“What’s that smell?” said Lisa. She waved her hand through the air and said, “Phew!” We need to call a plumber.
Jim, her husband, agreed. He wished he had heeded the warning signs that their sewer line was not working properly and that it needed immediate repair.
So, how can you tell you need a sewer line replacement before you’re faced with a really unpleasant flood or distracting and foul smell?
Be Aware of the Warning Signs
Below are some major warning signs that tell you that you need to contact a plumber immediately.
More than One Slow Drain in the House
While one slow drain might merely mean removing a clog with a drain snake or plunger, more than one slow drain is an obvious sight that the blockage runs deeper, or that the obstruction is possibly lodged in the sewer line.
A Gassy Odor Coming from Your Drain(s)
Sometimes the problem is right under your nose. You shouldn’t notice any type of weird smells coming from your drains. If the sewer line needs replacement, you could be smelling sewer gas. Because this gas is toxic, you need to call a plumber right away.
Problems with Mildew and Mold
Do you see signs of mold in your house? Do you notice a mildew-type smell? If you notice these problems, especially, in your basement, it could mark a problem with the sewer line. This type of problem is normally triggered by a sewage or water backup.
Pests and Rodents in and Around Your Property
A broken sewer line can also lead to an uptick in pests and rodents. Bugs and unwanted critters can squeeze through cracks in the line. Also, a crack in a drainpipe offers an ideal breeding ground for insects, as they like to lay their eggs in stagnant water.
Needless to say, you’ll have more than a plumbing problem on your hands should these events take place.
HIgher Water Bills
While water use will fluctuate, your water bill should stay fairly consistent each month. If a bill comes in that is much higher than normal, you’ve undoubtedly have more water flowing through your pipes. If the sewer line has sprung a leak, this can easily happen.
Because your sewer line requires special equipment for repair, you’ll need to have a dependable plumber investigate the leak and replace or reseal the line.
Pipes that Gurgle Frequently
While it is common to hear the occasional gurgle from a pipe, gurgling that is consistent means that you’re facing a bigger plumbing problem and difficulty. Tree roots, calcium deposits, and grease can block a sewer line – something that can only be addressed by a professional plumber. To restore the line, the plumber usually must replace certain sections or joints.
Soggy and Damp Areas in the Yard
A leak in the sewer line can lead to soggy and damp spots in the yard. If you don’t have a problem with your sprinkler system or outside fixtures, you may need to replace the line.
A Sewage Smell Does Not Go Away
The smell of sewage will linger when it is coming from your pipes or sewer line. If it is coming from the pipes, that’s usually a warning that you have a blockage, which is causing the sewage to back up.
This type of “rotten egg” smell comes from hydrogen sulfide gas – a gas that is toxic and can make people sick. If this is happening, you don’t want to waste any time in calling a plumber.
The Toilet Bowl’s Water Fluctuates
The toilet water level should be about two inches below the fill valve. Otherwise, you should check the sewer line if the level bounces back and forth – or above and below the line.
Any of the above-listed problems is a cause for a plumbing concern – a concern that requires replacement of the sewer line. If you experience any of the above difficulties – now, not later – is the time to call a plumber and get the problem resolved.