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What Are the Symptoms of a Broken Sewer Line?

Traditional sewer line replacement

You may never have thought about the main sewer line to your house — most people don’t. But when a problem with your sewer line develops, it’s hard to ignore. The longer you wait to schedule sewer line services, the more damage will be done to your plumbing, home, property, and health.

John Nugent & Sons is prepared to swiftly and expertly perform sewer line repairs to restore your plumbing. Here are some of the signs of a broken sewer line:

A Sewage Smell in Your Home

When your sewer system is undamaged and sanitary, you shouldn’t be able to smell anything. Every part besides the vent stacks on your roof is supposed to be airtight, so if you notice a sewage smell, you have a broken sewer line.

Frequent Drain Clogs or Backups in Multiple Fixtures

A single clogged drain or overflowing toilet is usually due to a clogged pipe connected to that fixture. Multiple slow, clogged, or backed-up drains or fixtures in your home indicate your sewer main is probably clogged or broken.

A Soggy Yard and/or Bright Green Patches of Grass

It isn’t surprising that a broken sewer line might make your yard soggy and stinky. However, you might be surprised that it can also create lush, green patches of grass in your lawn, possibly surrounded by brown. Nutrients from your sewer line make for good fertilizer, and the leak keeps the grass well-watered. Eventually, though, sewage toxins will build up and become hazardous to your health.

Interior Mold and/or Water Damage

Wet or damp spots on floors, walls, and ceilings may be due to a leak from a broken sewer pipe. Continual moisture will cause the rapid spread of mold and mildew, which can trigger serious allergic and asthmatic reactions. Mold and mildew can also stain surfaces, causing cosmetic and structural damage.

Pest Infiltration

A broken or cracked pipe can be used as a doorway for rodents, cockroaches, and other bugs to enter your home. Over time, insect and rodent droppings can create severe health issues, and rodents can damage insulation and other parts of your home.

What To Do if You Have a Broken Sewer Line

If you’ve noticed any of these signs of a sewer line problem, call a licensed plumber. John Nugent & Sons can inspect your pipes to locate hairline cracks and breaks.

Often, repairs are possible, but you should replace a severely damaged line. Replacement is also advised for old steel or iron pipes, which easily rust and corrode and will lead to more breaks in the future. Our expert plumbers can explain your options based on the state of your pipes.

There are three main ways to fix a broken sewer pipe. The first two are trenchless, which involves minimal digging and disturbance of your property.

  1. Trenchless pipe lining: An epoxy liner is inserted into the pipe and inflated. When the epoxy hardens, you have a new pipe inside the old one.
  2. Trenchless pipe bursting: A new HDPE (high-density polyethylene) pipe with an expansion head is pulled through the existing sewer line, bursting the existing pipe apart and leaving the new line in its place.
  3. Traditional sewer line repair: This method requires digging trenches on either side of the sewer line, but it is the best and often the only option for severely broken, deteriorated, or collapsed pipes.

Call John Nugent & Sons at (703) 291-1926, or contact us online for licensed, bonded, and insured plumbers who provide free estimates and prioritize customer service!

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