The main sewer line is the hub that removes all drained wastewater from your home and deposits it in the sewer under the street, usually in front of your property. When the sewer line is working properly, there is no reason to think much about it. Often, it’s not until there is a problem that homeowners discover exactly where their line is located. Discovering a broken water line on your property is not ideal, but the good news is- if something goes wrong, you are sure to know it- quickly.
How to Determine if Your Main Sewer Line is Broken
Some signs of a broken sewer line are very obvious while others are not as apparent. Whether the break is minor or severe, it must be dealt with in a timely fashion to avoid further damage or the contamination of your usable water, which can make people very sick. You may notice some or all of the following issues:
- Pooling or spouting water around your property: If you notice pools of water where the grass or soil is normally dry, you may have a sewer line break. Proceed with caution; this water will not be clean water. You will know right away what the source of the water is if it’s dirty and contains a foul odor.
- Contaminated water: Perhaps the worst part of dealing with a main sewer line break is the odored, contaminated water that spews from the damaged pipe. This water is unsanitary, as it is draining from your sinks, tubs, and toilet. If you notice spouting or sitting water that has any of these characteristics, call a professional plumber immediately.
- Lower water pressure: For a mild to moderate break, you may simply notice a change in your overall water pressure. This could be a sign that the main line to your home is damaged in some way and should be inspected.
- Increased utility costs: When the leak is minor or not visible to the naked eye, it often only shows up on your water bill. After checking typical offenders like leaky faucets or water tanks, it may be a good idea to also have your main sewer line checked.
How to Navigate Sewer Line Repair
So, you’ve determined you do in fact have a broken sewer line. Your first step is to call a trusted professional plumber, like Rooter-Man, to analyze the damage. They will be able to determine if a repair is possible or if a complete replacement is necessary. Either way, the job should be undertaken by a contractor with experience. It can be a difficult and messy project.
In the rare case that the sewer line can be repaired, the contractor will locate the leak and attempt to patch it. This process can be time consuming and require a lot of digging. Be aware that your lawn may need to be repaired and grass re-seeded once the work is done. Luckily, many experts have access to trenchless technology, meaning that they can use a low-impact trenchless digging tool to locate and repair a damaged sewer line. The tool rehabilitates the sewer line by injecting an epoxy-based resin to seal any existing leaks or cracks.
What if the Sewer Line Needs to be Replaced?
More likely than not, if you’ve dealt with the major signs of a broken main sewer, including puddles of contaminated water in your yard, the entire line will need to be replaced. There is a silver lining, as many older homes were constructed with lead-containing galvanized piping which can corrode over time, causing lead to potentially seep into your water line. Lead is dangerous and a major health risk, especially for young children, so replacing your sewer line with modern, safe PVC piping can actually be a good thing.
Once your main sewer line is replaced with updated materials, it can last up to 100 years, or in some cases even longer! You read that right- 100 years! While dealing with the messy and inconvenient nature of sewer line replacement is not fun, it is a situation that needs to be handled as soon as possible, and your home and health will be all the better for it.
Let the Sewer Line Experts in Northwest Houston fix Your Problem!
A main sewer line break is not something that can be ignored. If you are dealing with any of the signs, it’s time to call in a trusted professional. They can provide a straightforward scope of the work that needs to be done, an estimate on how much the work will cost, what local regulations will apply to the work, and whether or not a trenchless solution can be applied. At Rooter-Man Plumbers, we have the experience and equipment to handle all types of sewer line issues and replacement. Call us today at 281.351.4422.