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Root of the Problem: 4 Signs of Damaged Sewer Lines

Hair Clogging the Drain
Roots from trees and shrubs grow quickly underground and can grow on and into your home's sewer lines. The roots can be strong enough to crack the underlying sewer lines, resulting in leaks. As they make contact with the moisture from the leaks, the roots will grow even stronger, causing even more damage. These roots are the most common cause of damaged sewer lines underground.
Damaged sewer lines can be a big problem for your home's plumbing and your family's health. Thankfully, if you know the signs of potential damage, you can notice problems quickly and start efficient repairs. The following signs may indicate you need sewer line repair.

1. Slow-Moving Drains

Occasionally, you may notice your toilet, sink, shower, or tub draining slower than normal. This problem could stem from heavy buildup of waste, hair, and food residue. Liquid drain cleaners may be helpful to remove clogs, although they can cause more damage than good due to the corrosive chemicals used in these products.
However, if multiple drains all seem to be draining slowly even after making attempts to clean them, your sewer lines may be damaged. In many instances, drains may be draining slower than normal because of a blockage in the sewer line. This blockage may occur due to some sort of intrusion, such as tree/shrub roots, that prevents water and waste from flowing out of the drain properly.
Plumbers will need to inspect your sewer lines to determine the location of the damage before making repairs.

2. Constant Clogs

If your toilets, sinks, tubs, and showers are not able to drain properly, you will experience constant clogs, as well. If roots have damaged the lines, water and waste will be unable to flow fully through your system, resulting in constant clogs in your drains. Again, an occasional clog is normal, but ongoing clogs in most of your drains will indicate an underlying issue in your sewer lines.
Plumbers will first need to locate the clog deep within your sewer lines. This clog may be from waste that was unable to fully flow out of the home. Or the clog may stem from the actual roots growing in and piling up inside the sewer lines.

3. Unusual Noises

As water and waste move through your drains, you will hear some noise. Unfortunately, certain noises can be a cause for concern. Underlying damage to your sewer lines will prevent your toilet, sink, tub, and showers from draining with ease. You may hear gurgling sounds in your toilet after flushing first, since the toilet is the biggest drain and the drain connected closely to the main sewer drain.
Gurgling in your sink, tub, and shower drains is also common if you have damage or a blockage in your sewer lines.

4. Foul Odors

Cracks in your sewer lines could release sewer gas, which could affect your home and your health. Most people will notice the foul odor outside their home, and the sewer gas can also back up into the drains inside your home. A foul odor similar to rotten eggs in or outside your home is most likely sewer gas.
Sewer gas is unappealing, and it is also dangerous because it contains methane, ammonia, hydrogen sulfide, and other gasses. Sewer gas can cause respiratory problems, eye irritation, skin rashes, dizziness, fatigue, and headaches. If combined with other gases or chemicals, sewer gas can also be explosive, making it even more dangerous.
Even though they are out of sight, your sewer lines should never be out of mind. This guide will help diagnose and understand the damage to your sewer lines. For more information on repairing and maintaining your sewer lines, contact Coastal Plumbing, Inc. today.