Finding Plumbing Issues Early

Four Signs You Need To Repair Your Sewer Line

by Chris Bowman

You don't need to be a professional plumber to know or suspect a problem with your sewer line. You just have to be alert to the sounds, smells, changes, and looks that point to damaged sewer systems. Here are four signs that mean you should call a plumber to check your sewer line:

Slow-Draining Fixtures

You should suspect something is wrong if your plumbing fixtures, such as sinks, showers, and tubs are draining slowly than usual. This is one of the most obvious signs of a blockage in the drainage system.

The problem may not be serious if only one fixture is draining slowly. That would indicate a local clogging, which occurs when debris is blocking a drain inside the house. If all the fixtures are affected, then the problem is likely with the external drain system.

Foul Smells and Strange Sounds

Sewage effluent stinks, but you usually don't notice it because it is trapped within the sewer lines. Therefore, you should suspect a leak if you start smelling this foul odor. At times, you may also hear strange gurgling sounds out in the yard even if there is no water running in the house. Such sounds are easier to hear at night when everything is quiet, and nobody is using water in the house. They usually mean there are serious leaks that should be fixed as soon as possible.  

An Increase in Rodents and Pests Populations

A leaking sewer line attracts lots of pests and rodents. Pests are attracted to such wet places in their search for food. The insects then attract rodents that come to prey on them. Therefore, increased sightings of pests and rodents near your house may mean the sewer line is damaged and spewing effluent around your house.

Foundation Water Damage

If the problem is serious, it may even cause water damage to your foundation. This is especially likely if the leaks are situated near the walls. Signs of the damage include wet basement walls, mold or algae growth in the basement, and even cracks in the foundation. Don't delay with the repairs if you wish to maintain the integrity of your house's foundation.

Depending on the nature of the damage, a broken down sewer system may be health hazards or cause damage to your house. For example, leaks can cause foundation damage that may require a professional builder to fix. Just like with many problems in your house, conducting early plumbing repairs mitigates the extent of the damage.