A problem with your main sewer line is more than an inconvenience. It’s also a health risk to you, your family, and your neighbors. Before you find yourself with a major sewer line emergency, learn the signs that you need sewer pipe repair. As soon as you suspect something’s wrong, give us a call.

1. Poor Water Pressure

If your shower seems to trickle water out, you may have a sewer line issue. Keep in mind that some shower heads allow you to adjust the water pressure. Before you jump to conclusions, check the shower head and try to adjust it. If the water still doesn’t flow well, you could have a clog in your main sewer line.

It’s possible that there’s an obstruction in your own home’s plumbing. However, it’s just as likely that the clog is in the main line. The only way to restore your water pressure is to remove the clog. 

You might notice low water pressure in other fixtures of your home. Wherever those fixtures may be, you should consider the possibility of sewer line repair. You need an experienced plumber to step in and investigate the problem.

2. Wastewater is in Your Tub or Sink

Is there a brown, foul-smelling water in your sink or bathtub? If so, there could be a problem with your sewer line.

Typically, clogs occur when grease, oil, or other objects go down your drains. Over time, they clog your pipes and block the flow of water. Tree roots may also grow into your pipes, causing the same issue.

It’s worth mentioning that using drain cleaners can also cause wastewater to back up into your home. Sometimes, the chemical cleaners harden in your pipes. Instead of clearing a clog, chemical cleaners can cause one. 

3. Flooding in Your Basement

If you have a septic tank, you might experience basement flooding or muddy water near your tank. Either situation is a sign that you have a main line issue. 

As pipes get older, they deteriorate. Loose connections and small holes in the pipes can occur, which lead to leaks in your system. As the water leaks out, it mixes with dirt and other debris. Then, you’ll see muddy water in your basement or yard. 

Because your main sewer line carries waste, the water is contaminated. It could contain mold, viruses, and bacteria. If you don’t act quickly, you could become ill. 

4. Bad Smells in Your Basement

It’s normal to smell a musty odor in your basement. But if that odor becomes foul, you have a problem. The stench could travel from your basement into your HVAC vents, which will spread the smell throughout your home. 

If there’s no obvious cause for the foul odor, your sewer line may be to blame. A clog in your pipe could cause sewage to back up, which would make the foul smell linger.

 5. Bright Grass Near Drain Outputs

If your grass is brighter in some areas of your yard than others, you could have a leak in your sewer line. The leaking liquid fertilizes your lawn, making the grass look lusher in certain spots. 

The leak may have happened because the pipes had corrosion from years of abuse. Over time, the main line develops leaks that contaminate the ground. Although your grass might be happy, the leaking liquid is harmful to your health.

6. Sagging Pipes

Generally, plumbers install side sewers to have a slight slope. Thanks to that slope, gravity pulls water through your pipes. However, pipes can start to sag over time. If they sag too much, debris will accumulate in your pipes and clog up your lines.

Over time, pipes naturally start to sag. Chemical drain cleaners eat away at the pipes, making them less rigid. The pipes sag, and eventually, lines burst. To prevent this from happening, you should have a plumber inspect your pipes approximately every two years.

7. Cracks in Pipes

Cracks or holes in your pipe could be signs of a sewer line issue. Although some cracks and holes may occur from corrosion, it’s possible for other situations to cause the damage. 

Any crack or hole has the potential to let debris into your pipes. As the debris builds up, clogs will form, and you’ll need a plumber. Even minor cracks and holes are a problem. If you see any visible damage to your pipes, call for help right away. 

Knowing How Your Sewer System Works

In addition to knowing the signs of sewer line trouble, you should know how it works. Many people don’t understand how their plumbing system functions, and this leads to people making mistakes. 

Everything starts with wastewater coming out of your house through a primary drain pipe. As gravity pulls the water through the pipe, the water meters a sewer main line. The water travels through the line and eventually goes to the sewage treatment plant.  

 Some systems rely on pumps or lifts to move the water, but others only need gravity. Once the water is at the treatment center, it goes through a purification process. Chemicals and filters work together to clean the water. Once it’s clean, the water is sterilized and sent back into homes. 

Septic Systems

A septic system works in a similar way. However, your wastewater goes into your septic tank instead of a treatment facility. As the water sits in the tank, solids settle to the bottom and grease rises to the top. 

Just like regular systems, septic systems need maintenance. If you don’t take care of it properly, the septic system will fail. 

Do You Need Sewer Pipe Repair?

If you suspect that there’s a problem with your sewer line, you should act quickly. The longer you wait to act, the worse your problem could become. 

To find out if you need sewer line replacement or repair, call the professionals. Here at J. Blanton Plumbing, we’re ready to tackle your sewer pipe repair or replacement. Call us now to schedule an appointment.