Is My Sewer Line Damaged?

January 28, 2021

Your plumbing system has two major sections: freshwater and wastewater. Your fixtures, like faucets and drains, or functioning toilets, separate the freshwater from the waste. We rely on the freshwater line to produce clean water so we can use it and discard it—but if you’ve noticed sewer gas smells or drains backing up with raw sewage in Myrtle Beach, SC, you may have sewer line damage.

Here’s how to tell whether you’re dealing with a damaged sewer line:

  • Slow drains: Slow drains indicate that there’s something partially clogging the line, preventing the water from draining properly. For example, roots might be invading or choking the lines, or cracked pipes could be allowing dirt and rocks to collect in the pipes. Dumping hot fat or cooking grease down the pipes will lead to a clog when the fat eventually solidifies. Finally, even supposedly “flushable” wipes should stay out of your drains—they’re notorious for clogging pipes.
  • Backed-up drains: Raw sewage coming up out of your drains is a fairly horrifying experience. It’s caused when there’s a clog somewhere between your fixture and the main waste pipe coming out of your home. Often, this can be solved by simple clog repair. If you’re having trouble with all of your drains, however, there’s something else at fault. This might be a clog in the waste pipe, a collapsed sewer line, a blocked sewer line or clogged air vent, which can create a vacuum in the pipes.
  • Sewer gas odor: When your sewer line has been breached, you’ll probably notice a raw sewage odor in or around your home. The pipe may be leaking raw sewage under or around your home, which should be considered a health emergency. You’ll need to call a plumber right away. Look for signs of mold, mildew and water around your home—it’s a common side effect and should be repaired at the same time, before the problem gets worse.
  • Look at your lawn: Finally, your lawn might indicate a problem. If you notice any unusually lush patches of grass or vegetation, or the soil seems soft and damp, your sewage pipes are probably leaking. Look for indentations or sinkholes near the sewer line—you might notice tilted pavers, cracked foundations, warped steps or other telltale signs of water intrusion. If you see these issues, call a plumber as soon as possible. The longer you let it go, the more likely you’ll experience foundation issues and other problems.

Most of the time, plumbing problems can be resolved quickly and easily. Letting them go, however, almost guarantees it will make the issue worse. When you notice issues like drains backing up and sewer gas odor in Myrtle Beach, SC, it’s better to be safe than sorry.

If you live on the Grand Strand and need plumbing help, Rooter Express is here for assistance. We provide on-call emergency services in addition to our normal hours—don’t let a plumbing problem go a minute longer than you have to. Call today to get started!

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