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10 Possible Cracked Sewer Line Symptoms

Have a cracked foundation? It could be a cracked sewer line.
It is no laughing matter.

It’s not always obvious when you have a cracked sewer line. Sometimes a crack in your foundation can be the sign of a crack in your sewer line. We have lots of tips for keeping your Colorado home safe from all sorts of plumbing and sewer emergencies. Read our blog regularly for tips and tricks. When you can’t do it yourself, call the experts at Affordable Plumbing and Heat. Affordable, reliable, dependable too! Affordable is the plumber for you.

If you think that you have a cracked sewer pipe, here are some symptoms that might help you determine if you do or not.

1. Mold Problem

A break in your sewer lines might cause mold growth behind your walls. Some molds only need the humidity level to be higher than 55% to start growing. Gross, right? If you notice mold growth in your home accompanied by a sewer odor then you may have a crack in your sewer line.

2. Rat Problem

As gross as this is, rats live in sewers and can make their way from the city or main line to the pipes that run behind your walls. An average rat can squeeze through a crack or opening in your sanitary sewer the size of about 34 inches. Rodent are responsible for the spreading of many life-threatening diseases. Certain diseases can be transmitted simply by breathing in dust that has been contaminated by rat urine or droppings. If you think rodents could be living in your sewer systems, call Affordable Plumbing and Heat to come sewer camera your line. A sewer camera allows you to see your entire sewer.

3. Sewage Blockages and Backups

The lowest open drain is often where sewer backups occur. If you experience a backup every time you flush or run water down your sink or bathtub drain, then the problem is likely in your main sewer line. This is because all drains rely on the main sewer line to drain properly. Regular backups could possibly be a symptom of deteriorating or broken sewer lines. If you experience backups or blockages regularly even after having the pipes cleaned, then you may have an underlying issue such as channeling, tree root intrusion, cracks letting surrounding soil in, or a misaligned pipe connection.

4. Foundation Cracks, Settlement, and Sinkholes

More extreme symptoms of sewer pipe deterioration include foundation issues such as cracks in your foundation slab, foundation settlement, and in some cases, even sinkholes. If the main line running under your slab develops a leak that goes untreated for a prolonged period of time, a void may develop under the foundation or in the yard. This may lead to foundation problems such as cracks in your foundation, settlement of your home or building, and potentially even a sinkhole.

5. Slow Drain

If you have a slow drain, this could potentially lead to a sewer backup. If your toilet, bathtub, or sink is draining slowly even after attempts to clear the line, you may have issues such as tree root intrusion, channeling, or cracks, mentioned above in the beginning stages. If you are experiencing a backup avoid using chemical drain cleaners. As the chemicals sit in the pipes they will eat away at cast iron and PVC.

6. Indentation Under Pavers or In Lawn

Another symptom of a broken sewer line is indentation in your lawn or under pavers. A cracked sewer main line that is consistently saturating the ground may cause soil to dissipate. This may cause your lawn to develop an indentation or dip above where your sewage main line runs.

7. Sewer Gas Smell

You should never smell a sewer odor unless there was a crack or opening in your sanitary sewer lines. If you can smell sewer gas in or around your home or building, this is a tell-tale symptom that there is a crack somewhere in your sewer system. A sanitary sewer should be air tight everywhere with the exception of vent stacks on your roof which allow for the sewage to move downhill.

8. Infestation of Insects

Insects such as cockroaches, palmetto bugs, and sewer flies have a much easier time getting through sanitary sewer cracks into your home than rats. An insect infestation may also be a symptom of a broken sewer line. Calling a pest control company on a regular basis to get rid of insects will treat the problem temporarily, however if you have a compromised sewer line, the bugs will never stop coming into your home. You will need to address their entry point which may indeed be through a crack in your sewer lines.

9. Extra Green and Lush Patches in Grass

Spotting an extra green and lush patch of grass in your yard may be due to a sewage leak underground. Since sewage acts as a fertilizer for vegetation, leakage from your main line into the surrounding soil will give the surrounding grass extra nutrients that will result in a lush and extra green appearance.

10. Septic Waste Pooling in Yard

An obvious sign that you may have a broken sewer pipe would be septic waste water pooling in your yard. The issue may be a broken septic tank, clogged drain fields, or a cracked main line. Often times the problem area is located directly under the pool of sewer water.

There are many other signs of a cracked sewer line, including rodents, wet spots or low spots in your yard and even insect infestations. Lean to spot the signs of all plumbing troubles in your home. We have the answers at affordable prices. As Seattle’s oldest plumber, we are the local plumber near you whenever you spot a clogged drain, broken pipe or leaky faucet.

Just call Affordable Plumbing and Heat

Colorado Springs 719-471-0713

Denver 303-428-4221

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