Functional plumbing is a modern amenity that homeowners take for granted. A residential plumbing system is an intricate network of pipes and fixtures. Some of these pipes and fixtures can be inspected with ease, making sewer line repair easy. Other plumbing components are hidden from view, so knowing when there is a serious problem with these hidden components can be more of a challenge.
Your main sewer line is a hidden plumbing component that plays an essential role in the function of your plumbing system as a whole. Watch for these warning signs that your sewer line needs to be replaced.
1. Your toilet doesn't flush properly.
Every toilet will become clogged occasionally. Sporadic flushing problems are nothing to worry about, but you may have a serious problem if your toilet backs up on a regular basis. When a main sewer line is damaged by tree roots, the refuse that you flush down the toilet can't drain into your municipal waste system properly.
If the waste can't go down, its only option is to come back up. An experienced plumber will be able to use a special camera to inspect your sewer line and determine if replacement will solve your flushing problems in the future.
2. You notice multiple fixtures are draining slowly.
It's important to monitor the drainage speeds of the plumbing fixtures in your home. If a sink, shower, or bathtub starts to drain slower than normal, the line supplying drainage to that fixture may be clogged. If more than one fixture has trouble draining, this is an indication that your main sewer line might be bad.
Similar plumbing problems in different parts of your home are indicative of a clogged sewer line or a sewer line that is deteriorating. Your plumber will be able to let you know if the line merely needs to be cleaned out, or if the main sewer line must be replaced entirely.
3. You smell a foul odor in your home and/or yard.
The refuse carried away from your home by a sewer line can be quite pungent.
If the sewer line isn't working properly as a result of age or damage, the refuse can begin to seep out into the soil near the pipe. You may notice a foul odor emanating from your yard. This odor might be present in your home as well, since sewer gases can waft back up through your drains when the main sewer line is damaged.
Replace your sewer line to eliminate foul odors from your property.