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5 Warning Signs Your Sewer Line May Be Breaking

William Koonce
5 Warning Signs Your Sewer Line May Be Breaking

Sewer lines play a significant role in keeping our homes maintained, clean, and functional. However, just like any other household system, they too breakdown over time, and this includes sewer lines. A sewer line will typically serve your home or building for many years. But how do you know if your sewer line is breaking?

In this article, we will give you the top 5 warning signs that indicate your sewer line may be breaking, and you will need the help of professional plumbers.

Sign #1: Water backup

Water backup is one of the most frequent warning signs that your sewer line is breaking. The backup may occur in your shower, sink or toilet and may rise or spill over when you flush.

Despite trying to remove the clog several times, the water backup issue persists. You need to call a professional plumber immediately to inspect your sewer line. The plumber can quickly determine the cause of the water backup and then advise you on what to do next.

Sign #2: Foul smell

Sewer lines have wastes that generate odor. Therefore if you notice a foul smell emanating from your drainage system, this could be an indication that your sewer line is breaking.

The odor could be coming from your basement, bathroom, kitchen or drain. If the smell persists and you cannot locate its source, it is time to call in the professional plumbers to camera inspect your sewer line.

Sign #3: Slow Drains

Slow drains also blockages can manifest in various sections of your home. For example, the sink may take longer to drain the water than is typical, or your toilet may not flush as efficiently.

Slow drains may be caused by debris collected over time, such as soap, grease, hair, food particles, or even tree roots that grow into a sewer line. If you cannot effectively clear the block with chemicals, this may be a warning sign your sewer line is breaking.

Sign #4: Early Maintenance History

Sewer lines need routine maintenance. If your sewer line has seen a lot of maintenance issues and repairs, it may be a warning sign that your sewer line is breaking.

If your sewer line has experienced a lot of damage over the years, it may not be able to withstand its workload for long. In this case, you may need to replace the entire sewer line to avoid experiencing potential damages.

Sign #5: Lawn Changes

Lastly, signs of your sewer line breaking may even manifest outside your home. If you detect an unexplained soggy spot or greener lawn in areas where the grass was not previously greener, this may indicate a sewer line break.

Sewage water will always seek a path of least resistance, which may be within your lawn. If you notice these signs, you need to seek professional plumbing services promptly.


Sewer lines may not be one of the most thought about systems in your home, but they need maintenance and care like other systems. As a homeowner, you should always be aware of the warning signs of a sewer line break.

Some of the signs we've discussed include slow drains, water backup, foul smells, early maintenance history, and changes in your lawn. If you notice one or more of these warning signs, it's time to call in a plumber nearby to conduct a comprehensive sewer line inspection. Failure to do so may lead to further damages and additional expenses in the future.

William Koonce
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