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Sewer pipe problems are never fun to deal with. On top of being messy and complicated, they are also potentially dangerous. A broken sewer pipe can leak toxic fumes into the air or sewage particles into your water supply, both of which are harmful to your household members. As soon as you suspect a sewer pipe issue, you should call for plumbing service.
Having an understanding of the top sewer pipe problems can help you watch for warning signs and act quickly when you notice them.
Problem One: Tree Root Intrusion
Sewer pipes are located underneath the home and the surrounding property of the house. Sometimes a tree’s roots can grow into the sewer pipe. This is a common problem as the root is attracted to the water supply from the sewage pipe. If there is a crack in the pipe, the tree roots will latch onto it and grow around it. Tree root intrusion can cause corroding, cracks, and even collapses in the sewer pipeline.
Some signs that you have a tree root intrusion in your pipes are:
- Visible sinkholes in your yard
- Slow drains
- Gurgling toilets
- Enhanced tree growth or an extra-green lawn (this means your lawn is somehow getting extra nutrients and water without you being the source)
- Foul odors
There are a few preventative measures you can take to reduce the risk of tree intrusion. If you don’t already have trees in your yard, make sure to avoid planting them around your sewer line trajectory. Building details of your home should show where the pipes are located.
Additionally, you should schedule a regular service that includes having your pipes and drains inspected. This way, a plumber will notice a tree root issue early on and fix the problem before it magnifies.
Problem Two: Damaged Sewer Pipes
The sewer line is the largest drain in your home. Any damages to the sewer pipes can result in significant problems with the drainage and water supply in your home. One of the most obvious signs of damaged sewer pipes is the smell of sewage in your home. These systems are built well, so smell should never be escaping. As soon as you smell sewage, call for emergency plumbing service.
Other telltale signs that your sewer pipes are cracked or leaking include:
- Standing water in your home
- Toilet not flushing properly (bubbling up, overflowing, making noises)
- Damp spots in the ceiling or around plumbing fixtures
Damaged sewer pipes are often a result of shifting soil or frozen ground. Keep an eye out for telltale signs after your lawn has frozen over or if you notice soil shifting.
Any of these signs indicate a sewer pipe issue and you should schedule plumbing service. A lot of times, these problems are all about timing. You want to catch them early on, but the average homeowner won’t notice the signs until the situation has progressed significantly. Annual plumbing maintenance appointments with a professional can ensure you catch these issues early on.
Problem Three: Clogged Sewer Pipes
A clogged sewer drain is often an easy issue to spot. Usually, your toilet will stop flushing or your shower will not drain water properly. Or, if you find water collecting in your shower or around your toilet, it likely means there’s a clogged sewer pipe, and the water has nowhere to go. Sometimes, these problems are combined with a strong smell of sewage in the home.
A clogged sewer pipe usually occurs when something goes down the pipes that shouldn’t have, such as oil or feminine hygiene products.
A clogged sewer pipe needs plumbing service as soon as possible. Only a plumber can get deep in the sewer line to find the clog and fix it. Left unaddressed, it can start to lead to sewage overflowing into the home and damaging your floors and appliances.
Problem Four: Corroded Sewer Pipes
If your sewer pipes are ancient (or made of anything other than PVC piping), they are susceptible to corrosion. Highly acidic water with a pH level of seven or higher is likely to corrode and damage your pipes.
Metal pipes also can start to corrode if they’re left unused for an extended time. If you have a vacation property, arrange to have someone use all of the plumbing fixtures a couple of times a year.
Some signs you may have corroded sewer pipes are:
- A weird taste in the home’s tap water. Corroded copper pipes result in a metallic taste to the water, while corroded lead pipes can cause a sweet taste.
- An unpleasant smell from the home’s tap water
- Discoloration in the water. Corroded copper pipes can give water blue-grain stains, while corroded lead pipes result in a reddish-brown (rust) color.
- Leaks in the home, as corroded pipes weaken the metal
- Clogging in the pipes can occur as pipes corrode and become more narrow
Watch out for the symptoms of corroded sewer pipes. If you notice any of the signs, call for a plumbing service. It can be unhealthy to drink water from corroded pipes.
Problem Five: Leaky Pipe Joints
If the seals around the pipe, also known as pipe joints, break, then water can escape from the pipe into the surrounding area. This can lead to other problems, such as damage to your walls and appliances. Or, the seeping water can entice nearby tree roots to intrude on the pipe. You want to deal with leaky pipe joints quickly by scheduling a plumbing service to locate the leak.
You can often guess the source of a leaky pipe as there will be a collection of water around an appliance or a plumbing fixture. Make sure to turn off the device and call a plumber.
If you have a septic tank in your home, it’s essential to schedule a septic tank inspection every three to five years.
Additionally, scheduling regular plumbing service for drain cleaning will allow a professional to spot any early signs of sewer pipe problems. Ideally, schedule a drain cleaning every one to two years. This regular maintenance can save you from unnecessary expensive repairs that could have been fixed early on.
blueFrog Plumbing in Timberlane, LA
If you need a plumbing service in Timberlane, LA, blueFrog Plumbing + Drain is your top choice. We offer plumbing services for drain cleaning, fixtures, leak detection, water heaters, and more. Schedule an inspection of your sewer pipes today.