Know the Signs & Solutions: Sewer Leak Detection

Sewer line leaks are among the hardest problems to detect, as most sewer lines reside between two and three feet underground. It can take days, weeks, or even months for a sewer line leak to make itself known above the surface of your yard. Couple that with the fact that no one pays attention to their sewer lines until there is a blockage or worse, a sewer backup in their home.

We all know what to look for when it comes to identifying a sewer line clog, with slow drains, toilets that don’t completely flush, and the smell of raw sewage being the typical signs. Sewer leak detection is not as easy as locating and removing a sewer line clog, and if not caught early can go on to cause thousands of dollars in water damage.

How Do I Know I Have a Sewer Leak?

That is the “Million Dollar Question,” and quite often, a sewer leak will manage to keep itself hidden, either underground or under your home. One of the first signs a homeowner usually has that there is a sewer line problem starts with the “Big 3” we mentioned above, along with gurgling sounds whenever water is draining. Any of these symptoms are a good reason for a sewer leak detection service call, but there are a few other symptoms that can tip the homeowner off to a possible sewer issue.

Soggy Soil/Really Green Section of Lawn: These symptoms usually show up as a team and will often make the part of your lawn that passes over the sewer line extraordinarily green and lush. The glow of this “benefit” will quickly wear off as the sewer line continues to leak until the soil above it becomes soggy and wet with wastewater, creating the possibility of forming a sinkhole.

Bugs and Other Critters: Insects and rodents love to make their home inside of a broken sewer line, as it allows for steady water supply as well as a great hiding spot to raise their family. If rats can get into your sewer line, it’s just a matter of time before they get into your house, possibly bringing other vermin and diseases along with them.

Cracked Slabs and Drywall: As previously mentioned, sewer line leaks can cause the soil beneath your house to shift, creating cracks in your concrete slab. The first sign of a slab issue caused by a sewer leak is cracking in the drywall around the home.

How Does a Plumbing Company Perform Sewer Leak Detection?

One of the biggest misconceptions is that sewer leak detection can always be done with only a video camera inspection of the line. While our high definition video cameras can detect a sewer leak caused by root infiltration (where tree roots surround and crush a sewer line), cracks in the pipe itself cannot be detected this way.

Proper sewer leak detection includes hydrostatic testing in addition to a sewer line video inspection. By closing off drains throughout the home and pressurizing the sewer line with air, any loss of pressure is the final symptom to confirm you need a sewer line repair.

Nick’s Plumbing and Air Conditioning Service offers sewer leak detection to Houston and the surrounding areas. For any issues with your drain or sewer lines, call the licensed and experienced experts at Nick’s for a cost evaluation or second opinion on any sewer line maintenance, repair, or installation.

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