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Damaged Sewer Line: The Dangers, Warning Signs, And Solutions

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The main sewer line running to the city sewer system is vital to keeping your home's plumbing working. If the line is broken, it could cause water and gases to back up into your house, and it would be a very costly repair. That is why you must know what to look for if a sewer line breaks and what you should do if it happens to you.

The Dangers

A damaged sewer line will immediately expose your house to gases like hydrogen sulfide and methane, which are dangerous if inhaled. These are also gases that are flammable, and having them present runs the risk of starting a fire.

Sewage also poses a potential threat to your health, as it could contain diseases and parasites that can make you ill. Some of those diseases include the following:

  • Salmonella
  • E. coli
  • Pinworms
  • Dysentery
  • Hepatitis
  • Cholera

These are diseases that could enter your body through something as simple as a small cut or by coming in contact with your mouth, nose, or eyes. If sewage is in your home, you need to evacuate it immediately to avoid potential health complications.

The Warning Signs

You will most likely notice a sulfuric smell similar to garbage or rotten eggs, which will be noticeable outside or inside your home. The ground surrounding your home can become wet or squishy, even though it has not rained. Drains will tend to gurgle, and toilets will randomly empty by themselves.

What To Do

You should contact a professional plumber, like Eddie B Plumbing, to diagnose the problem, and then come up with a plan of action for repairing the broken sewer line.

Older ceramic sewer drain tiles tend to break due to old age or tree roots. Your backyard will need to be excavated to get down to the broken sewer line, allowing your plumber to do the necessary repairs. The sewer line will be replaced with a new piece of PVC pipe that will be much more resistant to damage. Once the plumber confirms everything is working properly, the hole will be filled back in by the excavation team.

Check with your insurance company to see if they will pay for the damages. You will need to cover your deductible, but they will pay for the rest of the bill if the reason for the damaged sewer line is covered under your homeowners insurance.

Now that you understand the process of identifying and repairing a broken sewer line, you will be able to take action immediately if it happens to you.


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