10 Symptoms of a Damaged Sewer Pipe

A sewer line is an essential part of your home. It plays a significant role in moving waste away from your home. The pipes that comprise your sewage system are prone to corrosion, especially in the long run. Corroded pipes can break or compromise the integrity of your plumbing system. Most people tend to overlook the sewer line because it has long durability. Improper sewer pipes maintenance can lead to costly repairs and replacements. This blog elaborates more about the signs and symptoms of sewer pipes damage:

Warning Signs Your Sewer Pipes May Be Breaking

Improper maintenance of sewer pipes is the main culprit for degradation and corrosion. These processes can compromise the functionality of your plumbing. In the long run, corroded pipes will become more vulnerable to breakage. It’s important to understand the main warning signs of sewer pipe breakage. Identifying and rectifying these issues quickly can help you save money in the long term. Below are major signs of a sewer pipe break:

A. Low Water Pressure
Low water pressure is a common plumbing problem in many households. There are numerous causes of low water pressure, including sewer pipe damage. Identifying low water pressure in your house can be easy, especially if it occurs all of a sudden. However, it can be a bit challenging to identify this plumbing issue if water pressure drops slowly over time. A test gauge is the best equipment to test water pressure in your home. In a catastrophic instance, it’s important to consult a professional plumber.

B. Persistent Clogging

There’s a wide range of factors that cause clogging, including mineral buildup, flushing trash, hair, wipes, and food scraps. However, a broken sewer line can make some pipes burst, leading to serious plumbing issues. It’s important to inspect sewer pipes from time to time. Some minor issues might be undetectable; therefore, invest in the right plumber. A certified plumbing contractor will use high-tech equipment to identify the root cause of pipe blockage. Persistent clogging can cause the following:

– Slow drainage

– Weakens home structure

– Attracts pests
In addition, blocked sewer line pipes can cause leaks. Water leakage is the main reason for the growth of algae, moss, and mold. These plants can reduce the quality of indoor air.

C. High Water Bills

High utility bills can be a clear sign of sewer pipe breakage. Damaged sewer pipes can increase your water bills, even if your water usage is constant. There are other plumbing issues that can result in high water bills: a dripping faucet, lateral line leaks, and outdated fixtures. Therefore, it’s essential to invest in a plumber who will determine the main cause of the problem.

D. Damp Spots

Damps spots in your home are the breeding grounds for mold and mildew. Broken sewer pipes can increase moisture around your property, resulting in damp spots. It’s not hard to identify these spots in your house. Some of the common signs of increasing moisture content are:

– Wet spots on your ceiling

– Puddles on your lawn

– Moisture in your carpets

Most homeowners tend to oversee these damp spots. In the long run, you may end up spending tons of money on repairing broken sewer pipes.

E. Funky Odors

Based on science, water should always be odorless. Funky odors occur as a result of contamination due to foreign and toxic substances. Mold and mildew play a major role in causing funky odors in water. These plants produce an abnormal smell that is associated with various health issues. For instance, mold can cause an array of health problems like asthma, allergic alveolitis, and sinusitis. Most of these health concerns are due to odor smell in your house.

F. Low Water Flow

Unlike water pressure, water flow is measured in gallons per minute. It is the amount of water flowing per unit of time. There are two major types of water flow:

– Turbulent water flow

– Laminar water flow

Turbulent water flow is a louder and fast-moving water. On the other side of the scale, laminar water flow is characterized by quiet, slow-moving water. Unlike laminar flow, turbulent flow does have physical barriers. These barriers can be a result of sewer pipes damage. In addition, clogging is a major problem that can compromise the water flow. Frequent sewer line inspection can reduce the risk of low water flow.

10 Symptoms of a Damaged Sewer Pipe

There are various aspects that can cause sewer line failures, such as tree root intrusion, misaligned connections, and pipe cracks. A damaged sewer pipe will require prompt repairs to prevent escalation of the problem. Below are 10 symptoms of deteriorating sewer pipes:

1. Presence of Mold and Mildew

Mold and mildew tend to thrive in dark and damp areas of your house. A damaged sewer pipe can lead to leaks, thus increasing moisture content around your sewer system. It’s easy to identify mold growth on your walls and ceiling, but it’s not easy to identify the main cause of the issue. There are numerous causes of mold and mildew, including roof damage and poor ventilation. Therefore, it’s important to consult a professional plumber. The right plumber will use great skills to locate and fix the compromised sewer pipes. Ignoring mold and mildew can compromise the integrity of your home and lead to various health concerns.

2. Cracks in the Walls and Foundations

The integrity of your home’s foundation can influence its longevity. Most sewer pipes are located near your walls, foundation, and slabs. A deteriorating sewer line will cause various foundation issues including the following:

– Cracks in the foundation slab

– Sinkholes

– Foundation settlement

In addition, improper sewer line maintenance can lead to the development of a void, especially in the lawn. If you detect these foundation problems, the leading contributing factor is sewer line damage. A foundation repair professional should treat the problem before it escalates.

3. Sewage Backup

The sewer system has various parts, including underground pipes, sewer holes, and a pumping station. These aspects work hand-in-hand to move water away from your premises. In addition, there are pipes inside your house that are connected to the main sewer line. These pipes are the main culprit for sewer backup and blockages. In the long run, sewer backup can be a health hazard as well as a plumbing emergency. This is because it can contaminate your water leading to waterborne diseases.

