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The 5 Most Common Signs of Sewer Line Issues

A plumber uses a plunger to unclog a toilet.

Main sewer line issues can be a troublesome and costly issue to deal with in the Dallas metroplex. Due to our expansive soils, as well as the age of some of our homes, there can be a lot of wear and tear on our sewer lines, which can lead to some unwanted issues. Below are some of the most common symptoms of sewer line problems.

  1. Backups and blockages in your toilet and plumbing fixtures are common signs that your sewer line may be blocked. Loud, gurgling noises in your toilet and shower drains are a telltale sign that there may be a problem in the main sewer line.
  2. Odors from your drains can be embarrassing and could be a sign of a much bigger issue. Sewer odors are commonly caused by cracked pipes that are allowing air to flow through the line and can produce toxic sewer gas, which can sometimes be smelled.
  3. Slow drains are caused by several problems and can have a big effect on the efficiency of the plumbing in your home. From dishwashers to shower drains, slow drains can keep us from many essential tasks. Sitting water in these plumbing fixtures can be an embarrassing sign that there may be trouble in the sewer line.
  4. Foundation issues in your home will not always be attributed to plumbing issues, however they can be caused by leaking pipes, which are especially prevalent in older homes. Leaking pipes can cause voids in your yard and when left untreated can cause damage to the foundation and other lines within your home.
  5. Mold can build up in the walls of high-traffic areas and can be a sign that there may be a leak in the line behind the wall. Water lines tend to run throughout your home, so a leak in one of the lines can go unseen and undetected for years. Mold can be very dangerous to the air quality of your home and for the health of those inside.

Causes of Sewer Line Damage

We commonly associate sewer blockages with baby wipes and feminine hygiene products, but there are plenty more causes. The disposal of grease over time can accumulate in sewer lines and cause blockages. Additionally, tree roots are strong enough to break through pipes and cause leaks in your lines.

Texas soil movement is common and can be to blame for certain foundation issues. Over time this can cause sewer lines to collapse or cause bellied pipes. Bellied pipes are when pipes tend to sag or bellow and can cause sewage buildup. This can cause water and waste buildup and disrupt the flow of the lines within your home. This usually requires expensive excavation work and can be quite unseemly.

When it comes to older homes, cast iron pipes and clay pipes can deteriorate over time and weaken the water lines, which in turn causes leaks throughout the home. Sewer pipes are susceptible to root intrusion. The roots seek out abundant nutrients that are found inside of the sewer pipes. Once the roots make their way inside, they branch out and fill the hole, causing a severe blockage. Cast iron pipes, while durable, are harder to repair and are frequently replaced by plumbers now. As with homes built before the 1970s, concrete and clay were commonly used. Concrete pipes were considered durable at the time, but we have now realized over time these pipes suffered from gradual erosion, causing cracks, leaks, and expensive repairs.

— Alex Jordan

Frymire Home Services understands the importance of quality plumbing. We believe in educating and informing our customers to help them become experts in their homes’ plumbing. To learn more about plumbing visit our website at www.frymire.com or call us at 972-620-3600 to schedule an appointment with one of our licensed technicians. 

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