10 Symptoms of a Damaged Sewer Pipe

damaged sewer pipe

A damaged and leaking sewer line is a very unpleasant problem that can lead to very serious and complicated problems, not only in your plumbing system. Because all drains lead to the same place – your sewer line – it’s important to make sure this main pipe is in good condition and allowing for waste to exit your home properly. But though a sewer line is out of sight, it should not remain out of mind. 

Here are a few symptoms that may indicate a damaged sewer pipe

Sewage Backups1. Sewage Backups and Blockages

Your drains rely on your main sewer line to drain properly. If water seems to be backing up in a single fixture, the problem is most likely isolated to that one area. For example – a clogged toilet. However, once water begins to back up out of your tub when you flush the toilet, or out of the toilet when you turn the washing machine on, you’re most likely facing a main sewer line clog. 

Once your main sewer line is clogged, water coming down from one fixture won’t be able to pass down through the sewer line and will come right back up through the next available opening.

sewer odor2. Unpleasant Sewer Odors

Unpleasant odors coming from a sink drain can be the result of a dry p-trap, which alone is an easy problem to fix. However if sewer like odors are coming from your toilet, washing machine or are present in your yard this could be an indication of main sewer line blockage which is resulting in sewer gasses being forced into your home or exposed waste somewhere on your lawn. This is not only unpleasant, but also hazardous as these gases are toxic and therefore should be addressed quickly. 

slow draining3. Slow Draining Fixtures

A slow tub or sink may be the result of hair or food particles causing a mild blockage. But if it seems like despite your best efforts to keep your drains clean, several of your drains are slow to drain all at once and are accompanied by the above mentioned sewer odors, chances are the problem is in your main sewer line. 

sewer mold4. Mold 

Mold thrives in high levels of humidity and can be a homeowners worst nightmare. When a sewer line is damaged and releasing waste under your property, it is very likely to create the perfect environment for mold to grow and spread in your walls and under your foundation. 

Mold remediation is a very lengthy and finicky process that can severely damage your home and property, therefore removing the root of the problem immediately is essential to your physical and financial well being.  

cracks in foundation5. Cracks in your Foundation 

Damaged foundation and cracks are on the more extreme scale of sewer line problems and can be the result of a prolonged sewer line leak. That’s because when a sewer line, which runs underneath your property, is damaged and leaking, it eventually affects the very ground underneath your home, creating a void. While some homes in Orange county were built on stilts, others are subject to serious foundation-related problems when the ground underneath your home begins to shift. 

concrete cracks6. Indentation In Lawn or Cracks in Concrete

Just like overly saturated ground can cause a sinkhole under your property, it can similarly cause dips in your lawn, resulting in cracking  your pavers, driveway or creating dips from sinking ground in your yard.

septic waste pooling7. Septic Waste Pooling 

While some pooling in your yard, such as after heavy rainfall, is normal – constant pooling of smelly water in your yard is a certain sign of a leak. While this could mean a damaged sewer line, the water could also indicate an overflowing septic tank that needs to be pumped. 

The good news is that you won’t have to search far and wide for the damage, as it is definitely right underneath the pool of waste in your yard. 

damaged serwer pipe8. Extra Green and Lush Patches in Grass

Similar to the previous point, areas of grass which have suddenly become very healthy, lush and green, with no extra effort on your part, could mean that a sewer line is leaking deeper under the ground and fertilizing your lawn.  

rodent9. Rodent or Insect Infestation

Rats live and thrive in the sewers. They also have an incredible ability to squeeze through very small openings and thin pipes. A rodent infestation may mean that a crack in your sewer line has  allowed uninvited guests to enter your property. Same applies to insects such as sewer flies and cockroaches. While pest control will solve this problem temporarily, a more permanent solution is “shutting that door closed” and fixing your sewer line.  

Backed up cleanout10. Backed up cleanout

A cleanout is a very handy pipe which gives you direct access to your sewer line. It is often located outside of your house, or in some cases, your basement. If there’s spillage or standing water in your cleanout, the only explanation is a main sewer line clog. 

What to do about it?

If you’ve recognized any of these symptoms it’s crucial to act quickly to prevent further damage. Calling a professional plumber that can assess the situation and establish the location and root of the problem is the first step to solving this predicament. 

Here at VIP Drain Services our trained technicians are available 24/7 for these unpleasant emergencies!

If you have any emergency plumbing need, simply call our 24 hour emergency service line