Your home’s main sewer line is buried beneath the yard, making it more difficult to identify a possible broken sewer line. Here are a few indicators that your sewer line could be broken:
1) Easily clogged drains
Every now and then, your toilet, kitchen sink or shower can experience a drain that gets a little plugged up, in these instances a clog can be a quick fix. However, when a clog starts occurring with unusual frequency, especially in multiple drains, or if water is draining slowly throughout your home, this could be a sign of an obstructed sewer line, according to Angie's List.
2) Soggy spots in the yard
A leaking sewer line can be caused by a break or collapse. However, according to Angie's List, a leak is often caused by a tree root that has penetrated the piping. Some of these leaks are harder to detect than others, especially in areas where the sewer line is buried very deep underground. While a leak in the sewer line is all but invisible, it could show itself in warmer climates where it isn’t necessary to bury lines very deep because of a shallow frost line.
3) Unsavory odors
You might not always be able to see a sewer line problem, but there's a good chance you will smell it. According to SFGate contributor Chris Deziel, any scent of sewer gas that is strong enough to permeate a house is a telltale sign of a plumbing problem. This could be a sign of a sewer line clog, as backups will often push smelly sewer gases up drains. However, if the odor is especially potent in the yard, the more likely scenario is that the sewer line is leaking.
What to do if you think you have a broken sewer line
If you experience any of the above, and you've ruled out the possibility of a clogged drain, or a broken plumbing vent, then it's time to get help from a plumbing professional.
The sewer solutions specialists at Roto-Rooter can easily assess the situation and perform a sewer line repair, with minimal digging and trenching, while limiting the mess and unsavory odors.