In your home, everything you flush down the toilet and everything that goes down the drains in your sinks, bathtubs, and showers ends up in your home’s sewer line. The pipe transports waste and dirty water from your property to your city’s sewer system. Unfortunately, you can run into problems with your sewer line due to issues like clogs, invasive tree roots, deteriorating pipes, and earth movements around the line that can cause it to break or collapse.
A sewer line problem can transform from bad to worse if not handled promptly, so if you recognize any of the “red flags” below, don’t wait to contact a plumber.
1. Water takes a long time to drain.
Water that takes a while to go down a kitchen or bathroom drain indicates that a clog has formed or is in the process of forming. Clogs in sewer lines are typically caused by tree roots, grease and sewage buildup, or items that aren’t supposed to be flushed (such as paper towels, napkins, personal wipes, etc.).
2. Bad smells come from your drains.
Foul odors are another sign that something is clogging your sewer line. When a blockage like this occurs, it prevents waste and dirty water from moving into the municipal sewer. Instead, those odor-causing substances sit in your plumbing system and create the bad smells in your drains.
3. Sewage or dirty water backs up into your drains.
This is another sign that something is obstructing your sewer line. If something is blocking the way, sewage has nowhere to go but back up into your home. It will keep accumulating in your drains until it comes out into your sinks and showers.
4. There are unexplained puddles in your yard.
If you find puddles in your lawn that can’t be explained by sprinklers or the weather, then it’s definitely time to call a plumber. When water pools without explanation in your yard, this is a strong indicator that your sewer line has cracked, especially if the grass is particularly green around those areas.