Dealing With Smelly Problems
Sewer systems play a crucial role in our day to day lives, even if we never see their valuable service underground. When your sewer line breaks down however, you can certainly feel the effects! Today, we’ll explore how you can spot the signs of underground damage.
What are Sewer Lines?
Plumbers typically use the term sewer line when referring to the primary pipe that connects your drain line to either a municipal sewer system or a septic system. Nowadays, most sewer lines are made from either copper or PVC (polyvinyl chloride, a type of plastic). While your main water line directs a supply of clean supply of potable water into your home, the sewer line directs waste water away from your property.
Is a Broken Sewer Line Dangerous?
Yes, for multiple reasons. First, a damaged sewer line has a much higher chance of redirecting water back into your home. This exposes your flooring, drywall, and other property elements to black water damage, which could require extensive restoration work to fix. The second (and most important) danger produced by black water is contamination. The potential health risks produced by germs and water-related mold growth places your family danger of illness.
When it comes to roofing restoration and air conditioning problems, homeowners can often wait for the most convenient time to get service. When it comes to sewer-related emergencies, repairs cannot wait. Doing so exposes your home and family to significant danger.
Sewer vs Septic
Sewer Line vs Septic Tank
Home typically feature one of two sewer setups. For homes connected to city sewers, drain pipes feed into one primary line out to the municipal system. This is a fairly convenient system that minimizes maintenance concerns for the homeowner. If you’re wondering “What part of the sewer line is the city responsible for?”, that’s simple. You city cares for the main underground transportation line located beyond your property’s edge. Homeowner responsibility extends from the city sewer line to the house (and inside).
Some homeowners do not have access to a municipal sewer system and must therefore rely on a septic system. Instead of transporting waste to an underground line beneath the street, drain lines deposit waste into a septic tank. The septic system breaks down waste that can be processed and stores the elements that can’t be degraded. When the tank reaches capacity, the property owner or manager arranges for a service to empty and transport the waste.
Are Broken Sewer Pipes Covered by Insurance?
Homeowners insurance does cover certain situations of sewer pipe failure. These may include professional workmanship errors, such as faulty installation or under insulation. If your adjuster can show that one of these factors is the cause of the sewer line failure, your chances of insurance claim approval are very good.
Unfortunately for homeowners, most sewer problems stem from long-term degradation and natural hazards. These types of damage aren’t covered by homeowners insurance, especially when the damage lies beyond the home’s foundation. Depending on the age of your piping system, filing a claim might just be a waste of your time.
Diagnosing the Problem
So before digging up the yard and jumping straight into sewer line repair (or replacement), how can homeowners know what’s going on beneath the surface of their yard? There are many symptoms your piping may offer that reveal a serious problem.
Signs of Sewer Line Damage
- Smelly puddles swelling up in the yard or near the house.
- Mushy earth and unusually green patches of grass near the sewer line.
- Slow draining from your water appliances.
- Dark water flowing up back through drains or the toilet.
- Bad sewage smell inside your home.
- Foundation damage (in worst case scenarios).
If your family members or tenants notice these symptoms, it may be time to schedule a sewer camera inspection. The line may be stopped up, cracked, or both.
The Sewer Line is Clogged
Any number of materials may obstruct the flow of waste down your sewer pipe. Calcified mineral content creates hardened nodules inside the pipe, which further encourages sediment along the line. Mistakenly flushed items, congealed fats and oils, hygiene products, and even tree roots can stop of your underground line.
As the blockage intensifies, so does the outward pressure that ultimately leads to more pipe damage. That’s one reason why plumbers like to start sewer repairs with in-pipe camera inspections. By identifying the blockage prior to repairs, homeowners can avoid exploratory digging through the yard.
The Sewer Line is Damaged
Long-term degradation (and old age) will eventually force a sewer pipe replacement. If multiple parts of the line are breaking down, it’s very possible that your sewer line has simply reached the end of its expected lifespan. You can confirm this by determining the age of the pipe.
Now it is possible to replace sewer line without digging needlessly through the yard, but that depends on the condition of the piping. If the entire line needs to be replaced, more digging may be required to complete the job. For sectional replacement however, pipe lining and pipe bursting may be possible (depending on joints and the condition of the lateral line). Talk with your plumber to see if your situation calls for a trenchless solution.
Schedule Your Plumbing Service!
Eager to find professional Fort Worth, TX sewer line repair? Our team at Westside Plumbing would love to help you find a cost-effective solution for your smelly situation! Call us today at (817) 560-4144 to arrange your service.