7 Signs of a Collapsed Sewer Line (with/Causes + Solutions)

Signs of a Collapsed Sewer Line

The signs of a collapsed sewer line can be obvious or subtle but almost always require swift attention. Most people think of clogs from sinks or toilets, but those clogs pale compared to a sewer line clog. Every drain pipe connects to the main sewer line outside or underneath your home.

Early detection is critical to reducing the overall costs of a sewer line collapse or potentially preventing a total collapse from occurring. Below, Enco Plumbing reveals seven signs of a collapsed sewer line.

1) Low-Level Backups

When first-story toilets, sinks, or bathtubs backup frequently, it’s a sign of an impending sewer line collapse. Most homeowners immediately call a plumber after a toilet soaks their bathroom. However, many hold off on contacting a professional when their sink or bathtub overflows.

The reality is that you should call a plumber as soon as you notice these backups. Your basement plumbing will also act up in this scenario as it’s closest to the sewer line. Failure to contact a professional may result in basement flooding and water damage. The flooding may be subtle initially.

2) Multiple Clogs

The main sewer line impacts all of your home’s drains, including bathroom sinks and bathtubs. So if you notice multiple fixtures acting up or failing to drain, it’s an obvious sign of a collapsed sewer line. Depending on the severity of the collapse, the water may still drain but much more slowly.

Contact a plumber who can use an inspection camera to identify the clogged pipe and mark the precise point of collapse. Most collapses stem from corroded pipes and grease build-up.

3) Soaked Yard

One of the less obvious signs of a collapsed sewer line is a soaked lawn. It may not be your sprinkler keeping your yard wet but a broken sewer line near a tree root. The dirt absorbs the excess water from your sinks, toilets, and other plumbing mechanisms. 

The yard will usually gradually saturate so that the problem won’t be readily noticeable. However, one day, you may notice an unusually moist lawn and even puddles near the underground pipes in your yard. In either case, you need to call a plumber ASAP.

4) Unusual Sounds

If your toilet or sinks make unusual sounds like gurgling, there may be a problem with your sewer line. Because sounds can crop up for various reasons, this is one of the more subtle signs of a collapsed sewer line. However, it makes sense to call a plumber, as something is amiss.

Your toilet is not the only fixture that can create strange sounds. Your sinks, bathtubs, and faucets may also emit disturbing sounds that activate your common sense danger signals.

5) Foul and Unpleasant Odor

Suppose your sewer line collapse is causing sewage not to drain correctly. In that case, your plumbing may omit a foul and unpleasant odor through the pipes. Make no mistake; these disturbing odors constitute a significant inconvenience and pose serious health threats.

The bacteria and wastewater mixture disseminate airborne pollutants inside your home. As a result, anyone living in your home may be at risk. Call a plumber as soon as possible whenever you smell something like this.

6) Cracked Walls

If you’re strolling through your living room and notice a crack in your wall, the problem may stem from a collapsed sewer line. Of course, various other ailments can create a wall crack, but a sewer line is among them.

The consequences can be severe if a sewer line problem causes the crack. It may be an indicator that your sewer line not only collapsed, but your entire house is about to collapse. You will want to call a professional plumber immediately.

7) Pest Infestation

The last thing homeowners want is pest infestation inside their property. However, a sewer line collapse can result in this widely feared nightmare.

If you notice an increase in insects or rodents, the sewer line may be the culprit. 

Think about it; rodents dwell in sewers, so a collapsed sewer line may result in them relocating. Aside from the obvious disturbance of pests, they also pose serious health risks for anyone inside your home, primarily because they spread airborne pollutants.

Collapsed Sewer Line Solutions

If your home has one of these problems caused by a collapsed sewer line, your best solution is sewer line repair. Call a professional plumber like Enco Plumbing to repair your main water line and prevent further damage to your home and property. Addressing the problem quickly will also save you money long-term.