What’s That Smell? 4 Warning Signs Your Sewer Pipes Are Damaged

a man fixing a damaged sewer pipeWhat do you do when your sewer pipes are broken? You dig.

Age breaks iron sewer pipes. Typically, these pipes can be in good condition for 25 to 35 years. Apart from age, tree root intrusion, corrosion, or misaligned connections can damage your sewer and shorten your pipes’ lifespans.

Generally, sewer pipe replacement costs about $50 to $250 per foot. But, the price also depends on the depth and location of the broken line. If the pipes are connected to the public sewer system, the project cost can range from $3000 to $6000. Additionally, it may cost you about $7000 to $25000 to replace a broken pipe located in the middle of the street.

You should watch out for signs of damaged sewer lines. If there is something wrong, immediately contact a plumber. This is because, as plumbing service 1 Stop Mechanical, Inc. puts it, as time goes on, the crack, leak, and dripping can worsen until you’re forced to replace the component altogether.

Foul Sewage Odor

A sanitary sewer should always be airtight on all its surfaces, except on vent stacks on your roof. If you can smell the distinctive rotten eggs odor of sewer gas around your home, it means there is a crack or opening somewhere in your sewer pipes.

Usually, you can smell this foul odor in the basement. If you smell it in your yard, it may be an indicator that the broken line is outside your home. A sewer smell at home can also be because of loose sewer trap plugs, which may only need minor maintenance. In this situation, a plumber can install a new plug or cap.

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Greener Grass

Is grass greener on the other side? It may be time for you to call a plumber.

Healthy grass look good for your lawn, but it can also be a result of sewage leakage in your yard. Sewage water contains nutrients that can help in plant growth. Fecal matter, a natural fertilizer also present in sewage can cause your grass to grow greener, which might be a signal for you to check for sewer line leaks.

Pest Infestation

Pests like rodents and cockroaches can fit in cracks or openings that are the size of a quarter or smaller. Rats usually thrive in sewers and, through a broken sewer line, can enter your home to look for food.

On the other hand, insects such as sewer flies and cockroaches can enter your home through sewer line cracks. German cockroaches, which are common in American homes, can squeeze themselves in pipe cracks that are as thin as a dime, which is only .053 inches. The sudden presence of these pests can indicate a break in your sewer lines.

Gurgling Toilet Noises

When you flush your toilet and it makes a gurgling sound, it may be because air is trapped and released into your sewer line. Ideally, sewer pipes are airtight, but if there is a crack somewhere in your lines, air can easily enter.

Gurgling noises in the toilet or other water fixtures result from abnormal suction in the sewer pipes, but can also be symptoms of a clogged main line.

Major sewer pipe repair can put major hurt on your pocket. But, if you detect sewer problems early, you can save yourself not just from expensive repairs, but also the hassle of having plumbers dig through your home’s structure.