8 Signs Your Sewer Pipe is Damaged

Having a damaged sewer pipe is more than just an aesthetic issue; it’s a health hazard too. Let’s face it; rarely do people conduct regular maintenance on their sewer lines because they’re known to last for a long time. But if your sewer line is anything older than 50 years, then frankly that’s a disaster waiting to happen.

In some cases your sewer line may have been recently installed, but factors such as root intrusion or cracks can prematurely damage your pipe. So, when is the right time to call in a mechanical plumber? The last thing you need is to get to a point where your sewer pipe completely fails. If that happens, you’ll have to pay a tremendous amount to repair it.

In this article we’ll outline a few tell-tale signs that suggest that it’s time to call in the professionals.

Notice Any Strange Odours?

Probably the most obvious sign that your sewer system needs attention is if you can smell sewer odour around your home. We’re certain this unbearable stench alone is enough for you to call in a plumber without waiting a day longer.

Generally, sewer pipes are built to be air tight—save for the vent stacks located on your roof. No amount of odour should escape from these pipes. If you do smell anything then that means there’s a crack somewhere that needs fixing.

Do You Notice Water Backup?

Do you notice a backup each time you flush your toilet bowl or run water down your bath tub or sink? It’s time to call a plumber. Such a situation is undesirable and in some cases the water back up is unsightly.

This usually occurs if water is prohibited from flowing freely in your water pipes. And this is usually caused by some form of blockage in your main sewer lines. Other causes may include tree root intrusions or misaligned pipe connections.

Note that a high frequency of such situations is normally a sign of deteriorating sewer lines, so immediate attention is paramount. This situation can easily be detected through the use of a sewer video inspection by a qualified plumber.

Slow Moving Drain

Another tell-tale symptom of a problematic sewer line is a slow moving drain. Any time you notice water moving ever so slowly in either your sink, toilet or bath tub, it means there’s an obstruction in the sewer line. If left unattended this issue will result in a sewage back-up.

Your first thought may be to use chemical drain cleaners to get the water moving again. Rather not, because this may end up doing more harm than good. Why? These chemicals tend to sit in the pipes and will eventually eat away at the pipes especially if they are made of iron or PVC.

Do You Notice Mould Forming?

As if the stench isn’t enough, you may start noticing unsightly mould forming on your bathroom ceiling or walls. This happens when there’s a break in your sewer lines behind your bathroom walls. The humidity of a particular room only needs to be at least 55% for mould to start growing. And this is a common scenario in most bathrooms, especially after steamy showers.

Anytime you see these mould, call in your plumber ASAP.

Extra Green Grass Patches

Is your grass looking greener than normal, even during dry winter months? That’s definitely a cause for concern. Here’s why; sewage is known to act as fertiliser for your vegetation. So any moment you notice patches of extra green patches, it means there’s leakage in the main lines. And it’s time to call a plumber to investigate this sudden lush vegetation.

Do You Notice Any Indentation in Your Lawn?

If you’ve started to notice any indentation in your lawn or under the pavers, then chances are there’s a sewer problem. When a sewer line is cracked, it causes soil to dissipate. The end result is a dip in your lawn above where the main sewer line runs.

In case you think it’s your puppy that has been doing some digging, check again. Call in a mechanical plumber to inspect the area.

Do You Suddenly Have Rodent Problems?

Nothing invites unwanted four-legged pests onto your premises more than a damaged sewer line. A cracked sewer line is the dream habitat of every rodent because of the stench and cracks. Rats like living in sewers and thanks to the cracks they can invite themselves into your home for dinner.

If you notice an influx of rats around your home, consider calling a plumber right after you dial for pest control services. The plumber will conduct a video inspection of your sewer to find out if there are any entry points in the sewer pipes.

Insects Alert!

Together with rats, you might also notice an increase in the amount of insects around your home. These can be anything from cockroaches to bugs and flies. Much like rats, these insects are also drawn to sewer odour. And they might find their way into your home via the sewer cracks.

We can’t over-emphasise how much of a health hazard both rats and insects are to your family. Again, while you may have contacted pest control services, if the root cause is a compromised sewer line then you’ll need a plumber to rectify that problem.


Whenever you face any of the above-mentioned scenarios, don’t hesitate to call in a plumber. Make sure you contact a reputable company which will thoroughly deal with the situation once and for all, so you can have peace of mind.











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