A broken sewer pipe is a nasty problem to deal with. This unpleasant experience could potentially cost thousands of dollars in repairs. Unfortunately, underground plumbing is common in modern homes, making it challenging to detect a leaky sewer pipe. Since household wastewater ends up in the main sewer line, these pipes do not have any alarms to signal trouble. The problem can go on for weeks or months before it becomes apparent.
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Just because a sewer pipe is hidden in plain sight, it does not necessarily mean you should ignore it. When the problem gets out of control, it can cause serious and costly damage to your property. Luckily, there are several telltale signs of a leaking sewer system you should look out for.
- Unpleasant Odour – One of the most common signs of a leaking sewer pipe is the presence of unpleasant sewer gases in and around your home. This often indicates a sewer backup or broken line. Treat this nasty plumbing problem with absolute urgency. Sewer stench does not only cause property damage, but also puts your health at risk.
- Slow Drains or Backing Up – Slow drains are a common household problem, which most homeowners can handle. However, if the drains are clear and there is no presence of any buildup of hair or food scraps, but a clogged drain persists for seemingly no reason, then it could signal a problematic sewer line.
However, never use harsh chemical drainers to clear the pipes. This could result in a corroded pipe, making matters worse. A leaking drain pipe requires the services of a professional plumber. In Canada, they mostly use a drain camera inspection in Toronto to locate and resolve drainage problems immediately.
- Gurgling Sounds – Strange gurgling sounds coming from the toilet and drains indicate a problematic sewer line. The gurgling is caused by the sound of the trapped and released air. This indicates that air has been introduced into the sewer line, causing bubbles to rise.
- Mould and Mildew Growth – Sudden mould and mildew growth could indicate a leaky pipe behind the wall. Moisture and humidity can provide a thriving environment for mould and mildew.
- Pest Problem – Rats live in the sewer and can travel and enter your home through broken sewer pipes. Rats can squeeze through a three-inch crack and infest your home. Pest control is ineffective unless the exterminator is able to detect the point of entry. Sewer cracks can also invite sewer flies, palmetto bugs, and cockroaches in your home. Take their presence as a potential sign of a broken or leaking sewer pipe. Get a certified plumber to inspect entry points using a video camera.
- Lush Landscape – Sewer water contains fecal matter, which is a great natural plant fertilizer. While it can make your plants flourish, unhealthy bacteria can damage your lawn and garden over time.
- Increased Water Bill – A drastic increase in your water bill is an obvious indication of a leaky pipe. While water bill costs change with the seasons, small leaks can quickly add up to your monthly charge. To check if you have a pipe leak, turn off all water systems and monitor the water meter. If it continues to run, then call a professional to fix the problem as soon as possible.