Plumbing problems are one of the most disliked of all homeowner issues. No one wants something as important as plumbing to suddenly become unavailable. In addition, a sewage backup or broken pipe can cause extensive damage in a very short period of time. Luckily, most problems do not suddenly appear. Many issues with sewer lines start with small signals that the conscientious homeowner can easily detect and address before the problem becomes destructive.
Potential Problems to Watch Out For
Some issues are not always urgent enough to need instant plumbing assistance. The occasional plunge is necessary in nearly any home, but toilets that require plunging frequently may be a signal of a worn or rusted pipe that is continuously catching solid material. Make certain that no one in the home is overusing toilet tissue, flushing any products like wipes or tampons, or using the toilet to flush away cat litter. If these issues do not seem to be causing the problem and the toilet still continues to need to be plunged more than once a month, contact a plumber.
Signals to Take Seriously
Gurgling: One of the most concerning issues with a toilet is when it begins to gurgle. This sound can happen when the toilet is flushed or when other plumbing is used in the house. The sound is often the sign of a line that has been clogged by tree roots. When this happens, the roots will have grown through the pipe and are allowing air to enter the sewer line. It also means that sewage may be spilling into the ground as well. This is a serious issue that needs to be cleared away as soon as possible to prevent the line from being totally blocked and the yard from becoming ruined.
Odors: Sewer smells coming from a clean toilet are also serious. Not only are they unpleasant to live with, they could be dangerous because of the methane gas that is being released into the home. This is a sign of a potential sewer line blockage and it needs to be addressed as soon as possible. A drain cleaning company can easily remove the clog and eliminate the smell, but they will need to inspect the toilet for cracks and the drain pipes and seals for leaks first to eliminate these areas as potential sources of the problem.
Annual drain cleaning, updating old plumbing and being knowledgeable about what is and what is not acceptable to put down sewer lines can help to reduce many plumbing worries. Some attempts to repair problems alone can result in additional damage. Plumbing snakes can damage older toilets or break lines that are already old or corroded. Commercial drain cleaning products are hazardous to the skin and eyes and can damage PVC pipes and wax seals around toilets. Use all home remedies with caution and do not risk more damages by waiting too long for professional help.