5 Signs You May Have Sewer Problems

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The city trucks at the end of the street are an indicator that another water problem is occurring in the neighborhood. As the sewer and water systems throughout the country continue to age, more and more neighborhoods are finding themselves a day at a time without water. Even when home owners purchase new homes with completely new systems, an increasing number are finding that their new sewer lines eventually lead to failing, antiquated sewer lines.

Although home owners can’t always avoid the city sewer lines’ problems, they can do everything within their power to keep their own sewer system up to date and away from problems.

Sewer Camera Inspection Can Foresee Future Problems
The first step in sewer maintenance can be a basic check up of a current system. One of the most effective parts of these inspections is the sewer camera inspection that can provide an image of the complete line. These images can show where possible problems may occur. For example, a place where the pipe has rusted out and is creating a growing hole. Additionally, the camera inspection can indicate problems like tree roots growing into the sewer line. Mature trees have large root systems that often extend beyond the width of the canopy of the tree itself.

If a home is experiencing any of the following problems, it may be a sign that a sewer inspection is needed:

  • A “one time” drain back up in tubs or showers. While it might be wishful thinking to decide that the one or two times water backed up into your shower were just a fluke, the reality is these problems do not go away on their own. Less water use or a change in the type of toilet paper you are using could be the temporary difference, but the problem will likely return.
  • Bright green patches in your yard or fields. Again, wishful thinking might initially make you think that these bright green spots are a sign of an improving yard. In reality though, these patches could indicate a slow sewer leak that is providing extra nutrients to certain locations.
  • Cracks in your foundation or other signs of settlement and sinkholes. Unfortunately, many things are connected in a home. A settling foundation, for instance, can indicate constant water below the house.
  • Insect infestation or rodent problems. A constant source of leaking sewage can become a breeding ground for small animals and insects. In addition to calling an exterminator or setting traps, investigate the integrity of your sewer pipes.
  • Pools of water in your yard. Standing water in an otherwise dry and flat yard or field are other indicators of a slow, but constant, sewage leak that may be occurring.


Trenchless Sewer Repair Is a Great Residential Option
While images of sewer repair often include memories of torn up yards and broken up concrete, trenchless sewer repair is an option that changes the ground rules, literally. Although 78% of Angie’s List customers say they have never heard of trenchless, or no-dig, technology, it has been available to residential jobs for the last 10 years. Using epoxy pipe lining and other methods, trenchless sewer repair allows professional plumbers to insert a “pipe” within the current sewer system, avoiding the need for tearing up yards, basement floors, landscaping, and sidewalks.

Experts say that pipe lining and pipe bursting, as well as other trenchless methods, are as durable as traditional sewer replacement methods. In addition, these methods come with warranties that are 10 to 50 years in length.

The 40 Year Indicator
Even if your house has never shown any sign of a sewer problem, experts indicate that at the age of 40, many homes need some type of sewer repair. For the lucky home owners, a sewer inspection will find nothing However, a sewer inspection may indicate the need for pipe blasting or other more extensive work. Knowing about sewer problems ahead of time, however, allows consumers to budget and plan for the wisest repair choice. In an emergency, the smart choice of trenchless repair may be overlooked.

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