Signs of a Sewer Line Issue

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You probably don’t give your sewer lines a second thought. Even people who are vigilant about other parts of their home plumbing — like drains, pipes, and fixtures — don’t worry about sewers until something has gone visibly, and often terribly, wrong. However, like the rest of your home, your sewer lines will often warn you when something’s wrong. Here’s how to decipher the warning signs, and when to call Ace Plumbing.

Sewers 101: Your Lines, in Brief

First, let’s take a quick look at how your sewers work. Your main line is only one part — albeit the biggest one — in the system. Think of it like the trunk of a tree. There are several branches off that tree, handling drainage from multiple points in your home. Your sinks, toilet, washing machine, and dishwasher are all “branches” off that trunk. You may also have floor drains and/or a sump pump in your basement. Any part of that system, from branches to trunk, can be subject to clogs, wear, and other types of failure.

Warning Signs of a Sewer Line Problem

So how do we know if there’s a possible sewer line issue? According to Angie’s List, drainage rates are one common sign. If you’re seeing something drain slower than usual (or not at all), address the clog. Anything that can clog a branch line like your kitchen sink — like food or grease — can also accumulate in the larger main line.


Another sign is water back-flowing, especially when something hasn’t been in use. If your sink drains but you’ve got water seeping up through your tub drain, call us. It’s also time to pick up the phone if you hear gurgling in the pipes when you run the sink or dishwasher, or when you flush the toilet. And if you notice a funky odor that can’t be traced to the usual culprits, that could be your sewers acting up.


Other causes can be less apparent because they’re taking place outside the home. Tree roots growing into sewer lines are a common problem, and we’ve also seen issues after roads were re-surfaced because of the vibrations caused by compactors and heavy machinery. These outdoor issues can manifest by ground moisture or wetness, odd smells, and the like.

Sewer Line Repairs

Minor clogs can often be addressed with a plunger, but when you’re dealing with a clogged or damaged main, it’s a whole other story. That’s when you want to call for expert sewer repair in Sacramento. Ace Plumbing performs video inspection and hydro-jetting to diagnose and fix sewer problems, and we also work with septic systems. Needless to say, if your issues are inside the house, we can also handle drain cleaning and clearing.


Maybe you’re not sure whether you need sewer repair. Sometimes you feel a bit silly picking up the phone in case your issue ends up being something minor. Don’t worry. Pick up the phone and call us. We’re here to help, not to judge. Some of these warning signs can be misread, but if you’re right, the problems they portend are much better taken care of sooner than later. You can reach Ace Plumbing at (916) 455-4548 24/7/365.