Just the thought of sewer line trouble makes most homeowners cringe. Issues with a sewer line can be costly,especially if you do not catch an issue early on. For homes that are served by a city sewer,the municipality will most often care for and maintain the line running the length of the street. However,maintenance of the line that runs from the house to the street is almost always the responsibility of the homeowner.[dcl=7438]
Causes of Sewer Line Problems
The obvious and perhaps most common sewer line problem is a buildup of gunk that is created over time from repeat flow down the drains in the home. A second potential hazard to sewer lines are tree roots that may disrupt underground sewer pipes causing them to crack or become clogged. Older pipes used for sewer lines were often made from clay or steel,and therefore are susceptible to cracking or rusting over time. Since these problems are not easily seen,here are a few signs that you may have a sewer line problem.
Toilet Bowl Water Level
When a sewer line is clogged,there may be inconsistency in the water level of toilets. If the water level in your toilet is unusually low,high,or simply varies day to day,it is in your best interest to call a licensed plumber to evaluate your line.
Presence of Odd Sounds or Scents
If you notice a distinctly different sound,like a gurgling,when water is draining from sinks,toilets or other drains,it may be time to bring in a professional to inspect the lines. Similarly,if you ever notice strange smells coming from drains,or in the yard,a sewer inspection should be completed by a plumber as soon as possible.
Showers,Sinks and Tubs are Slow to Drain
While many homeowners are quick to go and buy a drain cleaner from the local home improvement shop,this may only solve a slow moving drain problem temporarily. In older homes,the pipe materials can be severely damaged by the harsh chemicals in these drain cleaners,causing an even bigger problem. These off the shelf solutions are extremely caustic and are known to pollute local watersheds as well.
Finding the Right Plumber
In some instances,a sewer problem may be repaired with a patch if the rest of the line is in good shape. However,with older lines,it is often best to replace the entire line at once. Top plumbers will have video inspection equipment that allows them to run a camera into the sewer line to obtain an accurate inspection of any issues and make the best recommendations for repair.