Your drain pipes help you remove waste from your home. So, when they start acting up, it’s important to take notice. Untreated issues can lead to major damage and high water bills.
Individually clogged drains are not a big deal but when it becomes a regular occurrence, it could be a sign that your sewer line needs repair. Look for these warning signs:
1. Slow Draining
A slow drain is one of the most common plumbing problems, and while it can be a minor inconvenience at first, it will continue to get worse if left unchecked. In fact, it could eventually lead to sewage backups and expensive plumbing service.
The most common cause of a slow drain is soap scum, thick shaving foam and sticky hair styling products that build up on the walls of the drain pipe. These materials can block the flow of water, which results in a sink that takes a long time to drain or a bathtub that never fills up with water.
To solve this problem, you can try making an at-home cleaner out of baking soda and vinegar. This is a much better option than reaching for the caustic chemicals that are sold as drain cleaners. However, if your slow drain is caused by something more serious than this, such as damage or deteriorating old pipes, it may be time to schedule professional plumbing services.
2. Bad Odors
If you can smell a foul odor coming from your drains, it may mean that the sewer line is clogged and that sewage is flowing back into your home. You can try cleaning the drains in your home or unclogging them, but if you notice that the problem persists, it is likely due to a broken pipe in the sewer line.
You should also pay attention to any unusual sounds coming from your drains, such as loud gurgling noises. This could indicate that there is air trapped in your plumbing, such as from a dry p-trap, or it may be caused by a clog or a broken pipe.
Finally, if you are noticing any water stains on your walls, floors or ceilings, this is another sign that your sewer line needs repair. These stains are usually caused by a leak in the sewer line or from a crack in the pipes, and left untreated, they can lead to severe mold damage. The best way to avoid this is by catching a plumbing problem early on and getting it fixed right away.
3. Multiple Clogged Drains
Your drain lines run throughout your entire house, carrying waste away from sinks, toilets and tubs to the sewer or septic system. When one or more of these lines is clogged, it affects multiple fixtures and can lead to sewage backups that are messy and dangerous. If your toilets or bathtubs are draining slowly, you hear gurgling sounds when you use them or smell foul odors, that is a sure sign that there is a serious clog.
Most of the time, clogged drains in your home are caused by hair, food, paper products and other debris. However, if several drains in your home are clogging frequently, that may indicate an issue with the main sewer line. These pipes are buried in the ground and typically require professional know-how to repair. The number one reason these lines clog is FOG, or fats, oils and grease. These substances solidify when they cool and catch everything else that goes down the drain, leading to a hard-to-remove blockage. This is another reason it is important to be proactive and hire a professional plumber for regular maintenance.
4. Wet Spots in the Yard
Small wet spots in the yard may seem harmless, but if you find them consistently or after heavy rains, you need to call a plumber right away. Wet spots are a sign of a problem with your sewer line, which is leaking or clogged. This means that bacteria, toxins and other contaminants are entering your home. A professional plumber can fix this by using safe DIY methods or a drain cleaning camera to diagnose the issue and then clear the blockage.
If you notice that wet spots in the yard are getting bigger or you have an unexplained increase in rodents in your house, this is also a sign of a sewer leak. It’s important to have this issue fixed right away to avoid costly water damage and other problems.
Leaks in the main sewer line are one of the biggest plumbing headaches you can face. If you ignore them, you’ll likely end up with overflowing toilets or clogged drains that will cost thousands to fix. Keep an eye out for these warning signs and schedule a plumber as soon as possible to repair the problem before it gets worse.
5. High Water Bills
A high water bill is a big warning sign that your drain lines are in trouble. While a sudden increase could be due to a simple change in your household habits or a city-wide water rate hike, it’s also very likely that the reason is damage to the sewer line.
It’s one thing if your bathroom sink or tub drains clog, but it’s another issue altogether when multiple drains around the house start to clog. If you find yourself constantly plunging your toilets or using a lot of drain cleaner, it’s time to call for professional help.
It’s not only the smell that tells you something is wrong with your drain lines; if sewage backs up into your home, it may also be attracting flies and rodents. Besides being unpleasant and unsanitary, these creatures feed on the nutrients in sewage and can cause even more damage to your plumbing. You’ll want to get the problem fixed as soon as possible. A professional plumber can quickly diagnose and fix any problems in your drain lines before they become a nightmare to clean up.