Signs to Look For in a Damaged Sewer Line

3 Signs Your Sewer Line Needs Repair

Backed-up sewers are common problems, but fixing them may become major if the homeowner is unfamiliar with ordinary occurrences which may be sure-fire signs that something is wrong. System users create some problems, such as putting too much paper in the toilet or flushing foreign objects. Other problems are created by builders, who improperly install sewer lines.

While the San Antonio homeowner may be able to make minor repairs, major problems should be left to professionals. Even before problems arise, it would benefit the homeowner to do preventive maintenance themselves or have the system regularly inspected by qualified professionals to help prevent debris from obstructing or fracturing pipes. Some common sewer problems may include:

 San Antonio, TX sewer-line-repair-1Improperly Sloped Drain Line

Pitch refers to the degree of slope in a pipe, allowing gravity to dispel waste naturally. If the line is not pitched effectively, the waste can build up in the line, causing it to clog. When sewer lines are installed properly, they usually work without constant maintenance. Generally, city codes are in place to prevent builders from making sewer lines too steep, thereby allowing water to run too fast into the municipal sewer system and preventing solids from being washed away by the liquids. Sewer lines should be pitched at least one-eighth to one-fourth of an inch for every foot in length.

Installing a sewer line requires experience in every stage of the process, from excavating the property to the final back-fill and compaction of soil. If the contractor does not use a level when measuring the pitch or provide proper support underneath the pipe, the potential for problems with the sewer line is magnified.

Frequent Clogs

Recurring clogged drains may also signal a problem with the sewer system. Something may be clogging the line, such as accumulated waste, or tree roots may have grown into the line if the home is older. When water frequently backs up in the sink or toilet and spills over onto the floor, a professional plumber can tell you if you have a serious problem or not.

In addition, putting oil or other greasy substances down the drain may accumulate and keep the water from flowing freely. Items on the market for de-clogging drains may be safe for newer systems, but these chemicals may corrode older pipes.

Many problems, especially in bathroom sinks, stem from hair accumulating in the drain. This difficulty can be eradicated by the simple use of a strainer or by diligently removing hair before it is washed down the drain. Troubleshooting clogged toilets and sinks may be performed by the San Antonio homeowner by using a plunger, cleaning out the drain stopper, or removing and cleaning out the elbow joint underneath the sink.

However, conscientious observance is the best prevention. Only put items in the toilet which dissolve easily, namely toilet tissue that is designed for that purpose.

Foul Odors

 San Antonio, TX sewer-line-repair-2Unpleasant odors emanating from the drains may be indicative of a leak in the pipes. It could be something as simple as a dry p-trap, which is the u-shaped pipe that keeps sewer gases from wafting into the room. It doesn’t usually happen when drains are used frequently. However, for infrequently used drains, make sure there is water in the trap. Whether the solution is simple or complex, the problem needs to be addressed immediately.

Hydrogen sulfide (sewer gas that smells like rotten eggs) can cause a plethora of problems, such as headaches, dizziness, and memory loss. The situation is not as dire in homes as it is in larger facilities because the amount of sewage is much smaller, nevertheless, it is serious enough for the homeowner to take action.

While older sewer pipes may be more vulnerable to damage, all pipes can potentially have problems. Broken or cracked pipes can have the same or similar symptoms as the more common dilemmas, such as slow draining sinks or tubs, water not refilling in the toilet, or bubbling noises in sinks or toilets. The built-up pressure created by objects or items flushed down the toilet may possibly cause pipes to crack or break.

In addition, tree roots seek out any small holes or connecting points and work their way into the opening. As they grow, they will eventually crack the pipe.

Other causes of pipe rupture could be movement of the earth caused by an earthquake, heavy equipment, or rain-soddened earth. So whether the pipe is cracked, crushed or root- intruded, a professional can assess the problem and identify a solution. Cracks can be eliminated possibly by placing a liner inside the current pipe, or perhaps a new cylinder can be hydraulically drawn through the old one, effectively replacing the antiquated pipe with a brand new conduit.

Regardless of the type of problem a homeowner is having with the sewer system, knowing when to call a professional will generally save time and money in the long run.

For quality services, call A & A Plumbing in San Antonio, TX at 210-566-2665.