3 Common Sewer Line Problems

Sewer Line — Seattle, WA — Quality PlumbingSewer line issues are not always clear-cut since the lines are buried deep in the ground. You might miss certain warning signs or make an inaccurate diagnosis when you encounter a problem. Most issues are a result of soil shifting, a deterioration that comes with age, or rainwater absorption by the ground.

The wastewater passing through the sewer lines could also trigger significant damage to your system, especially if the waste is naturally corrosive. To ensure the proper operation of your sewer line, you should employ crucial maintenance practices.

A failing sewer system could be a massive inconvenience for any homeowner. Luckily, once you understand the various sewer line problems, you’ll have an easy time avoiding them. Take a look at the three most common sewer line issues and their solutions.

1. Sewer Line Blockage

Sewer line clogs and blockages restrict the smooth flow of wastewater from your home. Eventually, your drains fail, and you start to notice frequent sewer backups. Blockages are caused by the buildup of solid waste items inside the drain pipes, which are caused by the things you flush down your drains. Diapers, wipes, and other hygiene products might seem flushable, but once you flush them, they could end up clogging your drains.

Although blockages can occur suddenly, they sometimes take time to cause you a noticeable problem. If you’re alert, you’re likely to notice signs of sewer line blockage, including:

  • Wastewater backups in your home’s lowest drains
  • Gurgling inside your drain pipes
  • Water drains from one fixture and ends up in another

If you notice these signs, you need to contact your plumber. Ignoring them will only make the mess worse and lead to more costly repairs.

2. Tree Root Intrusion

Tree roots grow in search of water and nutrients. If you have your sewer lines near the tree, its roots will naturally grow towards your pipes. Eventually, the adventurous roots will enter your sewer lines through small cracks and holes.

When this happens, clogs and blockages slowly develop which leads to overflow and backups. Worse still, your pipes could collapse under the intense pressure from the root intrusion. For collapsed drain pipes, your best option would be a full sewer line replacement.

Otherwise, drain clearing would be enough to clear out the blockages from the intrusive tree roots. During drain clearing, your plumbing expert may cut off the roots using pressurized water or a saw, depending on the level of root growth. They could also advise you to water your trees during the drier months to limit root growth towards your sewer line.

3. Pipe Shifting

A shifting foundation, excess flooding from rainwater or sinkholes may cause your drain pipes to shift and bow in some way. Sometimes the pipes will only change shape and appear slightly curved. However, the pipes could also crack and develop leaks along the sewer line causing more trouble to your system. The joints might separate and leave openings where water leaks out.

When your pipes shift or bow, wastewater won’t flow normally, and your sewer line won’t be as efficient. The stagnant water will trap solid waste, that settles to form sediment in the middle of the pipe.

Eventually, you’ll have to deal with frequent backups, blockages, and eroded pipes. Pipe shifting is a huge problem that is quite difficult to fix. Your plumbing expert could perform regular pipe  inspections to monitor the shifting level to get ahead of the problem before it gets out of hand.

Sewer line problems are often gradual, and you need to pay attention to identify the tell-tale signs of trouble. Luckily, with a few tips and tricks like those mentioned above, you can remain vigilant and ensure the excellent performance of your sewer line for years. But if you suspect any issues with your sewer line, contact Quality Plumbing immediately for reliable services.