5 Typical Residential Sewer Line Issues And What To Do About Them

Friday, February 15th, 2019
residential plumbing, issues that drain cleaning can help fix

Your property has two kinds of plumbing. The first is the plumbing that runs throughout your home, bringing water into various rooms and carrying used water out. Outside of your home is the larger sewer line that carries the used water away from your home and deposits it into the municipal line. Unlike your home’s plumbing, the sewer line is located underground and is susceptible to corrosion from outdoor sources. This post will go over the issues you can expect to deal with and you can do about it.

Common sewer line problems

There are many issues that can affect your sewer line. Some of these eventually reach into your home’s plumbing. The following are five of the most common sewer line problems.

  1. The most common issue with sewer lines are tree roots. If you have ever walked around on a sidewalk, you’ve probably seen it bulging from underneath. That is caused by tree roots. They slowly grow into them and break them up. This happens in sewer lines, too, but the roots will also cause blockages that affect the plumbing in your home. You can see this happening when your kitchen sink backs up into your bathtub.

  3. Another typical issue you can face is corrosion or deterioration. Older homes use iron pipes, which are more brittle and tend to rust. Newer homes use PVC piping which is more resilient. But, all sewer lines are subject to corrosion as they are exposed to the elements and are moving thousands of gallons of water a year.

  5. Blockages or clogs are another issue that develop in sewer lines. Grease, fats, oils, and other debris that go down your drain can accumulate in your sewer line, forming clogs. Also, if you live in an area with shifting ground or soil that freezes over, your sewer line could become misaligned, collapsed, cracked, or broken.

  7. Your pipes aren’t one-piece manufactured items, but are built in parts and rely on joints to hold them together. These joints are weak spots that are subject to corrosion and can result in leaks, blockages, or other issues.

  9. You could have bellied pipes, which are lines that sink into the ground causing areas to converge. These could eventually result in sinkholes and other serious problems.

What you can do to help your sewer line

Your sewer line is affected by anything that is thrown down the drain in your home, so it is subject to any number of issues. The first thing you can do is be careful about what you flush down the drain. You should also get regular drain cleaning and other maintenance. If you have a septic tank, you should have it inspected every three to five years by a technician. An expert can check out your tank to ensure that there aren’t any leaks or signs of sewer line issues. In general, a residential plumber can address most issues by effecting spot repairs. For more serious issues, your plumber can use a snake camera to inspect issues further down the line.

You can also diagnose some sewer line issues on your own. Go into your yard, between your house and the street, and you should see a small pipe with a cover it on. That is the access point for the sewer line. You can use it to determine if there is a blockage. For example, if you see water pooling around it or coming out of the pipe, that is a strong indicator that there could be a clog in your line. You could also use a wrench to remove the cap and inspect the line. If you see standing water, there may be a blockage.

Finally, if you have an older sewer line (like iron), it may be cheaper to replace the entire line than to get repairs. The plumbing company might be able to replace the damaged section, but eventually another section will fail because the iron is already compromised.

Get help with your residential plumbing system today

If you think you may have a sewer line problem, contact the plumbing experts at Allen’s Tri-State Mechanical Inc. in Amarillo, Texas. We provide Residential Plumbing services throughout northern Texas and the tri-state area. You can reach us at (806) 376-8345 or Contact Us by email to learn more.