7 Signs You Have a Sewer Line Problem



Sewer lines wear and tear over time and are vulnerable to clogs and tree root infiltration. Since the lines are buried in your yard, you may miss the signs of sewer line damage. Find out the symptoms to watch out for below.


1. Clogged Drains 


Isolated clogs are common, but multiple clogged drains indicate a serious issue. All your home’s drains empty into the sewer line, which is why sewer line problems affect the entire house. 


Clogs in sewer lines build up over time, restricting water flow and reducing the performance of your plumbing system. Toilets are typically the first victims of a clogged sewer line, but the problem soon advances to other plumbing fixtures.


If all the drains in the house move slowly, don’t pour chemical cleaners to ease your frustration. These solutions have harsh chemicals that corrode your pipes and lead to more issues. Instead, have a plumber inspect the sewer line system and dislodge stubborn clogs with specialized equipment. 


2. Dark Water Backups


Dark water backing into the toilets or sinks is an obvious symptom of sewer line damage. The problem occurs when the water from your toilets or sinks encounters obstacles on its way to the sewer system. 


Water backups usually start at the lowest points in the home, like basements and tubs, but can affect all fixtures. Backups are a safety hazard because they can have raw sewage and appear dark and gross. Use protective gear when moving around the fixtures and have a plumber quickly solve the problem.


3. Gurgling Noises


Gurgling sounds after you run the sink or flush toilets indicate a sewer line problem. Unusual noises occur when air enters your sewer line and is trapped and released abruptly. If your sewer line has severe blockages, gurgling and bubbling noises persist long after using your toilets, sinks, washing machines, and other water-using appliances. 


4. Unpleasant Odors


A strong sewage smell is a hard-to-miss sign of sewer line damage. The smells can come up your drain, indicating that drain water has pooled somewhere down the drain line. 


The odor can also be apparent outside your home, and you should have a plumber check the sewer line even if you can’t see anything unusual. Since sewage lines lie several feet underground, you will likely smell the problem before you see the water. 


5. Green Patches in the Yard or Soggy Lawn


A damaged sewer line leaves wastewater to collect in the yard, resulting in soggy soil. Since the water is packed with nutrients, the vegetation around the leak grows rapidly and looks healthier than the surrounding grass. 


However, the bacteria and contaminants in the water damage your landscape over time and pose a health risk. Schedule plumbing services as soon as you see a flooded yard accompanied by foul odors.


6. Pest Infestation


Cracks in the sewer line serve as entry points for cockroaches, sewer flies, rats, and other pests. As soon as you deal with one infestation, more pests enter your home, leaving you wondering about the source. These pests are destructive and carry harmful diseases that threaten your family’s health. A plumber seals all openings in the sewer system to keep out insects and rodents.


7. Lawn Indentations


A damaged sewer line is constantly soaking the ground with wastewater and may displace the soil. At some point, the topsoil layer may sink in and leave clear lawn indentations behind. If the leaks occur under driveways and pathways, you may see gradual damage in the pavers or asphalt. Wastewater from a sewer line can also cause serious foundation issues and even home settling if left unchecked.


Our plumbing experts at Quality Plumbing respond quickly to sewer line damage since wastewater is a safety hazard to your family. We perform video camera inspections to identify the location of clogs and recommend repairs and replacements based on the extent of the damage. Contact us today for specialized sewer line services.