The sewer pipes running into and out of our homes are important. They bring in fresh water, and take out the soiled water. We hardly think about these systems, until there’s an issue. A broken sewer line can shut the whole system down, and bring everything to a halt. The best way to prevent this kind of thing from happening is through preventing blockages, and keeping the drain clear and clean and flowing.
The differences between a clogged drain and a broken sewer pipe can be difficult to figure out. They both have a lot of the same symptoms: bad smells and backed up water. However, if you have water backing up in more than one sink or toilet, it’s probably a broken sewer pipe.
Here are four ways to handle a broken sewage pipe.
1. Unclog the Drain
Sewer lines have a lot flowing through them, and getting a clog isn’t all that unusual. Things like toilet paper, soap scum, hair, and kitchen grease can accumulate over time, creating a blockage. A plumber’s snake can sometimes clear this out, even if it’s a larger clog. Most clogs can be removed with minimal effort. If you fail to clear the clog, however, it’s best to call in a professional. Using a snake or chemicals to clear the drain improperly can actually cause more damage to the sewer pipe.
2. Find the Pipe
Being able to find the clogged pipe can go a long way toward fixing it. This isn’t always easy, depending on your home’s construction. For instance, if you have a crawl space, the pipe should be relatively easy to find. If not, it’ll be tougher. Finding the pipe is the first step in being able to fix it.
If you have a soggy, bug-infested area giving off an odor in your yard, it could be a broken pipe. If that’s the case, a plumber’s snake won’t help much. You’ll need the professionals to come in, and probably replace that section of the pipe. They have tools like cameras that can actually go into the pipe, and find the exact problem.
3. Take a Look at the Damage
A plumber can help you get a sense of exactly what happened to your pipes, and what the damage actually is. Some pipes are made from clay, cast iron, or other materials, and can collapse over time. They can’t take the pressure of over-aggressive plumbing augers or chemicals. Trees and bushes that are close to your sewer lines can also wreak havoc, and create issues. The roots seek out water and nutrients, and will bust into pipes, given the opportunity. Another problem is too much toilet paper being flushed down the drain. This can also lead to broken sewer pipes.
4. Repairing or Replacing Broken Lines
Sometimes, a section of the pipe that’s broken may just need to be repaired, and it can be relatively painless. Other times, it can be much more expensive, especially if the pipe needs to be dug up from under a driveway or sidewalk. If you have older pipes, you may even just want to replace all of them, and rid yourself of the chance of issues down the road. Most pipes can be repaired or replaced in a day’s time.
Professionals can help keep your plumbing up and running.
If you think your pipes may be in need of replacement, it’s important to call a professional. At Rick’s Plumbing, we’ve been helping homeowners in New Haven and Fairfield Counties since 1992. To schedule a look at your pipes, call us today at 203-874-6629.