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What are the Signs That I May Need a Sewer Line Replacement?

How old is your home?  Your sewer line is that old also. Think about all the other parts of your home that you have replaced to keep things running smoothly. Like everything else, sewer lines eventually need to be replaced. There are some signs that you may need a sewer line replacement.

There are signs that you need a sewer line replacement. Slow flowing drains are a bad sign. Frequent clogs can also be a signal.  Noticeably greener patches in your lawn often accompany main sewer line problems. Bad odors in your home, pests, and mildew are often signs.

If you start to notice one or more signs of a sewer line problem, don’t wait for things to get better. They probably won’t.  We’ll discuss what to look for and how to diagnose a sewer line that needs replacement. It can be as easy as following your nose or looking at your lawn. If you notice any of these signals, you need to investigate further and probably call a professional sewer line service.

Out of Sight is Not Out of Mind

Step out of the shower or shut off the tap in the kitchen sink and the wastewater usually disappears. Most people, at this point, simply assume that the wastewater is no longer their problem. It’s in the sewer, right?  Unfortunately, that isn’t always the case.

Until that wastewater reaches the tap in the main sewer line, it is still your problem. A broken or damaged sewer line can let that wastewater come back into your life in often unpleasant ways. If you have sewer problems, they may show themselves in a variety of guises.

When Things Slow Down, You Should Pay Attention

A slow-moving drain on one fixture in your house isn’t an unusual situation. P-traps can clog and do need to be properly maintained. However, if you notice that all the drains in your home begin to exhibit sluggish movement, it probably indicates a problem with the main sewer line.

Not so Inviting Smells in Your Home

A damaged or clogged main sewer line often causes bad odors in or around your home. Sewer gases smell bad. These chemical time bombs can also be dangerous to you and your family. If you notice bad odors in your house or your yard, you should immediately call for professional help to diagnose the source of those odors.

Strange Sounds from Your Drains

It isn’t uncommon for drains to make the occasional sound as wastewater drains away. However, if you notice the drains in your home making gurgling noises constantly, you need to pay attention. Toilet drains often give you very noticeable indicators. Everyone is familiar with the noise a normally operating toilet makes as it drains. If your toilets begin to make strange noises when flushed, there may be problems in the main sewer line.

Standing Water Where It Shouldn’t Be Standing

Drains that won’t drain at all are serious symptoms. Everyone experiences clogged drains in sinks. However, if several drains in your home suddenly start to backup or hold standing wastewater, you have a much more serious problem with your sewer drain. The attention of a drain specialist is the best recourse in these situations.

Look Around Your Yard. Why Are There Much Greener Spots?

A collapsed or damaged main sewer line will often give you clues about the location of the damage. Wastewater leaking from a collapsed main sewer line can have unexpected results. The nutrient-rich wastewater encourages your lawn to become much lusher and greener grass near the damaged portion of the main sewer drain line.

If you notice spots in your lawn that grow faster and greener than the rest of the lawn, your alarm bells should go off. This kind of leak often results in soggy ground near the leak and the wastewater may even be visible in puddles. Don’t waste time at this point. Get a professional drain service on sight immediately.

Mold and Mildew Begin to Make Appearances

A collapsed or leaking main sewer line under your home may raise the overall humidity in the area. The extra water vapor in your home mixed with the organics in the wastewater can cause the rapid growth of mold and mildew.

Mold or mildew in places where there has never been a problem before should raise a few red flags. If you have a basement and notice damp spots growing mold, the red flags should turn to blaring alarm bells. Serious health issues for you and your family can result in this kind of mold problem. Get a professional drain technician into your home to find the problem.

Unexpected and Unwelcome Visitors

Lots of creatures live in the sewers. You don’t want any of these denizens of the dark as visitors in your home. A sudden influx of unwelcome pests in your home may signal damage to your main sewer line that gives these critters access they shouldn’t have to your home. While a pest control specialist may be a good idea, you really should have a drain specialist on hand to find the source of your unwanted house guests.

Sewer Line Repair and Replacement Options

What are the options when it becomes apparent that your main sewer drain is seriously damaged and needs to be repaired or replaced?  Many homeowners cringe at the thought of trenching machines, huge holes, and mounds of dirt in their carefully created landscapes. Fortunately, new technologies may make these nightmare scenes avoidable.

Adding Life to an Old Sewer Line – Pipe Lining

If your old sewer line is not too severely damaged or collapsed, pipelining may be an option. The pipe repair company will insert a plastic tube into the drain line and inflate the tube with air. An epoxy coating on the outside of the tube is pressed against the old sewer line and left to harden. 

The epoxy hardens into a new sewer pipe giving your home’s drain system a new path to the main sewer tap without trenching your lawn or destroying your landscapes. 

Dealing with Collapses and More Extensive Damage – Pipe Bursting

If your main sewer line has suffered extensive collapse or other serious damage, an epoxy liner may not be possible. However, you might still avoid extensive dirt work if the sewer is replaceable without digging.

Pipe Bursting uses a system that forces a cone-tipped smaller pipe through the collapsed sewer drain. This process destroys the old sewer pipe. A new sewer pipe goes into the void behind the cone and connects to the sewer main and your home’s existing drain system

This process is more involved and does require some digging at either end of your main sewer drain. However, pipe bursting can avoid trenching your yard and landscape.

When All Else Fails – Traditional Replacement

There may be cases where lining or busting a sewer pipe is not an option. The sewer pipe may be damaged beyond the point of either solution. In these cases, the only recourse is to trench and replace the old sewer line.

Trenching and replacement are expensive. The process of digging a trench through your yard also has the potential to damage your landscape, sprinkler systems and even harm trees. A total drain replacement is a last-ditch effort when you have main sewer drain problems.

Before You Dig – Consult

A collapsed, broken, or damaged sewer line often gives you many clues that you have problems. Learning to recognize these clues can potentially save you thousands of dollars if you address the problem in its early stages. These problems are usually not do-it-yourself homeowner projects. Find an experienced sewer drain specialist to help you solve your problems and get your main sewer drain flowing again.

To learn more about commercial sewer line replacement, visit the Sewer Surgeon.