A healthy plumbing system often guarantees a safe and danger-free household. Still, problems can crop up unannounced, especially if we don’t pay attention to what happens beneath or behind the walls.
For instance, you could wake up one morning to find that your main sewer line is suddenly clogged and you don’t know exactly why. A clogged or obstructed sewer line is something that develops slowly, but there are usually signs or indications that something is brewing done below.
It’s best to keep track of these signs, keeping in mind that every water fixture, pipe and drain in your house is connected to the main sewer. If this primary line gets clogged, the consequences can be serious.
What is the Main Sewer Line?
Every household is assigned a dedicated pipe line that collects all waste from the different fixtures in the home, including toilet bowls and showers. These are then transported to the main sewer system that runs deep underground.
Over time, as waste builds up in the sewer and due to wear and tear, the sewer line can get clogged. The immediate effect can be seen in your drain system or toilet bowl as you’ll have difficulties using them. Nevertheless, these are initial sewer problems that can be easily fixed but there are others that will require careful planning.
Causes of Clogged Sewer Lines
Apart from waste buildup, there are many other factors that contribute to a clogged sewer line. These include:
- Household Waste
Normally, clogs take time to form but the variety of household waste in recent years has somewhat sped up the process. The following household waste are believed to result in a leak or rupture in your plumbing system.
- Grease-soaked items
- Common bathroom waste such as fecal and sanitary napkins
- Food particles and other kitchen waste
- Tree Roots
The trees and plants in your backyard will eventually grow and look for water sources to help them survive, especially during the dry season. Their roots will often end up in your sewer line and poke a hole through it. As they continue to grow, they become too thick that they can cause sewer clogging.
This is a common problem in older homes that have equally older water pipes. These pipes are often fashioned from clay and other porous materials and will likely burst when tree roots get inside them.
- Irreparable Damaged Pipes
Underground water pipes will show signs of wear and tear over time, but can also be damaged by the waste you throw down the drain. Other factors that result in damaged pipes are the following:
- Earthquakes and landslides
- Operation of heavy machinery
- Old sewer pipes
- Increased traffic
- Pipe sections with tight seals
Sagging sewer pipes could also be a problem.This happens due to soil conditions or when the ground shifts. When the plumbing system is too low or too saggy, the pipes can get clogged easily.
Signs of a Sewer Line Problem
Watch out for these warning signs of a developing sewer line problem so you can avoid a major plumbing disaster:
- Unusual Events
After you flush the toilet, you hear a strange gurgling sound that you’ve never heard before. At the same time, you notice that the flushed water backs up into your drain, and in some cases, the water rises or creates bubbles.
- Synchronized malfunctions
If the main sewer line is clogged, similar clogging will be seen in your drain system, your faucets, and in the toilets. Simply put, if there’s a problem with the main sewer line, everything will be affected.
- Persistent Backups
Apart from becoming more frequent, backups are becoming persistent in the toilet area. This is one major indication that the main sewer line is becoming heavily clogged.
4.The Smell of Rotten Egg
Many describe sewer odors as that of burning sulfur while some say it smells like rotten eggs. When the sewer line gets clogged, sewer gas will buildup in your drains, and eventually find its way into your home. The presence of sewer gas in your home can pose a serious health risk because it contains hydrogen sulfide gas which is extremely toxic even at low levels.
- Lush Lawn
A healthy-looking lawn may be nice to see, but it also forebodes bad news. A lusher or greener area of grass is a sign that your home has a sewer line break.
Often, the lush grass can form a line between your home and the street to signal a break in the sewer. In the case of leaks, the lawn can appear wet or boggy.
Sinkholes are showing an increase in recent years as we see the aging of many municipal and private sewers. They can sometimes appear unintentionally, but there are usually warning signs if they are developing in your yard.
Sinkholes may also appear in lawns that are surprisingly wetter than normal or strangely greener than the surrounding grass. Sometimes, pavement cracks are likewise known to form around a developing sinkhole.
A clogged sewer line does not happen overnight. It involves a slow buildup process. The good news is that there are signs that will tell you that the problem has begun, and averting a possible disaster should be your next logical move.
If your main sewer line ends up suffering from a major clogging, experts like an emergency plumber in Denver have to be called upon for immediate assistance. They are properly trained to handle this type of plumbing emergency.