How do you fix a sewer pipe?

damaged sewer pipe

Damaged sewer pipe

It is an accomplishment to be make homeowner status. You now have an investment that you can take pride in having and enjoy for years to come. You also have a property that will throw you a curve ball from time to time, like the HVAC system going out or realizing you need sewer line repair. The HVAC system going out is obvious, but what are the signs of a broken sewer pipe?

If you live on Elm Street, a broken sewer pipe is a nightmare on Elm Street, or any street. However, being an attentive homeowner that keeps a check on all major components of a home, you can get those nightmares put to bed quicker. Like,  if you notice a broken sewer line and have professional sewer line repair done immediately, that nightmare will vanish without much damage. Here is a list of ten tell-tale broken sewer line symptoms.

1. Strong unpleasant sewer odor

A strong, unpleasant sewer odor is the first sign your home needs sewer line repair.  Every home has a sewer vent stack on the roof that helps the sewer pass on through the sewer lines. When you can smell sewage, there’s a problem somewhere along the sewer line. 

2. Gurgling toilet 

After you flush the toilet, if there is s gurgling sound or other unusual noises, the sewer line toilet waste empties into, aka the sewer line, trapped air is being released unexpectedly, meaning the sewer lineis probably broken or at least cracked. 

3. Slow drains 

When there is an isolated clog in the bathroom or kitchen every so often, that isn’t unusual. When all the drains are draining slow and no amount of plunging or drain cleaners is help, you probably need a sewer line repair. 

4. Sewage backs up in toilet or tub 

When you have constant backup in the toilet or tub from other drains, like the toilet, tub, kitchen sink, dishwasher, or washing machine, your sewer line is usually the problem. It is cracked or broken and the only way to fix this is with professional sewer line repair.

5. Mold or mildew 

Are you finding mildew or mold growth behind the walls or on the ceiling? This is an indication of too much moisture in the air creating a high level of humidity. With that mildew and mold, if you’re smelling sewer odors, then you need sewer line repair because it is broke or cracked and letting moisture escape and build up in your home.

6. Cracking walls

This is usually a sign that your foundation has cracked and shifted, the reason why could be simply the ground has moved or it could be a sewer line leaking. Either way, you need professional foundation service and possibly sewer line repair immediately.  The foundation of your home supports the structure and if it is weak and shifting, your home is not going to be safe. 

7. Pest invasion 

Are you noticing a sudden invasion of  cockroaches, rodents, sewer flies, and other pests? Insects and rodents travel through sewer lines,  this is why they are nasty beings. If your sewer line is damaged, they are making their way into your home from the sewer line. This is making your home unhealthy and unsanitary.  A sewer line repair is urgent to keep your family healthy and safe. 

8. Greener lawn patches

If there is a  broken sewage line running under your lawn, you’ll know it by really green, lush patches of grass, usually in a line.  Sewage is a natural fertilizer, but it is also bacteria and other contaminants that are unhealthy to breath or walk through.  Sewer line repair is the only way to fix this situation. 

9. Lawn indentations

Are the pavers you installed starting to sink below the ground level? Is there dampness pushing up from under them when you walk? Or maybe you have indentions in your lawn?  These are indications of a broken sewage line that is leaking and displacing the soil.   Sewer line repair is needed to stop this and make your home and lawn healthy. 

10. Sewage pool

If you have pools of sewage in the lawn, there is no doubt you need sewer line repair. This is your toilet and other wastewater backing up in your lawn instead of flowing on through the main sewer line. 

What happens when your sewer line breaks?

Of all the things in your home, the sewer line is one thing you can’t ignore. Especially when you’re experiencing any of the thing we listed above, this is a serious and urgent matter.  In addition to those things, you’re setting your home up for possible catastrophe. 

That catastrophe can include flooding inside your home and contaminated groundwater seeping into the yard, possibly into your home. That contaminated groundwater is full of bacteria, germs, and other factors that can make your family sick. Not to mention, your yard become useless, because you’ll be living in a swamp. 

Can you patch a sewer line?

Yes, when a sewer line is broken, there are ways to have sewer line repair or replacement done by a professional plumber. The two options available and the plumber will determine which sewer line repair method is best: Pipe Lining or Pipe Bursting. 

  • Pipe lining—This method is done by inserting an epoxy covered, inflatable tube in the sewer line. The plumber will inflate the tube while inside the sewer line and the epoxy will harden, filling any cracks or holes. Once the epoxy is hardened, the tube is removed and not more leaking sewer line. 
  • Pipe bursting—Some sewer line are damaged beyond the pipe lining option to work, so the plumber will use a trenchless method to repair the pipe. It is more invasive to the plumbing but not as destructive to your lawn as it was in the years past.  A cone-shaped bit is fed into the existing sewer line , destroying it and then a new one is inserted through the same hole dug to insert the cone-shaped bit. 

If these two methods for sewer line repair are not possible fixes for your sewer line, the plumber may have to resort to old school plumbing method and dig your lawn up.  This is very rare these days, but sometimes it is the only option. 

How long does it take to repair a sewer line?

If your plumber can complete a sewer line repair without digging, it shouldn’t take more than one day. However, there are a variety of factors that affect how much time it will  take.  Those factors are the pipe location, the pipe size, and the amount and type of damage the pipe has incurred. Some sewer line repair jobs can take up to 5 days or more. 

broken sewer pipe

When should I replace my main sewer line?

Although sewer line repair and plumbing are certainly durable, eventually, they will age and  need replacing. Maybe you’re lucky and never have any need for sewer line repairs, that doesn’t mean you never will.  How soon will you need to worry with this sewer line replacement? 

This can vary with different factors to be considered. Like how many clogs your home has experienced over the years, the type of soil where you live, and what type of pipe materials your sewer lines are made.  Some estimate aging times are: 

  • Clay pipes up to 60 years.
  • Cast iron pipes up to 100 years.
  • PVC pipe could be indefinite, but the material is too new to be sure yet. 

As a homeowner, take pride in your accomplishment and take care of that investment. There is more to homeownership than making mortgage payments, mowing, and cleaning the house. You need to be aware of all things like electrical, HVAC, electrical, roofing, and more. Monthly inspections are always a good idea. 

You should know upfront though, when you have sewer line issues that require sewer line repair, homeowners insurance doesn’t pay for those repairs. Your policy may have coverage for repairing damaged caused by sewer line failure, but not the repair or replacement of the sewer line. Call 317-677-4918 today for your sewer pipe repair in Indianapolis, IN.