Being a homeowner means having to deal with all aspects of a house’s structure – especially the plumbing. It is all too easy to pay more attention to what we can see than what exists behind walls and underground. However, ignoring your sewer line’s health can have expensive consequences. Being able to recognize the signs of a broken sewer line can help you avoid costly repairs and further issues down the line.

We want to help you understand what the signs of a broken sewer line are, so read on for our comprehensive guide.

How Your Sewer Line Works

Your sewer line is a main, or pipe, that transports wastewater and sewage from your home the sewer system. From there, it is moved to a sewage treatment plant. While the line that moves your home’s wastewater to a treatment plant falls under municipal responsibility, homeowners are responsible for maintaining the pipe from their home to the edge of the property line.

Signs of a Broken Sewer Line

Sewer lines are not immune to damage and may collapse or break, especially if they are older or not well-maintained. There are a number of signs you may notice if a sewer line has broken. In the event of a break, remember to contact a professional sewer technician immediately to avoid further complications.

Slow Drainage

The first thing you will likely notice if your sewer line is broken is a slow drainage, or no drainage, of your tub, sink and toilet – especially if more than one of these fixtures is affected at the same time.

If plunging or cleaning the drains doesn’t remedy the issue, it may be time to call in a professional for an inspection of your sewer line.

Smell of Sewage

Typically, the drains in your home should not have a noticeable or distinctive smell. If your sewer line is broken, you may experience a leak of sewage in or around your home. A pungent and sewage-like smell is a good indicator that there is a break in your sewer line.

Greener or Soggy Lawns

You may be delighted to see that your lawn is lush and thriving, but a suddenly greener lawn may be a sign of a broken sewer line. As sewage acts as a fertilizer, it will create a healthier looking lawn.

Depending on where the break in the sewer line occurs, you may also notice sewage seeping upward into your lawn and creating a soggy mess.

Mold and Mildew

Sewer line breaks in and around your home’s interior can cause mold and mildew spots to form. Pay close attention to ceilings, walls and floors.

Mold and mildew can  damage your home’s interior, exterior and foundation, as well as pose serious health risks to you and your family.


Rodents and insects love to make their homes in sewage pipes. When a break occurs in your sewer line, these pesky pests can squeeze through cracks and gain access to your home.

If you are noticing a sudden influx of rodents and insects, have your sewer line inspected right away to determine if a break is providing them entry into to your home.

Foundation Cracks

While minor cracks in a foundation are expected as a house settles over time, sudden and new cracks may indicate a broken sewer line. Leaking sewage and wastewater can pose a huge threat to the home’s foundation, running the risk of washing away a home’s underpinnings. Though a number of other issues may lead to foundation problems, it’s important to rule out a broken sewer line.

Repairing a Broken Sewer Line

Repairing a broken sewer line is work best left to the professionals.  Peak Sewer & Underground Services can help with all your sewer line needs. Our certified technicians will provide you with expert and high-quality services at affordable prices. Contact our team today.

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