10 Symptoms of a Damaged Sewer Pipe

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10 Symptoms of a Damaged Sewer Pipe

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A damaged sewer pipe is a nightmare that no homeowners would want to deal with. From the sewer odour, insect infestation, rodent infestation to clogged drains, it can be a stressful moment. But it is something that you cannot avoid as long as you a plumbing system. The trick is to have the problem fixed immediately to avoid more damages. However, the biggest challenge for most homeowners is identifying the problem.

So how can you tell that your sewer pipe is damaged? Well, it is easy since all you need is to identify the symptoms. Unfortunately, most homeowners cannot identify the common collapsed sewer line symptoms. In this handy guide, we have rounded up some main symptoms of a damaged sewer pipe for you. There are 10 symptoms of a damaged sewer pipe:

Blocked Sewage Pipe

One of the common signs of a broken sewer pipe is the blocked sewage pipe. If you notice that your toilets and sink is clogging very often, then the problem could be a damaged sewer line. When the sewer pipe is damaged, the soil or tree roots will find their way into it. Then the soil will starts building up and will form a stubborn clog in the pipe. At some point, the pipe will become blocked.

Tree roots can enter the sewer pipe through cracks on the pipe to form a stubborn clog. Because of the presence of water and nutrients, roots grow rapidly, and the result is a clogged sewer line. So, if your sanitary sewer pipe is clogged, that’s a symptom of a damaged sewer line. Call a emergency plumber since the cost of unclogging sewer drain UK is affordable.

Mould in House

In an ideal condition, your house should remain dry. But if you notice some changes in the house such as mould growing, you have every reason to get worried. For the mould to grow, it requires moisture. Some moulds will even thrive in humidity level of about 55%. Therefore, any spot in the house that is growing mould indicates a leaking sewer pipe. Therefore, mould is another sign of a broken sewer pipe.

Mould can be in any place in the house as long as there is a sewer line passing next. However, the riskiest place is the bedroom. There are many health risks for having mould in the bedroom, including mould poisoning, asthmatic attack, amongst others. That’s why you should call a plumber to fix the sewer problem immediately.

Sewage Smell in House

Another common sign of a broken sewer line is the sewage smell in the house. This is a very easy symptom to identify because the smell will be all over the house. However, the smell concentration will be more in the bathroom since there are many openings. You are also likely to feel the sewage smell coming from the kitchen sink. That is a sign that the entire sanitary sewer line has been compromised.

So if the bathroom smells like sewer gas, it is a sign that the sewer line is damaged. What happens is that the odour from the sewer does not have another way to escape from but through your bathroom and another open point connect to the sewer pipe. The only solution is to call a professional plumber to fix the damaged line and unclog the system.

Slow Draining


How has your draining been behaving? Have you seen signs of slow draining? Well, if you notice a slow draining toilet, then this is a sign of a broken sewer line. What happens when a sewer pipe is broken is that silt builds up inside the pipe. Sometimes, tree roots can also enter the piper through the cracks of the broken part.

The build-up of the silt reduces the diameter of the pipe. In the long run, the diameter will be too small to the large volume of sewer from the house to pass. That is when you experience a slow shower drain and slow draining sink. You could also have slow draining bathroom sink. All these are signs of a damaged sewer pipe. Call your plumber to fix the problem.

Dark Green Patched of Grass

Another symptom of a damaged sewer pipe is patched of dark green grass in your yard. In most cases, damages to the sewer line may have happened far from the house. There are cases when the damages have been identified on the yard. If you notice that there are dark green spots in the grass, it is a sign of a water leak.

When the pipes break, the sewer water from the house will start leaking to the surrounding soil. This water is very rich in nutrients. That is why the grass over the damaged spot is usually healthier than the rest of the grass in the yards. Call your plumber to fix the damaged sewer line. With the problematic area having been identified, it will be easy to rectify the problem.

Sunken Garden


If you see a sunken garden in your yard, you need to check if it lies along the sewer line. If it is over your sewer pipe, then it means that the pipe might be damaged at the point. In most cases, when the pipe is broken, it sucks the soil over it. That is when a sunken garden forms in your yard.

The sunken garden drainage issue can cause a huge problem in your sanitary sewer line. It can cause total clogging of the sewer line. The only way to deal with the problem is by hiring a professional and equipped plumber to handle this job.

Rat problems


Most people may not have realised it, but a rate problem may be a sign of a damaged sewer line. Rats live in sewers where they scavenge for food. So they are also in your sanitary sewer line but cannot move past the drain to access your home. However, if there are cracks in the sewer pipe, an average rat can squeeze its self out through a tiny crack.

So if you notice an increase in the number of rats in your house or the yard, then you need to check for a damaged sewer line. If not fixed immediately, you might experience a severe rate infestation in your homes. That means you’ll have a rat problem in the garden. So you need to hire a professional plumber to fix the cracked pipe.

Foundation Cracks, Sinkholes and Settlement


Foundation cracks, sinkholes and settlement are some extreme signs of a broken or damaged sewer pipe. These problems usually happen when a leaking sewer line goes unnoticed or untreated for a long time. For the wetting of the concrete, a void will be created, and that’s when cracks and sinkholes will start developing.

Depending on the weak lines in your house structure, the foundation or settlement cracks could also extend to the walls. So if notice sinkholes in the house basement, it could be because of cracked sewer pipe in the basement. First, you need a plumber to fix the cracked sewer line. Second, you will have to hire a concrete contractor to fix the foundation sinkholes and cracks.

Water Pooling

Water pooling is another symptom of a damaged sewer pipe. When a sewer line is broken, it is likely to form sinkholes or garden holes. When you flush water in the toilet, shower or drain water down the sink drain, the water is likely to come out through cracks to the sinkholes to form water pooling. So if you notice water pooling on patio or water pooling in driveway and there is a sewer line under it, that’s a symptom of a damaged sewer pipe. Contact your plumber to fix the problem before the entire sewer system clogs.

Insect Infestation


Last but not least is the insect infestation. If you notice an increase in the number of insects in your home including sewer flies, cockroaches, silverfish and so on, that is a symptom of a broken sewer line. Like rats, these insects can get through the cracks of sewer pipes into your house.

Unfortunately, sewer insects expose you to serious health issues. Therefore, if you are experiencing a fly infestation or silverfish infestation amongst others, contact a professional plumber immediately. They will help you identify where the pipe is damaged and fix it.

Tips to Avoid Further Sewer Pipe Damage

There are several ways that homeowners can avoid further sewer pipe damage. First, hire a professional plumber to determine the cause of the problem and have it fixed permanently. Second, have the whole sewer line inspected by a qualified, professional and well-equipped plumbing company such as BDS Drainage for any problem. That’s how you ensure that your sewer line is in good working order.


A damaged sewer pipe exposes your home to a lot of health risks. However, it’s something that you can’t avoid, especially with an old sewer line. Just make sure you can identify the signs before the condition gets worse. This guide provides some of the most common symptoms you should look out for. Contact a quality, professional plumber to fix the problem and inspect the entire sewer line.

Symptoms of a Damaged Sewer Pipe

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