Signs to Help Tell If Your Sewer Line is Clogged or Broken

A clogged or broken sewer line can be a nightmare for any homeowner in the Santa Cruz area. Not only is it difficult to diagnose the issue, but it can also cost thousands of dollars in repairs. The good news is that there are some signs you can look out for which may indicate that your sewer line needs attention. In this blog post, we’ll discuss eight warning signs that could mean your sewer line is either clogged or broken and what to do if you notice them.

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Eight Warning Signs

  1. Slow Drainage: If your sinks, bathtubs, and toilets are draining more slowly than usual, this could be a sign of an obstruction or blockage in your sewer line. This is usually caused by a buildup of hair, grease, or other debris in the pipes.

  2. Unpleasant Odors: If you start noticing an unpleasant smell coming from any drains throughout your home, it could indicate a broken or clogged sewer line somewhere on your property. Sewer gasses can make their way back into your home through these faulty lines and cause an odor.

  3. Water Backups: If you start to see water backing up from any drains in your home – such as if the water level rises when using the shower – this could also be caused by a clog in the sewer line.

  4. Gurgling Sounds: Listen carefully for gurgling noises coming from any of your plumbing fixtures – such as toilets and drains – which could indicate air bubbles breaking through a clog in the pipe further down the line.

  5. Toilet Overflow: If you flush the toilet and it overflows instead of draining correctly, it could mean that there is an obstruction blocking the flow of water in the line leading away from the toilet itself.

  6. Foundation Cracks: If you start to notice small cracks forming around door frames and window sills – especially near bathrooms or other plumbing fixtures – this could be a sign that something is wrong with your sewer line. It’s best to call a professional for help diagnosing and repairing any foundation damage that sewage backup problems might cause.

  7. Soggy Spots In Your Lawn: Check for any damp patches in low-lying areas around your house. These soggy spots are often caused by leaking pipes underground due to either blockages or breaks in the main sewer line connecting to your home’s plumbing system with municipal sewers outside its perimeter walls (also called “lateral lines”).

  8. Foul-smelling Puddles On The Property: Lastly, look for foul-smelling puddles on your property that might indicate raw sewage has leaked out due to a broken pipe somewhere along its path between tanks and septic systems belowground (or even directly into city sewers if they are connected). Such leaks need immediate attention before they contaminate soil or nearby waterways with dangerous waste materials!


What To Do Next

If you notice any of the signs that your sewer line might be clogged or broken, it’s important to take immediate action to determine and fix the issue. Here are some steps to help you do so:

First, evaluate the severity of the problem. If there’s a noticeable smell coming from your drains, you can assume the clog is made up of organic material like food waste that can usually be cleared with a plunger or a drain snake. However, if multiple fixtures in your home are affected, or if water is backing up in showers or toilets, it’s likely an indication of a severe blockage deep in your pipes. In this case, calling a professional plumber would be the best course of action.

Second, if you want to try and tackle the issue yourself with a plunger or snake, keep safety in mind first. Make sure all children and pets remain clear while you work on clearing out the clog. Place rags over any drains nearby to prevent splashing. Wear gloves and protective eyewear when using chemicals, as well as other tools such as augers and plumber’s snakes, to ensure no physical harm comes to yourself during your attempt at DIY plumbing repair.

Thirdly, should you decide to call in a professional plumber, make sure they have adequate experience with similar problems before hiring them for the job. Ask them about their qualifications and whether they use modern equipment such as hydro-jetting machines for clearing out clogs and video inspection equipment for checking for cracks or leaks deeper in your pipe system before making your decision on who will perform repairs on your sewer line.

Finally, once repairs have been made, regular maintenance should become part of your home cleaning routine in order to prevent future blockages from happening again down the road: 

  • Make sure food particles are properly disposed of rather than being flushed down sinks and toilets
  • Install mesh screens over drain openings where applicable
  • Regularly check for signs of wear and tear, such as corrosion or shifting pipes
  • Perform annual inspections designed specifically for detecting issues before they become too severe
  • Use natural treatments such as baking soda mixes whenever possible instead of harsher chemical options
  • Always reduce water usage when possible by taking shorter showers and ensure that not too much water goes down drains at once

Doing all these things will help reduce strain on your sewer line while ensuring its longevity into the years ahead.

Questions? give us a call (831) 316-7338  

Final Thoughts

Sewer Leaks can cause many problems, from damage to the home, health concerns of the occupants, and sometimes a very high price tag to resolve. However, a trenchless repair is often a very good solution. And for Santa Cruz City residents, you’re in luck! Here at Expert Plumbing, we’re not only one of Santa Cruz City’s Certified Sewer Inspectors. We specialize in trenchless sewer repair. While fixing a sewer leak can take some time and require professional help, it’s an invaluable part of maintaining a healthy plumbing system for years to come.

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