Every drain in your home has the same destination: your sewer line. Your main sewer line carries all of the water and waste collected by your drains out to your public sewer system or to your septic tank, making it arguably the most important part of the entire drain and sewage half of your plumbing system. This means you need a line that both flows smoothly and is in good condition, but over time any line will slowly wear out, corrode, and eventually need replacement. And here’s the other thing: most homeowners simply don’t know when the time to replace their sewer line has come for their home.
If you’re experiencing a problem with your drains, it can be tricky to tell if the issue may be sewer related, and far more serious than you think. This blog has some helpful information that you can use to make the determination as to whether you need a simple repair or if you should consider a total sewer line replacement service.
Signs of Sewer Line Problems
As plumbers, we get a lot of calls from customers who are frustrated that they can’t seem to solve their drain issues. This is fairly normal—drains can be finicky at times, and most people simply don’t have the tools or skills to effectively eliminate the issue. However, sometimes the reason someone can’t solve their drain problems is because the problem isn’t with their drain at all, but rather their sewer line.
Sewer line issues often show a lot of their symptoms in your drains, and the differences between a drain and sewer problem are subtle on the surface. However, here are a few things you can look for to know the difference:
- All of your drains are slow. For example, if you have a slow bathroom sink drain, you may be wondering if the issue is related to say a hairball somewhere in the drain line or if the issue is further down. If your toilet flushes smoothly, your shower or tub drains quickly, and your other drains in your home don’t seem to have any issues, then there’s a good chance that your issue is localized to just that bathroom drain. However, if that drain, plus all of the other drains in that room, and even several of the other drains throughout your home are also slow, then your issue may very well be related to your sewer line.
- You have tree roots coming up through drains. Tree roots can find their way into sewer lines far easier than most of us would like. Tree roots start as incredibly small shoots that can poke their way through even the smallest cracks and holes. Once they get into your line, they quickly discover an abundance of moisture and fertilizing nutrients that they can absorb from the waste that flows down this line. The root begins to grow rapidly, and before you know it you have roots that have grown and expanded all the way up your sewer line and into your toilet. This is an immensely difficult problem to deal with and is a bonafide sign that you need a sewer line repair.
- Waste from one drain coming back up other drains. If wastewater can’t get past a blockage in your sewer line, then it’ll simply back up and fill in all available space that it can. This includes both blocking up ventilation lines and coming back up drains that have available space. If you run your washing machine and your toilet and shower in the bathroom next to your laundry machine both start overflowing with laundry soap as the cycle completes, then there’s a good chance you’ve got a sewer line problem.
Signs You Need to Replace Your Sewer Line
A blockage is not necessarily a guarantee that you need a new sewer line. Blockages can be cleaned out and removed to keep your sewer line working again. However, removing a blockage won’t fix a badly corroded line, a separated or sagging line, or a line that has completely collapsed in a certain section. In these instances, you will need to replace your line completely. The best way to know for sure that you need a total line replacement is with a comprehensive line inspection using a video camera.
However, there are a few signs that you have a serious sewer problem that almost guarantees you need a repair. Here are a few of these signs:
- Foul odors on your property, including smelling raw sewage
- Continuous Snaking of the drain
- Extremely lush and green patches on your lawn
- Buckling, bowing, or uneven spots on your patio or beneath pavers
- Septic waste pooling in your yard
If you spot any of these issues, there’s a good chance that your sewer line will need to be replaced completely, and you should reach out for help as soon as possible. Not repairing this kind of an issue as soon as possible could lead to even more dire and catastrophic consequences.
Need a major sewer line service? Request more information about this service from the pros at All Pro Plumbing, Heating, Air & Electrical by dialing (909) 253-0664 today.