6 Common Red Flags of a Damaged Sewer Line

plumbergordon sewage-backup

Our sewer lines are indeed very necessary in keeping our home a secure habitat for our family. Our sewer system is supposed to carry the wastes, either human or kitchen wastes, away from our homes to keep it clean and safe. But our sewer might encounter troubles as well. This might not be always caused by old age but sometimes, this is because of the homeowner’s lack of maintenance. Some homeowners, especially when not from a plumbing industry, would oftentimes overlook and neglect the signs validating that our plumbing utilities are damaged. This applies to our sewer system as well.


Our sewer system, especially when damaged, would certainly provide signs for homeowners to notice. But when you are not keen enough to identify these signs, you might be surprised one day looking at your toilets, floor drains, bathtubs, basement drains and kitchen sinks filled with sewages. To help you detect that an ongoing trouble is within your sewer line, let me present to you the six most common red flags of a damaged sewer system.

Sewage backup

Most of the times, this is caused by an obstruction within the sewer line. When the sewer is blocked, the wastes you flush down your toilet and you drain down your kitchen sinks would have nowhere to go. Thus, they would rush back to your home, where they came from. If after you flush your toilet and the back-up still happens, this would indicate that the blockage is in your main line.

If the blockage still exists even after cleaning the sewer line, this might be caused by a collapsed pipe that completely covers the wastewater path or a root infiltration that has completely covered the passage of wastewater causing it to rush back to your home. If you are not certain of what causes the problem, you can use a sewer camera to know what really is the cause of the backup.

Slow draining

The first sign is different from this situation. The aforementioned sign shows no flushing at all and it even brings back wastes that are supposed to be taken away but this one would still flush the wastes down the sewer system. But the problem is, the draining takes so much time to complete. This dilemma might be caused by build-ups or root infiltration that has partially blocked the pipe. Most homeowners would tend to use chemical drain cleaners to get rid of this dilemma. However, instead of cleaning the interior of your pipe, these chemicals might cling to your pipe and slowly eat them out until they completely weaken.

Indentation in lawn

Most of the times, a crack on your sewer line might be caused by a dissipation of the soil where it is buried. If this situation takes place, there will be an obvious dip over the main sewer line.

Rodent Problems

Sometimes, rodent and other animals can get into the sewer lines and will cause the line to clog. Snakes, kittens and the normal size of a rat can get into the opening of the sewer line and they would definitely invite themselves inside.

These rodents are the primary things responsible for health-threatening diseases such as haemorrhagic fever and plague. Aside from that, when the dust in the air is stained with rodent piss, this can as well cause a particular disease when inhaled.

Insect Infestation

If an insect infestation happens in your sewer line, this is an obvious sign of a broken sewer line. Insects such as bugs and cockroaches can get inside your sewer line through breaks as they can even enter on small openings.

The broken pipe can be rehabilitated with pipe relining or replaced with pipe bursting, but the insects within the line can cause health problems to your family. You can hire a pest control company to control this situation and avoid illnesses.

Sewer gas odour

Sewers should be airtight, excluding those vents on your roof that lets the movement of sewage downhill. So if your sewer system is airtight, you would definitely not smell anything from it. But when odour comes out from your sewer lines, it might mean your line is no longer airtight. There might be an existing crack or break that allows air to escape.