Did you know that the US boasts over 16,000 wastewater treatment plants? These facilities, in turn, connect to 800,000 miles of public sewers. Moreover, they serve about 80% of Americans.
If not for those infrastructures, proper and effective sanitation wouldn’t be possible. Note that poor sanitation is a leading cause of diarrhea and parasitic infections. It even leads to trachoma, a preventable disease resulting in blindness!
All that highlights how crucial your home’s plumbing system is. For the same reason, it’s vital to call a plumber ASAP if it shows signs of disrepair. Otherwise, it may cause unhygienic conditions instead of improving your home’s sanitation.
Don’t worry, though, as we’ve listed the signs telling you it’s time to call a pro. So, keep reading, as you don’t want to delay these necessary plumbing repairs.
1. Multiple Slow Drains
If only a single sink or floor drain takes forever, try using a plunger or a plumber’s snake first. However, if you have several slow drains all over the house, it’s time to call a local plumber.
Multiple slow drains often indicate a clogged or malfunctioning home sewer line. Also known as the sewer main, it’s a massive pipe where all other drain lines in your house dump wastewater. It’s underground, usually in the yard, and links to the public sewer line.
Thus, a blockage in your sewer line can affect many, if not all, of the drains in your house. The longer you put off getting that clog removed, the larger it can get.
That can ultimately result in your wastewater not being able to flow into the public sewer line. It can then reverse course and back up your home’s drains.
Don’t wait for that to happen; find a plumber near you and have the pro remove the clogs ASAP.
2. Slow-Flushing Toilets
Around 60% to 70% of US homes built each year feature two bathrooms. More than 20% even have three of these rooms!
If your home is one of those and the toilet in each takes forever to flush, it’s time to hire a plumber. Simultaneous slow-flushing toilets can signal a clogged main drain.
Please don’t delay getting your drain system checked by a pro, as clogged toilets can overflow. That’s not only disgusting; it can be a health hazard, too, seeing as its job is to channel excrements out of your home. Fecal matter, in turn, can harbor up to 10 million viruses and about a million bacteria per gram.
You don’t want to expose yourself to such dangers, so get your drains cleared ASAP.
3. Sewage or Wastewater Backups
Untreated wastewater, especially sewage (used water contaminated with excrements), is a health hazard. As mentioned above, it can enter your home if you have a clogged sewer main. However, it can also occur due to sanitary sewer overflows (SSOs).
An SSO can result from blockages or malfunctions of municipal sewer lines. The risk of one occurring goes up during foul weather, as too much stormwater can overtax sewer pipes.
When SSOs infiltrate buildings, they often do so through the lowest floor. Unfortunately, in your home, that’s usually the basement.
So, if your basement gets wet and smells foul after heavy rains, call a plumber ASAP. You most likely require emergency plumbing services, including drain cleaning and flood clean-up. Please don’t step on wet floors, as sewage might have contaminated those fluids.
4. Ceiling or Wall Stains
Such stains signal a moisture problem arising from whatever is above it. If it’s the attic, you most likely have a leaking roof. If it’s an upstairs bathroom, a damaged plumbing pipe can be the culprit.
If you can’t identify the source, your best bet is to call a plumber as soon as possible. The professional can perform a leak detection test to confirm you have faulty pipes. The results can also uncover the moisture source’s location.
Regardless of what’s behind the stains, don’t cover them until you’ve fixed the leak source. Otherwise, the seepage will continue and waste all your repair work (and expenses).
5. Stale or Moldy Smells
Excessive indoor moisture can give rise to mold development. These microorganisms, after all, thrive in damp environments. When their spores land on a wet surface, they can reproduce in as little as one to two days.
It’s even worse if the molds grow on materials like wood and paper, as these contain cellulose. The latter is the primary source of nutrients for these microorganisms.
Leaky plumbing pipes enable mold growth by directly making surfaces damp. However, they can also contribute to its development by increasing indoor humidity.
So, if your home has been smelling stale or moldy lately, it’s time to ring up a local plumber.
6. Higher Water Bills Without Apparent Cause
Have your water bills gone up, but you’re sure there’s been no change to your consumption? Then you likely have pipes leaking somewhere.
Contact a plumber if there’s no other possible explanation for your high water bills.
7. A Healthier-Looking Yard
While that may sound awesome, it’s not if the reason is a cracked sewer line. One reason is that damage in this pipe may cause untreated wastewater to leak out into the soil.
Wastewater can make your lawn look “healthier” because it contains nitrogen and phosphorus. Both elements serve as natural fertilizers.
You don’t want that because, first of all, they’re coming from untreated wastewater. That can contaminate not only the surrounding soil but also groundwater. Moreover, it indicates a damaged sewer line; thus, it can also affect your plumbing system.
Don’t forget that sewer smells and sewage attract pests, such as mice and rats.
So, if you can’t explain why your yard looks way better now, it’s likely a plumbing issue. Call your local plumbing professional to inspect and fix your faulty sewer line.
Call a Plumber for These Problems
As you can see, it’s a must to call a plumber if you have multiple slow drains or toilets that take forever to flush. It’s even more critical if you have a burst pipe, drains are backing up, or toilets are overflowing. Likewise, never delay hiring a pro if you suspect leaky pipes or a damaged sewer line.
The sooner a plumber can fix those issues, the less you need to worry about health, hygiene, and sanitation.
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