7 Signs You’re in Need of Main Sewer Line Repairs

by Jessica Sawyer | Plumbing and Drainage

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When we think of plumbing, we often think about faucets, toilets, and showers. But there’s an essential, less visible component that’s crucial to a plumbing system’s overall health: the main sewer line. If something happens to this pipe, it can affect your home’s entire plumbing system, and leave you with some disastrous and expensive results. That’s why it’s so important to identify the need for main sewer line repairs as soon as possible.

And in this article, we’re going to help you do just that. We’re going to take a closer look at what a main sewer line is, explore some of the most common signs that it’s in need of repair, and discuss what you can do to fix the problem and prevent it from happening again in the future.

Understanding Your Main Sewer Line

Before we plunge into the red flags, let’s get into a little background information about what the main sewer line is and how it operates. See, the main sewer line is a large pipe that connects all the smaller lines in your home to the municipal sewage system or your septic tank. It’s typically buried beneath your front yard, backyard, or the side of your home.

Every flush of the toilet, drain of the sink, and load from the washing machine contributes to the flow within this main pipe. So, as you can probably imagine, it’s crucial that it remains clear and undamaged to ensure the sanitary safety of your home.

7 Signs That You Need Main Sewer Line Repairs

You may not be able to see the pipe itself, but your main sewer line has ways of telling you that something’s wrong. Here are some of the most common signs that you’re in need of main sewer line repairs.

1. Backups in Multiple Drains

When you notice that multiple drains in your home are backing up at once, there’s a good chance that the main sewer line is struggling to do its job. It may be because the blockage in the main line is preventing water from draining properly, causing it to back up into other drain lines.

2. Gurgling Sounds from Drains and Toilets

If you hear unusual gurgling sounds coming from your drains or toilets, don’t ignore them.  It’s a sign that there’s a blockage in the main sewer line that’s disrupting the normal flow of air and water.

3. Slow Draining Fixtures

Of course, a single, slow-draining fixture can often be fixed with a plunger or drain cleaner. But when you see multiple fixtures (such as your shower, toilet, and sinks) taking their sweet time to drain, your main sewer line might be clogged or damaged.

4. Foul Odors Coming from Drains

A bad smell emanating from your drains can mean different things. When it’s combined with some of the other symptoms mentioned here, though, it’s often the result of waste not being carried away correctly due to a main sewer line blockage.

5. Patches of Greener Grass in the Yard

If you have random patches of extremely green and lush grass in your yard, it may not be a sign of your lawn care technique. This could be sewage leaking from a cracked sewer line underground, acting like excessive fertilizer for your lawn.

6. Cracks in the Foundation

In more severe cases, when a main sewer line is damaged and left unrepaired, the additional moisture in the soil can lead to cracks in your home’s foundation. This is a structural issue caused by excess water pressure from a broken sewer line.

7. Increased Pest Activity

Rodents and insects are attracted to the moisture and organic material present in a main sewer line. If you start to see more pests than usual in your home, it could be an alarming symptom of a sewer line problem.

Solutions for Main Sewer Line Repairs and Replacements

Once the signs are there, the solutions are relatively straightforward, but it’s not a DIY job. Main sewer line repairs and replacements are complex processes and almost always require the expertise of a professional plumber, equipped with the necessary tools and certifications.

To avoid a potentially more expensive problem in the future, it’s important to call in a professional at the first sign of trouble. They will undertake a thorough inspection using specialized cameras to diagnose the problem accurately and decide on the best course of action. This may involve trenchless methods, pipe relining, or, in severe cases, excavation and replacement of the damaged line.

Tips for Maintaining a Healthy Main Sewer Line

Prevention is always better than cure, and maintaining a healthy main sewer line is no exception. The following best practices can help you avoid costly repairs and ensure the proper functioning of your home’s plumbing system:

Use Sewer-Friendly Products

It may be a convenient disposal method, but try to avoid flushing anything other than waste and toilet paper. And then for sinks and showers, use a drain strainer to prevent larger items from going down the drain. Also, be mindful of the products you use in and around your drains, as harsh chemicals can damage the line over time.

Be Wise About Waste Disposal

Again, keep waste where it belongs – i.e. not down your sink. Dispose of food waste in the trash, and use your garbage disposal sparingly. Excessive use can lead to buildup in the sewer line and contribute to clogs.

Regular Inspections

Consider scheduling a professional inspection of your main sewer line every few years. An early diagnosis can save you from the headache of a significant repair down the line (pun intended!).

Mind Your Trees and Shrubs

The roots of trees and shrubs can get into the main sewer line, seeking out water and nutrients. So, keep an eye on how close this greenery gets to your sewer line, especially if you’ve noticed persistent issues in a specific area.

Schedule Your Main Sewer Line Repairs Today

Understanding your home’s main sewer line is an important step towards maintaining a healthy plumbing system. It’s not about being a plumbing expert, but about being aware of the signs that something is wrong.

The main takeaway is to pay attention to the “unseen” parts of your home’s infrastructure. Just like with your health—early detection can be a game-changer. By taking note of these seven red flags and being proactive about maintenance, you can minimize the risk of a sewer line disaster and keep your home running smoothly for years to come.

When it comes to your home’s plumbing, it’s better to be cautious and call in the professionals than to wait until a small problem turns into a disaster. The peace of mind and long-term savings are well worth it.

Are you having problems with your main sewer line? Click here to schedule a Water Pros Plumber online, or call (480) 459-4424 today.

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