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Sewer Pipe Red Flags

plumbing repair sewer pipes

Nobody wants to deal with the mess associated with a broken sewer pipe; it’s stressful, smelly, and very costly. Regular plumbing maintenance and inspection will cost you much less than the damage a broken or leaking sewer drain will. So to help you prevent a sewer catastrophe, we’ve compiled a list of sewer pipe red flags. If you notice any of these, call a professional immediately.

Clogged Toilets
Most people have experienced that moment of terror after flushing a toilet at a friend’s house where you worry you may have clogged the toilet. On the off chance that it does overflow consider this – you may have done your friend a favor! Consistently clogged or blocked toilets are often a symptom of a faulty sewer pipe, especially if the problem persists after the pipes have been cleaned.

Unpleasant Smells
Your bathroom may smell a bit unsavory directly after your son’s football team comes over for chili, but other than that you should never be able to smell a sewer-like odor in your house. If you suddenly start smelling sewer gas in your kitchen, you most probably have a leaking sewer pipe.

Another cause of unpleasant smells is mold and mildew, which starts to grow after moisture builds up in walls and ceilings from a crack in your sewer pipe. The leaking pipe increases humidity, which encourages mold growth. So be wary of anything that smells musty, as mold can be dangerous and even toxic.

Lush Grass
Unfortunately, you may not have the green thumb you thought you did upon seeing patches of lush green grass in your garden. Sewage, like store-bought fertilizers, provides plants with extra nutrients to encourage growth, so if you suddenly have random green patches, even though you forgot to water the garden last week, you may have a sewer leak.

Water Pressure, Flow, and Drainage Problems
Believe it or not, sewer pipe problems don’t only affect your toilet. If the volume of water flowing out of your faucet or showerhead decreases, you could have a water flow problem that can indicate a leaking drain. If your water is trickling out of your pipes, you may have a water pressure problem, which can indicate a burst pipe. And if your bathtub takes ages to drain, you probably have a clog, which can cause serious sewer drainage problems in the future.

Foundation Cracks and Sinkholes
If a problematic sewer pipe that runs underneath your house goes ignored for too long, it can cause serious damage. The sewer water might build-up, creating a void underneath your foundation that can cause it to crack. Once this void of sewer water becomes too large it can cause a sinkhole, which is dangerous not only to your family and property, but can also affect your neighbors and other citizens.

Bugs and Rats
You may not like having a broken sewer line, but there are certain species out there that absolutely love a little extra sewage. Rodents live in sewer lines, and the average rat can slip into your broken pipes through a hole the size of a quarter, while insects can fit through pretty much any sized hole. Calling an exterminator will only temporarily fix the problem, so if you find yourself constantly in the company of rats or have persistent insect infestations, you might have a broken sewer pipe.

Although none of these red flags are an accurate indication of sewer pipe problems, if you do notice one or more of them it is best to call a professional. Don’t let a small problem become a big one when you could just contact us at Art Plumbing, Air Conditioning & Electric.