When thinking about household plumbing, your sewer line is likely not on the top of your list, and that is because it is largely invisible to you. Your sewer line, which is buried completely underground, is the part of your plumbing system that carries the waste water out of your home.
Because of the location and function of your sewer line, there are a number of ways that it can malfunction. For example, tree roots in your yard can break through the pipes, and shifting soil can cause a sewer line to completely collapse. Both of the aforementioned reasons can also cause leaking and cracking in the pipes, if not total destruction. Finally, with all of the drains in your home feeding into one main sewer line, it is subject to becoming severely clogged. If a complete clog occurs, the resulting building water pressure will cause the pipe to burst.
You may wonder how you can possibly know if your sewer line is having issues since you can’t see it with your own eyes. However, there are three distinct above-ground indicators that you might need to replace your sewer line. The first, and most obvious, is an odor of sewage coming from your drains or your yard. The second is patches in your yard that are unexplainably raised and soggy, which could represent the location of a leak in the sewer line. The third would be if you notice your sinks, bathtubs, and showers are all draining more slowly than usual, as that could indicate a clog in the sewer line.
If you suspect your sewer line may need to be replaced, you should call a licensed plumber right away to request a camera inspection of your pipes. They will run a waterproof camera through your pipes to accurately pinpoint any issues in your underground lines and let you know what needs to be corrected.