Broken sewer lines are hard to notice for obvious reasons. The leakage could go on for months and only get a homeowner’s attention when the signs of trouble become too hard to ignore.
Aside from causing costly damage to your home, damaged sewer pipes also bring potential health risks and other problems for your family, such as bad odor, seepage and so on. While early detection and repair is the best way to manage a sewage-related problem, preventing it altogether can save you both time and money and avoid unnecessary stress and anxiety.
Here’s how to go about inspecting and fixing damaged and clogged sewer lines.
Look for Damage
The unbearable drain clogging notwithstanding, broken sewage pipes also make the air around the house unbreathable. This can be particularly distressing for families with children and the elderly.
If you can, find the blockage that’s obstructing the flow of your sewage system—use the stink to lead you to the source. Another easy way to spot the damage is by looking for seepage around the house—sometimes if the seepage is fairly new and there is no bad odor yet, careful inspection is the only way to find the trouble-causing pipes.
If you find that the damage can be fixed with the tools you have at home, don’t waste time. Else, if it seems like more than you can handle or if you simply don’t want to get your hands dirty, call for a professional plumber as soon as possible.
Are you in need of a sewer pipe repair? Do note that any digging is best left to a trained plumbing team to avoid damage to surrounding pipes and/or wiring. Professionals who ae well-versed in sewage repair know what excavation equipment to use at which place, so you need not worry about damage to your flooring or underground utilities.
If you find that the cause of leakage lies beyond the boundaries of your property, it’s best to inform the local municipal office so that repairs can be carried out in time.
Clean the Line
Once you find the point of damage, you could try clearing the line so that the flow of wastewater can be resumed partially if not completely. If it’s only some debris that’s clogging the pipe, you can clean it using a plumber’s snake. As the term indicates, it is a snake-shaped tool that can be easily maneuvered through the drain lines to move the debris out of the way.
Again, if you’re wary of the idea of cleaning a sewage pipe manually, call for help.
Fix the Damage
Evidently, you have come to this step because you had no qualms about cleaning the pipe on your own. The next step is to take out the broken drain pipe and replace it with a new one. If the leakage occurred because of a break in the joints, it can be fixed using a pipe sealing material such as epoxy (for plastic or metal pipes) or mortar (for concrete pipes).
If repair is not possible, you may need to call for replacement pipes. Remember that drain pipes that are beyond repair are better taken out as forced repairs will only work for a short while, causing you even more trouble in the weeks to come.