Is Your Sewer Pipe Showing Its Age?

Just as your body develops wear and tear as it ages, so does the plumbing in your home. And as with your physical health, where seemingly minor symptoms sometimes indicate that there is a serious problem brewing, so too with plumbing, where what may seem insignificant or unrelated issues can actually reveal something more serious beneath the surface – a sewer pipe that’s ready for life support.

The sewer line has an important – but unsavory – job transporting water and waste from your toilets, sinks, and tubs to the city’s sewer main line, which is probably underneath the road in front of your home. Like any pipe, sewer lines are prone to corrosion, rust and slow leaks over time. And believe it or not, one of the most common causes of sewer pipe breakdown is invasive or crushing tree roots. After all, trees need water and your plumbing system is a handy source. Other causes are buildup of toilet paper, hair, feminine hygiene products, sludge, and grease inside the pipes. Finally, earthquakes or other ground movement, such as repeated freezes and thaws, can wreak havoc on your pipes. Whatever the cause, sewer pipe problems are especially common in older homes; chances are good that if your house was built prior to 1970, it’s ready for a sewer pipe redo.

Some of the most common “symptoms” of a sewer pipe in ill health include:

  • Frequent clogs in the toilets.
  • Slow draining tubs and sinks.
  • Sewage or dirty water backing up into your tub or sink.
  • Gurgling, clanking, or burbling sounds coming out of the toilet after it’s flushed.
  • Sewage smells or bad odors inside or outside your home.
  • Standing water or soggy patches in your front lawn or garden.
  • Toilet water levels that change from flush to flush: sometimes normal, sometimes not.
  • Any combination of multiple plumbing problems given above.

If it’s time for sewer pipe “surgery,” don’t assume you’re doomed to large trenches ruining the appearance of your lawn and front garden. Very often, a simple re-lining of the sewer pipe will fix your plumbing problems. In this procedure, the pipe is first cleaned and unclogged. Then, a resin-coated tube is threaded into the pipe and inflated, pressing the resin against the pipe walls. Within a few hours, the resin is hard and the tube is removed. Voila, clogs and leaks are a thing of the past, and your precious landscaping is still intact.

If you are seeing the symptoms of sewer pipe trouble in your home, give us a call today.