The average person flushes a toilet about 5 times a day. That means a 4-person household could flush a toilet as many as 20 times every single day.
You always expect your toilet to work flawlessly and carry the waste away through the sewer line without issue. Though your sewer line is durable, there will come a time when you need to replace it.
So, how can you tell when it’s time to replace a sewer line altogether? Watch for these tell-tale signs that it’s finally starting to break down.
The Building’s Not Up to Code
Building codes are in place for a reason: to keep your home safe. Believe it or not, old plumbing isn’t always up to code and modern water pressure can do serious damage to your old pipes.
When this happens, you’ll experience issues with leaks, ruptured pipes, and even sewage backups in your house.
If you know that your home’s plumbing is older, schedule a camera inspection and let your plumber tell you if it’s up to code or not. If it’s not, it may be best to invest in a sewer line replacement.
Your Drains Keep Getting Clogged
Luckily, damaged sewer lines give you plenty of warning signs that something is wrong. The first thing most homeowners notice is an increase in clogged drains throughout the house.
The sewer line doesn’t just funnel water away from your toilet. It controls the wastewater from every drain in your house. When there’s an issue with the sewer line, debris and wastewater won’t flow through your pipes.
This can lead to clogs in any drain in your house.
If you notice that your shower isn’t draining right or that you’re constantly fighting against clogged drains, you may need to replace your sewer line.
Your Lawn is Soggy All the Time
Take a look at your lawn and landscaping. When your sewer line needs replacing, it may start leaching sewage out into your grass.
This can lead to soggy or wet spots on your lawn even when you haven’t watered it. If the lawn looks dry, pay attention to the way the grass is growing.
If there’s a spot that’s overly green or growing more quickly than other parts of the yard for no reason, you may have a damaged sewer line. The only way to take care of this problem completely is to replace the line.
Remember, leaking sewage may make your grass look green, but it’s a major hazard for your plants! If left unaddressed, you could end up causing root rot in your lawn and landscaping. Once that rot sets in, you’ll end up having to remove and replace your plants to get rid of the mold.
There’s a Strange Smell Outside
Raw, untreated sewage stinks. Literally.
The next time you’re outside, pay attention to the way your yard smells. If it smells musty, like rotten eggs, or just plain “off,” it could be a sign of a damaged sewer line.
You might even see an increase in unwanted pests and rodents around the yard. The smell attracts them and makes your home a more tempting nesting spot.
Getting the sewer line replaced will get rid of the smell and make your home a less attractive spot for those unwanted critters.
Water Bills Keep Going Up
Sewer line leaks do more than leak raw sewage onto your property—they also increase your water bill.
That same underground pipe system that pulls sewage and wastewater away from your home gives you access to a steady supply of clean water. When that water starts seeping out of the pipes, your overall water usage goes up.
The result is higher water bills month after month, even if you haven’t changed your habits.
Take a look at your water bills for the last few months and compare them. If your bills are going up and you’re not truly using more water inside your home, you may need to get your sewer line replaced. Your plumber will be able to determine if it’s a problem with the sewer line or another pipe.
There Are Cracks in Your Foundation
Damaged sewer lines let the moisture soak into the soil underneath your house. This soaks not just the soil, but the concrete foundation gets saturated and weakens. As the soil shifts, the foundation can develop cracks.
Those cracks put the rest of your house at risk for major structural damage.
If you notice cracks in the basement or along the foundation line on the exterior of your house, call your plumber immediately. If left unrepaired, you may end up needing a new foundation which can cost you as much as $40,000. The sooner the sewer line leak gets repaired, the more money you’ll save.
Your Toilets Keep Gurgling
Toilets can often tell you about a failing sewer line long before you get your first sewage backup inside the house. A failing sewer line lets air inside the pipes. This air then flows up the pipes and out into your toilet.
The result is a strange gurgling or bubbling noise even when no one is near the flushing mechanism. When you hear that noise, make an appointment immediately.
It’s possible that the line may just have a clog that needs to get cleared away. But if the issue is more severe, you’ll want to get the sewer line replaced as soon as possible. This will save you the frustration of dealing with any messy backups or further water damage to your property.
Do You Need to Replace a Sewer Line?
Deciding whether it’s time to replace a sewer line is something you should always leave to an experienced professional. But these simple signs are a great way to gauge whether you have an underlying issue with the sewer line on your property.
If you notice anything strange or just want someone to inspect your home’s plumbing for damage, don’t wait. Contact us today to schedule an inspection.
We’ll help make sure your home’s plumbing is working properly, whether you live in a brand new house or one that’s over 100 years old.