Repairing a damaged sewer is one of the most unpleasant tasks of homeownership. Unlike most repairs, repairs cannot be delayed because the main symptom of a damaged sewer – the pungent smell of sewage that can be constant or intermittent – is more than most people can handle!
Leaking sewage also poses a health risk because it flows into the surrounding land and, depending on the mass of water, can even enter the city's water supply.
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Sewer filing sign
If you smell this unpleasant in your home, test your basic installation first. An uncomfortable toilet is a pretty good indicator that the drain is at least clogged.
Turn on bath and shower taps to see if they drain properly. If water starts to pool, there is a problem somewhere in the pipes or drains. Immediately contact a reputable plumber.
There are other signs of fewer odors than a drain problem. Basement flooding is great, especially if it floods every time it rains. Another reason is the drain on the washing machine in the toilet, bath, or shower.
Don't let the lack of smell deter you from calling the plumber, as water problems can quickly cause serious damage, including mold.
The plumber locates the fault by inspecting the drain by running a video camera over the pipe and down the drain.
If the broken portion of the line is outside your property line, the bill will go to the homeowners association or local authorities. But if it's yours, you pay.