Dealing with a sewer pipe leak is more complicated than other household problems. For one, there is no way of telling if you have a busted underground pipe on your hands.
Unlike having circuit breaker issues or observing appliance breakdowns, sewer pipe leak detection is more complex. The lack of direct access to pipes limits your options for observing the symptoms of a sewer pipe leak.
Sadly, many homeowners need to learn how to detect sewer pipe damage. As a result, what should have been a simple pipe repair often escalates into a full-blown installation.
But fear not!
Drain Magic is here to help you uncover the five signs that your underground pipes are leaking.
How to Determine If a Sewer Pipe Is Leaking?
Sewer pipe leaks can happen for a lot of reasons.
For houses built before the ’60s, age and degradation may be the culprit behind busted cast-iron pipes. While for more modern properties, pressure and root growth may damage the underground drainage system.
Since there is no straightforward method for sewer pipe leak detection, here are five telltale signs you have pipe damage:
One of the easiest ways to detect a sewage leak is through your sense of smell. While concrete or soil masquerades the damage’s visibility, sewer pipe leaks tend to reveal themselves through an unpleasant odor.
Remember: sewer pipes not only carry water but even sewage or wastewater.
The rotting smell of liquid and mold and mildew escapes through the pipe cracks and penetrates any obstruction. Usually, the pungent smell is most prominent in basements, but the walls may also give subtle hints.
Wet patches in the yard
Sewer pipes are located beneath the ground, so observing your lawn should be your next instinct.
A pipe leak may show its signs on your lawn in either one of two ways:
- Wet patches or a questionable puddle in the yard
- Lawn patches or greener grass in a particular area
Wet patches occur due to waterlogging due to the leak. This happens when sewage fills the air spaces in the soil, soaking the patch of land.
Conversely, greener lawn patches may directly result from sewer pipe leaks. Since sewage contains fecal matter, it may be a fertilizer that boosts plant growth.
You likely have a sewer pipe leak on your hand when you observe either of these.
Presence of pests
If there is one thing all homeowners hate, it’s probably pests. Unfortunately, sewer pipe leaks can bring pests to your household on a silver platter.
Pests are water-loving creatures. Standing water, damp floors or drips act like bait to common household pests like:
As for insect pests, they need moist surroundings to survive by keeping their bodies from drying out. While rodents like mice and rats may travel and pass through damaged pipes, invading your humble abode.
Gurgling happens when an object or debris blocks your drainage system. For instance, overgrown tree roots may have damaged and blocked your pipe, causing a leak and bottleneck in the flow. However, you may interpret the gurgling sound in two ways in this scenario:
- There is a minor block in the pipe’s internals, which you may resolve with DIY methods.
- Significant pipe damage not only blocked the water’s passageway but also cracked the pipe.
The most obvious way to spot gurgling pipes is to listen every time you drain water in the household. Another is by observing how long it takes to drain water. A slow drain likely suggests a block but not necessarily a leak.
Looking for other telltale signs before coming up with a conclusion is essential.
Increased water bills
Finally, increased water bills are the final culprit behind sewer pipe leaks.
Water usage is typically similar across months, but when you notice a spike in your bills, a sewer pipe leak may have caused it. Even with your faucets and fixtures closed, pipe leaks initiate your meter to run. This results in a significant uptick in water bills.
Sewer pipe leaks are a headache to handle. With the awareness of how to spot them, one may notice the problem unattended until it escalates. In this case, you may have to pay for a repair and a complete installation.
If you need help with your underground drain pipe leak, Drain Magic can help. Book an appointment here and let’s get your sewer system back to shape.