bill increase is a good indicator that you’re experiencing a leak.

Broken sewer line — What’s the damage?

A clogged sewer line can lead to raw sewage coming out of your drains. A cracked sewer pipe behind a wall can increase the humidity to conditions suitable for mold growth in your home, which is a health hazard.

If a sewer leak goes undetected for too long, it may lead to foundation cracks and settlement, or even sinkholes. A sewer line replacement comes with a hefty price tag – typically in the thousands according to CostHelper. However, remaining vigilant about the damaged sewer line symptoms might help you avoid needing a full replacement by catching issues early.

Assessing pipe problems with a video drain inspection.

If you think your home might have sewer line problems, have a video drain inspection performed on the pipes. CroppMetcalfe offers a $375 main drain inspection special, which allows us to fully assess the situation and offer the appropriate solutions.

If you choose CroppMetcalfe to fix any found issues, we’ll even waive that video drain inspection fee. The only way to know what’s really going on in your pipes is by seeing it, and we can help with that.




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