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1. Multiple or recurring clogs
2. A gurgling toilet
3. It smells!
4. A sinking area in your yard
5. Lush, green grass in a specific area
Read on for details and steps to prevent major, costly damage!
1. Multiple or recurring clogs – A common cause for sewer back ups is a belly or paunch in your drain pipe. These are caused by misaligned connections that allow leakage and erode the soil or bedding under the pipe. Waste and paper will collect in this belly. It can be cleared, but inevitably it will back-up again. Worse than annoying and disgusting back-ups, is the potential for the sewer line to collapse entirely!
2. A - gurgling toilet – Gurgling occurs when the air escapes backward up through the toilet. Your sewer line is the most likely culprit. You may have a blockage caused by tree roots, water and paper that build up at a misalignment, or pipe belly, or even debris/soil entering the line though an existing break.
3. It smells! – You should never smell sewer odors in your home or yard. A properly working sewer line should be air-tight (except for rooftop vents that allow sewage to run downhill). If you can smell sewage you likely have a break or crack in the line.
4. A sinking area in your yard – Drain or sewer pipes may crack or become misaligned due to ground settling or age. Leakage from the pipe causes the soil beneath it to erode and you may start to notice an area of your lawn that appears to be sinking! It is crucial to have this looked into (as well as any of the other symptoms noted here) soon, because a cracked or partially collapsed sewer line is commonly less expensive and less invasive to repair than a fully collapsed line. Older San Diego neighborhoods commonly have older sewer systems, and tend to experience more drain problems.
5. Lusher, greener grass in one specific area – Sewage is actually a great fertilizer and you may wish the rest of your lawn could look as great, but this fertilizer comes with an extra cost and high risk if left unattended.
Find yourself saying, "yep" to any of these descriptions above? The next step is to call a drain expert and describe your issue. Any of these symptoms should prompt them to schedule you for a video camera inspection right away. This is the most efficient way to get the problem diagnosed and fixed (rather than paying for multiple cleanings, not knowing your sewer system could be headed for complete failure).
Have you already been putting this off? A sewer pipe collapse can happen gradually over a long period of time, or very quickly. It’s not really predictable, which is why it’s important to get a camera down their ASAP. While a pipe is only partially collapsed, it is still possible to try a trenchless replacement of the line before it gets any worse. Fixing the pipe as soon as possible can save you money and reduce the disruption to your yard.
Two very important final notes: Make absolutely sure the contractor you select is licensed and liability insured! It’s also good to look for a company that will send a drain specialist to your home, not a plumber that “does it all”. There is a difference. Drain specialists are meticulously trained to use special equipment for these jobs.
Need a licensed and efficient plumbing, drain, heating or air conditioning professional? San Diegans have trusted their homes to us for over 38 years. We have the experience, training and tools to expertly detect and fix leaks, clear drains, repair sewer lines, and to repair, service and install all brands of heating and AC systems. We stand behind our 100 percent Satisfaction Guarantee, and "Nobody wows clients like we do!" For more information, visit andersonpha.com.