Sewer leaks are among the most dangerous plumbing problems.
Not only do they pose a health hazard, but they also make it unpleasant to be in the area. And the moisture present in sewage can lead to property damage, which can be quite costly to repair.
That’s why dealing with a sewer leak as soon as possible is vital. However, this is easier said than done since, in many cases, such leaks are not detected until it is too late. By the time they are detected, other problems like burst pipes can occur, making the situation even more challenging to deal with.
However, a few signs can indicate a sewer leak, and knowing about them can make it easier to take timely action and prevent the problem from worsening. And we’ve shared some of the most easily detectable ones here in this guide.
So, read until the end to learn all about them!
Signs That Can Indicate A Leaking Sewer Pipe
1. Unusual Noises
You may hear sounds of running water in your home even when all faucets are off. Such noises may be heard through the walls, indicating sewer pipe leakage.
2. Moist or Damp Floor
Moist or spongy floors indicate that your sewer may have a leakage problem. The plumbing system comprises numerous pipes that pass through the house and connect to the sewer line. Water collects around the points where different pipes connect when there is a leak.
This can damage the flooring of your house, and you may even notice damp spots on the carpeting, which can indicate such a problem.
3. Foul Odours
Leaks can create damp spots where mildew and mould can grow. These lead to the foul odours you may notice in your home. The smell will be even more noticeable outside where wastewater is disposed of if the pipes leak. Additionally, sewer leaks can result in the growth of bacteria around indoor drains.
4. Cracks In The Foundation
When sewer lines drip, it can cause the ground to shift, leading to cracks in the foundations of your home. Leaks cause water to collect and saturate the soil, which can affect the structural soundness of the foundations. That is why concrete patios, sidewalks and driveways are also damaged by such leaks.
5. Alteration In The Landscape
Leaky sewer pipes can cause wet, sunken patches on the landscape, often accompanied by the growth of vegetation like grass. On the flip side, gardens and lawns can get damaged due to the harmful bacteria present in the leaking wastewater.
6. Rat Infestations
Unpleasant odours from sewer leaks can attract rats and lead to an infestation in your backyard. A sudden rat problem might indicate problems with the sewer.
7. Increase In The Water Bill
A higher water bill is always a sign of a leak, especially if the rise is sudden. Slight fluctuations can occur due to seasonal changes, but significant changes can indicate a problem.
8. Continuously Running Water Meter
When all appliances are turned off, and all faucets and taps are closed, the water meter should not be running. However, the meter will keep running if there is a leak, which is one of the easiest ways to detect it.
9. Water Collecting Outside
If water tends to collect outside even when the weather is clear, it can indicate a drainage system problem or a sewer leak. Additionally, if there is an alteration in the elevation outside, it may mean a damaged sewer pipe has collapsed.
10. Walls Getting Discoloured
A sewer leak that starts slowly can remain unnoticed for quite some time. However, the walls around the broken sewer pipes may acquire dark rings and spots or become discoloured. You may also notice the paint bubbling or peeling or the wallpaper becoming uneven.
11. Drop In Water Pressure
A sudden drop in water pressure while working in the kitchen or taking a shower is generally connected to the water supply from the municipal corporation. But if all faucets are experiencing low water pressure and drainage is slow, the mainline may have developed a leak.
12. Worn Out Pipes
Inspecting the pipes making up your plumbing system regularly is a good idea. This will make it easier to detect pipes that have become worn out and are causing leakage problems. Also, check for signs of condensation on the pipes, as that can indicate a leak.
13. Blocked Or Slow Drains
Clogged drains are a fairly common problem when materials like soap scum, grease, hair and other items enter the drains. However, if all the drains in your home have this problem or are draining very slowly, there may be a leak in the sewer system.
14. Change In Water Colour
The water from your faucets should be clear, but there may be a sewage leak if it is not. The chances of a leak are high if the water is green, brown or yellow. That being said, sometimes the water may change colour because of other issues, such as corrosion in the system.
What To Do In Case Of A Sewer Leak
If you notice one or more of the signs of a sewer pipe leak mentioned above, it is quite probable that there is a leakage in the sewer system. When you have a broken sewer pipe, the first thing to do is to contact the sewer department or the septic company, depending on the type of installation.
They can send plumbing experts to help determine the exact cause of the leak and even help pump away the waste that may be coming out of the sewage system. Additionally, you can contact an environmental remediation company that can eliminate the waste and raw sewage from your sewer systems in an environmentally safe manner.
Sewer Leak Detection
Knowing the signs that might indicate a sewer leak can make it easy to detect such problems quickly. Timely detection is critical to preventing such issues from becoming much more complicated and harder to deal with later.
Once you’ve determined you have a leaky sewer pipe, the best solution is to call professionals to deal with the issue. But you can try several methods to resolve the problem until they arrive. The most effective way is to sprinkle garden lime over the waste coming out and let it stand for about 24 hours.
This will cause the waste to dry up, and then it can be shovelled into trash bags and disposed of safely. At Fixed Today, we have a team of skilled Sydney plumbers with the latest tools and technology to detect and repair sewer leaks. So if you need assistance, please do not hesitate to speak with us anytime.