There are many problems that could occur with your sewer system.

If you’re like most people, you probably don’t think about your home’s sewer system all that often. But when something goes wrong with your sewer system, it’s almost impossible to think about anything else. At Culler Plumbing Services, we want to help you be ready for any and all problems that can occur with your plumbing system, and sewer problems are no exception. But in order for you to be prepared for the worst, you need to understand what it is and what can cause it. That’s why our experts have come up with the following guide on the most common sewer problems and what causes them.

#1. Tree roots infiltrating your sewer line

If there are trees located close to your sewer line, it’s important to note that the roots can cause major damage. As a general rule, trees should be planted no closer than 10 feet to your sewer line. Why so far away? Tree roots seek out water and will grow towards it, which means that even if you give your trees a few feet to grow around your sewer line, they could still damage it. In addition to planting trees at least 10 feet away from your sewer line, you should also make it a point to water your trees properly to avoid the need to seek additional water sources. And, it can also help to avoid planting water-loving trees, like silver maples and willows.

#2. Leaking, cracked or collapsed sewer line

When the ground surrounding your sewer line shifts, it can cause your sewer line to crack, leak or even collapse completely. This problem is especially common for homeowners who have older plumbing systems. But what causes the ground to shift in the first place? The soil around your home absorbs water, and when it does, it causes it to expand by as much as 10 percent. When the soil is dry once more, it will cause it to contract. Drainage problems, as well as soil erosion, can also lead to cracked, leaked or collapsed sewer lines.


#3. Your sewer line has bellied

A “sewer line belly” occurs when parts of the sewer line start to sag as a result of soil erosion, poor soil compaction, foundation settlement or earthquakes. The pipe will start to sag, and water will start pooling in the “belly.” This can become a serious problem when debris starts to collect in the belly and clog your sewer line.

#4. Clogs or blockages

Just like the toilets and drains in your home can become clogged, so can your sewer line. Sewer line clogs can be particularly unpleasant because they are often accompanied by backups, which not only lead to a huge mess but can also put your health at risk. What causes clogs and blockages to form in your sewer line? Two of the main causes of clogs include flushing the wrong things down your toilet and putting the wrong things down your garbage disposal.

intext1#5. Pipe deterioration or corrosion

If you live in an older home that has an older plumbing system, there’s a chance that your sewer line could deteriorate or corrode over time, particularly if it is made of anything but PVC. The seals in older sewer lines have also been known to break, allowing water to escape into the surrounding dirt. If left to spread, that excess moisture in the soil can cause it to expand, as we talked about earlier, which can put even more pressure on your sewer line.

How do you prevent sewer line problems?

Many of the sewer line problems we’ve discussed can leave you with a lot of expensive damage to your home and property, but luckily, they are also widely preventable. While your Belleville plumber can’t do anything about soil erosion or foundational shifts, we can provide you with the sewer line camera inspections you need to ensure that your sewer line is functioning properly and in great shape. With many of these problems, the earlier you can catch them, the easier and more cost effective they are to fix. In our next blog, we’ll be going over some early warning signs that indicate a sewer problem, so that you can get the plumbing services you need right away. Stay tuned, and contact us if you have a sewer line problem on your hands.