There are several signs that you may have sewer problems at your home. The most obvious is a strong sewage odor near a drain or outside. You may also notice that water is draining more slowly than it should in several areas of your home. There are several potential causes of sewer issues.
If your house was built any time between the late 1970s and the mid-1990s, you may still have polybutylene pipes. These pipes are light and inexpensive to install, but the chemicals in treated water tend to cause them to deteriorate. This can result in pinhole leaks in your plumbing system. While spot repairs may be possible, it is worth it to get an estimate of how much it would cost to replace them altogether.
If you have older trees in your hard, the roots may have grown into your sewer lines. This can cause the pipes to break and leak, resulting in the aforementioned malodorous effect. A smoke pump tester can be used to identify the precise location of the leak. In addition to repairing the affected pipes, you may consider using a root kill treatment on your plumbing to discourage future growth.
Sometimes, sewer lines just get clogged. Hair and other items get trapped in the line, keeping anything else from getting through. If you just have one sink that is draining slowly, the clog is likely close to that drain and can be loosened with a drain snake. If you notice signs of a backup in several places at the same time, it is likely that one of the main sewer lines is clogged. You can try an enzyme treatment, and if that doesn’t work, call a plumber to assess and resolve the issue.
A sewer problem can have unpleasant side effects and if neglected can grow into a bigger problem. Protect your home by addressing sewer issues as soon as you notice them.