The Differences Between Plumbing and Sewer Line Issues

May 15, 2023

Closeup,Of,Plumber,Fixing,Pipe,With,WrenchThe Differences Between Plumbing and Sewer Line Issues

When it comes to issues with your home’s plumbing, it can be challenging to determine whether the problem is related to your plumbing system or your sewer line. Although both systems are essential for proper functioning of a home, they have unique issues, and distinguishing between them may require the expertise of a professional plumber. In this blog post, we will discuss the differences between plumbing and sewer line issues and how to identify them.

Plumbing Issues

Plumbing includes all the pipes, valves, and fixtures that supply clean water to your home and remove wastewater. Plumbing issues typically occur within your home or on the exterior, just beyond your home’s foundation. Below are some common plumbing problems.

1. Low Water Pressure

Low water pressure is one of the typical plumbing problems and occurs when the water flow is decreased from the faucets and showerheads. The problem is often a sign of clogged pipes or insufficient water pressure from the water supply. A plumber can determine whether the issue is with the fixtures in your home or due to other factors.

2. Clogged Drains

Clogged drains occur when hair, food, grease, soap, and other debris accumulate in the pipes and prevent water from flowing properly. Most clogs can be fixed with a plunger or drain snake. However, persistent blockages require the assistance of a professional plumber.

3. Leaky Faucets

Dripping faucets and showerheads are more than just an annoyance. Leaks waste significant amounts of water, increase water bills, and damage fixtures over time. A plumber can quickly fix leaky faucets by replacing worn washers.

4. Running Toilets

A running toilet is a common plumbing issue. It wastes significant amounts of water and can significantly raise water bills. A plumber usually corrects running toilets by replacing the faulty flush valve or flapper.

5. Noisy Pipes

If you hear strange sounds or banging coming from your pipes, it can indicate that you have a loose pipe or a water hammer. A water hammer occurs when water flows suddenly through a pipe and a valve closes quickly, resulting in a loud banging sound.

Sewer Line Issues

Unlike plumbing problems that occur within your home or just outside the foundation, sewer line problems generally affect all the plumbing fixtures in your home. Some common sewer line problems include:

1. Sewage Backups

A sewage backup is a severe issue that requires urgent attention. The wastewater should flush naturally from the home and into the municipal sewer line. If there is a blockage or damage to the sewer line, it can result in wastewater backing up into the home, leading to nasty sewage smells and unhygienic conditions.

2. Slow Drains

Slow and gurgling drains is a sign that indicates there is a defect in the sewer line. The blockage could be a buildup of debris or tree roots that have grown into the sewer line. A plumber can determine the nature of the clog and remove it with specialized equipment.

3. Foul Odors

A foul odor, as we mentioned earlier, is a sign that indicates there are leakages in the sewer line. The smells can come from different locations around your home and be especially unpleasant in basements, crawl spaces, or outdoor areas near sewer line access points.

4. Sewer Gas in Your Home

Sewer gas is a harmful and unpleasant mixture of gases, including hydrogen sulfide, methane, and ammonia. Sewer gas in your home means that there is an issue with the sewer line, including pipe damage or blocked sewer vents.

5. Lush or Discolored Grass

Lush or discolored grass around your sewer line area could be an indication that the sewer line is leaking and adding nutrient-rich water into the soil. The reverse effect is poor growth or bare patches, indicating the opposite- that the sewer line is leaking water, leading to less nutrient availability.

Final Thoughts

Plumbing and sewer line issues require prompt attention and professional expertise to ensure swift and thorough repair. Distinguishing between plumbing and sewer line issues, and pinpointing their root cause, requires the assistance of a plumbing professional. As a homeowner, it is essential to know that regular maintenance and periodic inspections can prevent both plumbing and sewer line issues from happening in most cases. With proper care and attention, homeowners can maintain the integrity and functionality of their home’s plumbing and sewer systems.

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