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10 Signs of a Broken Sewer Line & Prevention Tips

signs of a broken sewer line

No one wants to think about their sewer line, but it's important to be aware of the signs that indicate a broken sewer line.

A broken sewer line can cause a multitude of problems, from sewage backups to insect and rodent infestations. Here are 10 signs that you may have a broken sewer line:

What are the signs of a damaged sewer pipe?

1. Sewage Backups

One of the most obvious—and unpleasant—signs of a broken sewer line is sewage backup. If you notice sewage coming up through your drains, it's important to call a professional right away as this could indicate a serious problem with your sewer line.

2. Foul Odors

Another sign of a broken sewer line is foul odors coming from your drains or in your home generally.

If you notice an unpleasant smell that you can't seem to get rid of, it could be time to call a professional to take a look at your sewer line.

3. Slow Drains

Slow drains are often caused by clogs, but they can also be indicative of a bigger problem like a broken sewer line.

If you've tried clearing your drains and they're still running slowly, it's best to call in a professional to take a look.

Do you have a slow drain in your home? Check out our drain cleaning services

4. Multiple Clogs

Frequent clogs can also be indicative of a larger problem with your sewer line. If you find yourself constantly dealing with clogged drains, it may be time to have your sewer line inspected by a professional.

5. Mold

Mold growth can be caused by many things, but one possibility is leaking sewage. If you notice mold growth in your home, especially in areas near your drains, it's important to have a professional take a look to see if there's a bigger issue at play.

6. Gurgling Toilets

If you hear gurgling sounds coming from your toilet, it could be a sign that there's air in your sewer line.

This usually indicates that there's been some kind of damage to the line that has allowed air to get in and create pockets of trapped air.

7. Foundation Cracks

Cracked foundations are often caused by ground movement, but they can also be caused by leaks in your sewer line.

If you notice cracks in your foundation, especially if they're accompanied by other signs on this list, it's best to have them inspected by a professional as soon as possible.

8. Lush Patches of Grass

Have you noticed patches of grass that seem unnaturally green or lush? It could be due to leaking sewage from a broken pipe underground fertilizing the area above ground!

If you see patches of grass that seem out-of-place, make sure to have them checked out so you can determine the cause and take appropriate action.

9. Lawn Indentations and Sagging Pavement

Sinking or sagging pavement can also be caused by leaking sewage underground causing the soil to erode away over time.

This can lead to dangerous sinkholes forming, so it's important to have any suspicious indentations or sink holes inspected immediately.

10 Insect or Rodent Infestation

Last but not least ,one of the most obvious signs that something is wrong with your sewer line is an infestation of insects or rodents .

If you start seeing insects or rodents where they shouldn't be, it's likely due to leaks or openings in your sewer pipe giving them access into your home .

Call our exterminator in Somerville right away if you think you may have an infestation ,and have them inspect your property for any potential entry points .

Protect Your Sewer Lines With This Preventive Maintenance

1. Know where your cleanout is located

In the event of a clog, your cleanout is the best way to quickly and easily remove any blockages.

It's important to know where your cleanout is before you need it so that you're not scrambling around in an emergency situation.

If you're unsure where your cleanout is located, ask a professional or call your local utility company for help.

2. Inspect your cleanout regularly

Take a look at your cleanout at least once a year to make sure that it's clear of any debris. If you notice any blockages, use a plunger or Snake tool to remove them immediately.

Recurring blockages may be an indication of a more serious problem further down the line and should be addressed by a professional.

3. Don't flush anything other than toilet paper down the toilet.

While it may seem like common sense, flushing foreign objects down the toilet is one of the most common ways that sewer lines become blocked.

Toilet paper is designed to break down quickly and will cause minimal problems for your sewer line.

However, things like feminine hygiene products, baby wipes, and paper towels don't break down as easily and can create big problems in your pipes.

4. Schedule regular drain cleaning services.

Even if you're diligent about what goes down your drains, they will eventually become clogged with built-up grease and grime.

Scheduling regular drain cleaning services will help keep your lines flowing freely and prevent serious problems down the road.

Do you have a leakage on your commercial property? Our commercial plumbing services can help

Hire our 24 hours Emergency Service in Somerville, MA

Businesses and homeowners in Somerville can rest assured that our team of highly trained professionals will be there to help when they need it most.

We know the importance of being prepared, which is why we offer a wide range of services to meet the needs of our customers.

From monthly maintenance plans to one-time repairs, we have a solution for everyone.

And if you're ever in need of emergency service, we'll be there for you 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

So don't wait until the next storm hits to call us. We're always here to help.


These are just 10 signs that indicate you may have a broken sewer pipe somewhere on your property.

If you noticed any of these signs, it's important not to act quickly and call in a professional excavator who specializes in fixing broken sewer lines.

Ignoring these problems will only make them worse and could lead to costly repairs down the road. Not sure where to start?

Feel free to reach out to us here at Somerville Plumber Pros and we would be happy to help assess the situation and develop the best plan of action for repair moving forward. Thank you for reading!

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