Here’s the bad news: Most homes, at some point or another, will need a sewer repair of some kind. Sewer pipe replacements are common after about 40 years, and you may need service sooner if your system wasn’t installed properly or other factors have prevented it from functioning as planned. But there’s good news, too: With trenchless sewer repair methods (including both pipe bursting and cured in place pipes), you won’t need to dig up your entire yard to have those repairs completed. Both methods are equally durable, and many come with warranties for between 10 and 50 years, so you won’t have to worry about your sewer for a while again.
So how can you tell if you should start looking into your repair options?
Here are seven of the most common signs of sewer trouble you can be watching out for:
- A Spike in Your Water Bill
If you notice a dramatic increase in your water bill in a single month, it’s likely there’s a problem somewhere along your drainage lines. A sewer camera inspection is often the best way to pinpoint the actual problem. Even if the problem isn’t drastic, fixing easily corrected leaks can save you about 10% on your water bill. The average household’s plumbing system wastes more than 10,000 gallons of water every year because of leaks.
- Gurgling Noises From Toilets
Strange gurgling noises from the toilets are often some of the first signs of a sewer blockage. Don’t ignore it, as this will just allow the problem to grow.
- Lower Water Pressure or Flow
Low water flow often indicates a break somewhere in your home’s system, and expanded or cracked pipes will often lead to decreased water pressure. Either way, a pipe inspection is in order.
- Slow-Draining Sinks and Showers
Consistent clogs or slow drains are most often related to blockages of some kind somewhere in your sewer lines. If this is happening even though you’re not putting anything down the drains that you shouldn’t, there may be a break in the line that takes your wastewater to the municipal sewer system you’re connected to.
- Foul or Musky Odors
Trust your nose. If you smell sewage, it’s coming from somewhere.
- An Uneven or Lush Lawn
Dips in your lawn or unusually green patches are two of the clearest signs that you have sewage leaking from buried lines.
- Backed up Sewage
If you pay attention to more subtle signs, you’ll hopefully never get to this stage. If at any point sewage is backing up into your house, it’s time to call a plumbing contractor for a sewer repair ASAP.
Got any other tips to share on being vigilant for potential plumbing problems? Join the discussion in the comments.