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Husted Plumbing Blog

Sewer Line Problems Explained

broken-sewer-line-illustrationWhen it comes to plumbing problems, the ones involving the sewer line have to be the worst. A leak, alone, can be a serious biohazard in your own property. It’s something that no one wants to have happen to them.

We hope it doesn’t happen to you, but if it does, we’ll be here for you. That’s why in today’s post we’ll go over a few signs of sewer line problems, as well as some common causes for it, so you can know how to identify it. Keep in mind, however, that the signs of plumbing problems often overlap, so it’s important to call for the opinion of a plumber in Santa Barbara, CA before jumping to any conclusions.

A Few Signs of Sewer Line Problems

First, let’s briefly go over a few signs of sewer line problems.

  • Weird noises: The sound of constantly running water could signal a sewer line leak.
  • Bad odors in your yard: A sewer line leak will soak the ground above it, creating a bad odor and serious health hazard.
  • Cracks in your home: Sewer line problems can cause the ground to shift, resulting in cracks in your foundation.
  • Suddenly, rats: Rats are attracted to the previously mentioned odors, so if they suddenly start appearing in your yard, it could be another sign.
  • High water bill: A typical side effect of plumbing issues. A sudden spike in the bill almost always indicates a leak or rupture.

Broken Sewer Line Causes

Thirsty Tree Roots

Nature is full of wonderful surprises, like the ability for tree roots—a mindless plant—to detect water and chase after it. Even if that water happens to be coming from your sewer line (beggars can’t be choosers, after all).

If there’s even a small crack in your sewer line, it could be enough to catch the attention of some thirsty tree roots. Once it reaches the pipe, it can actually force its way into those cracks and cause a rupture.

Grease Buildup

As any plumber can tell you, the worst thing for your pipes is F.O.G. Fats, oils, and greases. The problem is that these substances are a warm liquid right before their disposal, but after they cool, they will harden and stick to the pipes. That, itself, is enough for other materials to become stuck. With enough FOG, you’ll eventually have a complete blockage.

Trash Clog

Trash down the drain is another common cause. Putting things like floss, q-tips, or other non-biodegradable substances down the toilet or sink will form the basis of a clog. We can assure you, though, that a trash blockage is a far more stubborn clog than one created by fats, oils, and greases.

Crushed Sewer Pipes

In some cases, parts of the sewer line may have become crushed or disconnected underneath the weight of the soil above it. One way this can happen is if the joints have become weakened over time. The weight of the soil can then contribute to the joint disconnecting or becoming crushed, which would then cause a serious sewer line problem.

Call a professional at the earliest sign of a sewer line problem. Contact Husted Plumbing today, a family owned and operated business since 1935.


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