Every drain in your house connects to the biggest, most important piece of plumbing in the system—the main sewer line. After years of wear and tear, the sewer line can begin to take a beating. Eventually, it may become clogged or damaged to the point of needing a repair or replacement. Learn what causes sewer damage and the warning signs to watch out for in your plumbing.
What Causes Sewer Clogs and Damage?
- Tree root intrusion: If you have large trees on your property, you could be at risk for invasive tree roots. Tiny, spiderweb-like tendrils slowly creep in through the plumbing joints, seeking nutrients from the sewer system. Eventually, the pipe can fill with roots, not to mention crack and split under pressure.
- Changing soil conditions: Shifting and settling soil may cause sewer pipes to separate, leak, sag, rupture, or collapse. Keeping heavy machinery off your property can help prevent this.
- Corrosion: Sewer lines don’t last forever. If your home is over 70 years old, and the sewer system has never been replaced, the old pipes may be corroding by now.
- Obstructions: Anything besides water that flows down the drain poses a risk to your sewer line. Avoid pouring cooking grease, starchy noodles, hard pits, or stringy foods down the kitchen sink. Then, keep paper towels, facial tissues, cotton balls, and feminine products out of the toilet.
- Lack of maintenance: Skipping yearly inspections from a licensed plumber could allow your sewer line to fall into disrepair. Preventative cleanings can safeguard your system from developing issues down the road.
Signs of a Damaged Sewer Line
- Frequent backups: Occasional toilet clogs or slow drains are easy enough to manage, but if you have a sink or tub that clogs incessantly, a blockage in the main sewer line could be to blame.
- Multiple clogs at once: A clear sign that the problem stems from the sewer line is if multiple drains clog simultaneously without explanation.
- Strange interactions between drains: Does the toilet gurgle when you run the bathroom faucet? Does water back up from the shower drain when you flush the toilet? These are indications of a sewer line problem.
- Changes in your lawn: The sewer line typically runs under your yard toward the street, where it meets up with the city sewage system. If you spot a new indentation on your lawn or notice a soggy patch of extra-green grass, this means the sewer pipe may have ruptured.
Now that you know the causes and warning signs of sewer damage, you may suspect that you need sewer line repair or replacement. Puget Sound Plumbing & Heating uses trenchless techniques to save you time, money, and hassle. If a trenchless repair isn’t feasible, we also have highly trained back-hoe operators on our team to safely replace pipes buried up to 20 feet deep. To learn more, or to schedule a sewer camera inspection in Seattle, WA, contact us online or call (206) 350-0079 today.