There are other causes of sewer line backup: clogged pipes, tree roots, heavy rainfall, municipal sewer issues, and sewer system age. The contaminated water from the sewer starts to back up into your home via toilets, drains, and sinks. It can be a bit hard to identify sewage backup. Therefore, observe the presence of bad smells, gurgling sounds, and wet floor drains. Also, slow-moving drains can be a result of sewage backup.

4. Slow Drain Issues

A slow drain can signify a forming blockage in the sewer system. A severe blockage is the main reason for sewer backup. Therefore, it’s important to determine the speed by which water is draining in your bathtub, toilet, and sink. Sometimes you may try to clear build-up materials in your drains to no avail. A blocked sewer pipe is the main culprit for slow drain issues. It’s important for a plumber to find out the main issue with the sewer line because there are other plumbing issues that can cause slow water drainage. Avoid using concentrated chemicals to clean a blocked drain. Some chemicals can react with the metal sewer pipes, thus lowering their integrity in the long run.

5. Septic Waste Pooling in the Yard

Septic waste pooling in the yard is a primary symptom of a malfunctioning sewer system. There’s an array of issues that can lead to this problem, including the following:

– A cracked main line

– Broken septic tank

– Clogged sewer pipes

A septic tank is an essential wastewater system that plays a major role in keeping contaminated water away. If you observe moisture around the sewer tank or the plumbing lines, address the issue as quickly as possible. This is because it occurs as a result of effluent buildup from a poor drainage system. In addition, plant roots and invasive trees can be prime suspects for drain field disturbances. The overflow of untreated wastewater can be a great health hazard. Ensure you address the issue before things get out of hand.

6. Extra Green Patches of Grass

Your lawn should always be uniform because it shares the same climatic conditions. Spotting various green patches of grass over the sewer line system can be a great concern. Sewage contains nutrients that are essential for grass and other vegetation. A leaking sewer pipe will increase nutrient content in the soil, thus boosting the growth of your lawn in some areas. Therefore, if you notice some sections of your lawn are becoming greener than others, contact a plumber to find out the underlying problem. Ignoring this symptom of a malfunctioning sewer system can cost you a huge amount of money in the future.

7. Insect Infestation

Insect Infestation is a biological hazard that can occur due to sewer line issues. Some of the common insects that can get into your home from the sewer are bugs, cockroaches, sewer flies, etc. Based on science, insect infestation can have the following impacts on your health:

  • Bites and Stings

A lot of pests tend to sting or bite when they come across human beings. Some of these pests can cause allergic reactions, while others are harmless. However, it’s important to keep them away because they can compromise your comfort and peace of mind. Some pests can transmit diseases and germs when they bite you. For instance, bed bugs and spider bites can be dangerous to human beings.

  • Diseases

Some pests and insects can cause mild and serious health issues. For instance, rodents and cockroaches may increase your risk of developing gastroenteritis, salmonella, and dysentery. On the contrary, exposing yourself to rodent droppings and urine can lead to a hantavirus. In addition, bird droppings can cause pneumonia as well as listeria.

  • Contaminated Water

Pests can contaminate your water without you knowing. Drinking contaminated water can lead to adverse health issues, especially after some time. Some of the common health issues associated with polluted water are diarrhea, stomach problems, and fatigue. In addition, you may suffer from waterborne diseases, such as cholera.

  • Mental Health

Pests can impact your mental health negatively. Some people tend to develop insomnia and anxiety. On the other hand, other people tend to develop a phobia of certain insects and pests. The stress of controlling pests can be overwhelming. Therefore, it’s important to identify signs of a malfunctioning sewer system.

8. Indentation in Lawn and Under Pavers

Damaged sewer pipes can cause indentation within your lawn. When sewer pipes break, they make the surface damp, thus loosening the soil. Loose soil will form a minor land depression in your lawn. Your lawn won’t be uniform anymore. If you notice some holes in your lawn near the sewer pipelines, consult a professional plumbing contractor.

9. Sewer Gas Odor

Sewer gas odor occurs when your sewer line system fails. In some instances, it can result from minor cracks in the sewer connecting pipes. A well-maintained sewer line should be airtight everywhere. The odor smell in your property will lower the quality of indoor air. It can lead to severe breathing problems, such as asthma and chronic sinusitis.

10. Rodent Problem

Sewer pipes damage can cause rodent problems in your home. For instance, most sewer systems have rats, which can access your premises if the sewer system is compromised. Some of the tips that will help you identify rodent problems include the following:

– Foul odor

– Gnaw marks

– Rodent droppings

– Nests

In addition, scratching noises is another sign of rodent infestation. Rodents may cause health concerns because some carry diseases. Also, most rodents will taint your food with fur, waste, and saliva.


Sewer line damage is a plumbing issue that most homeowners overlook. In the long term, improper sewer pipes maintenance can lead to costly repairs and replacements. There are numerous symptoms of a damaged sewer system: rodent problems, pest infestation, foundation cracks, indentation in the lawn, slow water drainage, mold problem, and sewage backup.

If you need to consult a professional sewer pipe specialist, contact your local professional plumber today.