A sewer line is the main pipe that carries sewage out of your house for transport to treatment or disposal. If this line becomes clogged or damaged, it can result in raw sewage backing up out of the drains and into your home. This is not only unsanitary, but can lead to significant damage to your property.
There are a variety of situations which can cause your sewer pipes to develop cracks. While many are outside of your control, you should nonetheless be aware of them. These include frequent ground freezes and thaws, tree root intrusion, your house and the ground around it settling over time, a backup from a city controlled sewer line, or the unavoidable aging of your house’s pipes. One cause of sewer line cracks that is within your control is digging in the wrong place. (To avoid this, call Georgia 811 before doing any digging in your yard.) Another is lack of maintenance to the pipes on your part. That includes letting food, grease, hair, and other items go down your drains and into your pipes. This causes buildup in the pipes that makes it more difficult for water to pass through, and the increased pressure will eventually lead to cracks.
Luckily, there are some signs that your sewer line may be broken that will allow you to catch the situation before it becomes extremely hazardous. You should call a licensed plumber and request a camera inspection of your pipes immediately if you notice any of the following.
- There is no water in your toilet bowl and/or tank.
- Your toilet is making gurgling noises. (This may be especially noticeable after you have run your washing machine.)
- Your bathtub will not drain or is draining extremely slowly.
- Water is coming out of the floor drain in your basement.
- You smell sewage when standing in your basement or yard.
- Sewage is backing up into your bathtub or toilet.