10 Signs You Might Have a Sewer Line Issue
As a homeowner, you want to take every precaution to protect your home and make sure it’s a safe and clean place for you and your family to live. There are lots of little issues that will crop up in even the newest of houses, but few issues are more infuriating and, frankly, more disgust-inducing than a sewer line issue.
It’s an aspect of homeownership that isn’t talked about much; after all, who wants to bring up sewage in polite conversation? Still, it’s important to pay attention to your sewer lines and what they might be telling you, since early action on a sewer line problem can save you a lot of headaches later on. Don’t wait until you have a serious sewage backup in your bathroom — look for these ten telltale signs that you might have a sewer line issue.
1. Your drains smell bad. A musty mildew odor could indicate that there’s some water leaking from a cracked sewer pipe, while the stink of sewer gas suggests that your sanitary sewer lines are compromised.
2. You can hear gurgling noises when your flush your toilet. It may seem strange to listen to the sounds of your pipes after you flush the toilet, but in fact, they’re quite diagnostic. A gurgling sound
3. Your bathtub is draining slowly. If it’s taking an inordinately long time to drain the tub after a bath, you may have a blockage in the line or, even worse, a tree root intrusion on the line outside of your home. A chemical drain cleaner may seem like a good quick fix, but use it sparingly: if you have a serious blockage that the it can’t dissolve, the chemical can wear away the pipe if it sits there too long.
4. Water backs up into other fixtures. If you’re draining your tub and water backs up in a sink, or vice versa, that’s a good indication that you have a blockage somewhere in your line. The water has to go somewhere, and if it can’t go down, it will come back up.
5. There’s suspicious mold or water damage in your home. This is often an indication that there’s a compromised pipe in your home. It could be leaking and lead to water damage, but it could also be just cracked. A cracked sewer pipe may not leak, but it will raise the humidity in the wall, making it a prime environment for mold to grow.
6. You suddenly have rats in your walls. Rats don’t need much space to move from one place to another, and there are almost certainly some rats in your municipality’s sewer system. A small crack in your sewer line may be enough to give those rats access to your home.
7. You suddenly have a bug problem. Much like rats, insects live in sewer systems. Sewer flies, roaches, and other pests can fit through small cracks in a sewer line and enter your home.
8. Your lawn is wet, but it hasn’t rained in a few days. If you’ve got an especially wet area of your grass, something’s leaking — either a water pipe or a sewer pipe. Neither is good, and you’ll want to get it checked out right away.
9. You have unexplained patches of lawn that are extra lush. Perhaps the damaged pipe isn’t compromised enough to allow a large amount of water to leak out and soak your lawn. If water is coming out slowly, it will simply water that area, leading it to look greener and fuller than the rest of your grass.
10. There’s a sunken area on your property. If an underground sewer line is cracked, the water leaking out could cause the soil to shift and lead to an indentation in your lawn. Or, if it happens under outdoor pavers, you may notice them sinking over the cracked line.