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Is It Time to Replace Your Sewer Line?

If you’re having plumbing problems, you might be tempted to fix them on your own. Unfortunately, if your sewer drain is moving slowly, it doesn’t always mean there’s a simple clog you can handle on your own. You may need a sewer cleaning or sewer repair to fix the problem.

Your sewer line is something you should pay close attention to. The longer you let a problem start to build up, the worse it will become—and it can end up costing you more money, in the long run. Plus, if your sewer line is out of commission, you could have quite a mess (and a smell!) on your hands.

However, most people don’t pay much attention to their drainage system until a big problem occurs. By that time, it’s often too late for any “quick fixes.” So, let’s look at a few signs you should be aware of that indicate it might be time to replace your sewer line.

The Water in Your Toilet Bowl Goes Up and Down

water running into kitchen sink drain

Toilet bowl water levels shouldn’t be inconsistent—at least not to the point where it’s noticeable. Because we use and flush toilets all the time, a variation in water levels within the toilet bowl could indicate that you have a clog somewhere in the system.

While this might be something you can ignore for a while, it could also be a ticking time bomb. Think of it this way—the longer you ignore it, the worse the clog could become. You might be able to flush freely one day—and the next day, you’ll experience a backup.

A backed up toilet can lead to even bigger issues, especially when it comes to clean-up. If you notice that the water in your bowl is different all the time, call a plumber as soon as possible.

You Smell Sewage

One telltale sign that there is a problem with your sewer line is that you actually start to smell sewage within your home. This is one of the most noticeable signs, of course, and one that shouldn’t be ignored.

Even if you don’t smell sewage in your house, take a trip out to your backyard. Does it smell bad out there? Is there a pool of standing water? You could still have a sewage leak that could be showing up as puddles in your yard. Because of the smell outside, you may even start to attract rodents, bugs, and more. Keep track of where the standing water is, and then call a 24-hour plumbing service to come help right away!

Slow, Noisy Drains

People often assume a slow-flowing drain can be fixed with a plunger or a store-bought drain cleaning liquid. If you have problems with your sewer pipes, those solutions won’t get the job done.

If the drains in your house are consistently moving slowly, it can quickly become an annoyance. If you start to hear gurgling noises from your pipes, it’s time to call a plumber. It’s not always a good idea to keep using store-bought drain cleaners. In some cases, they may cause more damage, especially if there’s already a leak somewhere in your pipes. If your drain is gurgling, it’s trying to tell you something, so be sure to listen and get your pipes repaired as soon as possible.

Your Water Use Is Down, but Your Bill Keeps Going Up

pipe hose drain knob tube

No one wants to deal with astronomical utility bills. More often than not, people can estimate what their water bills are going to be each month. So, if you start to notice that your bill is significantly rising with no real explanation, it could be a sign of a leaking pipe somewhere.

No matter how much you shorten your showers (or yell at your kids to keep them quick!) or keep track of your water use, it won’t make much of a difference when you have a problem with your sewer pipes. The only solution is calling an experienced plumber to repair the leak. Once you do, your bill should start going back to its usual rates, and you can start doing more than one load of laundry per week again.

Mold Growing Inside

If you have a broken sewer pipe behind a wall, it could start to cause mold growth. Your home doesn’t need to be that warm or humid in order for mold to grow and thrive. By the time you see mold forming on a wall or on the ceiling, you could have a world of trouble going on behind the drywall.

Mold can be dangerous in many ways, and it should be taken seriously right away. This is especially true if you have anyone in your house with any kind of respiratory issues like asthma.

You’ll likely notice an odor along with it, so there will be absolutely no mistaking the problem you have. If you do start to see or smell mold in your house, don’t wait to call a professional to not only get rid of the mold but fix your pipes right away.

Keeping Your Pipes Perfect

repairing the plumbing pipes with monkey wrench

As you can see, sewer system damage isn’t exactly a barrel of fun, and it can come with a wide array of different problems. Unfortunately, the longer you let these issues go, the more troublesome they can be for your home. In some cases, they can even affect the structure or foundation of your home!

So, don’t go along with slow drains and high utility bills any longer. The fact is, they could be the least of your worries if you have a damaged sewer system. If you’re in the San Antonio or Austin areas and you’re experiencing any of these issues or other pipe problems that have you concerned, contact Christianson Air Conditioning & Plumbing right away. We pride ourselves in offering quality plumbing services—even for emergencies.

Whether you’re dealing with stinking sewage, standing water, slow drains, or stopped toilets, we can find the source of your problem and provide the solution as quickly as possible, so life can get back to normal!

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