If your Florida home was built prior to 1975, your plumbing system likely consists of cast iron sewer pipes.
signs your plumbing system is failing
8 Signs Of Cast Iron Sewer Pipe Leaks
Sewer Gas Odor
If you can smell sewer gas in or around your home or building, this is a tell-tale symptom that there is a crack somewhere in your sewer system.
A cracked or leaky sewer pipe behind a wall can cause the humidity levels to rise, as a result a mold problem will begin.
Rats live in sewers and can make their way from your city/main line tie-in to the pipes running behind your walls.
Septic Waste In Yard
An obvious sign that you may have a leaky sewer pipe would be septic waste water pooling in your yard.
More extreme symptoms of sewer pipe corrosion include foundation issues such as cracks in your foundation slab, foundation settlement, and in some cases sinkholes.
An insect infestation may also be a symptom of a broken sewer line. Insects such as cockroaches, palmetto bugs, and sewer flies have a much easier time getting through sanitary sewer cracks into your home than rats.
A slow drain may be a symptom that a blockage is forming which will eventually lead to a sewage backup and water damage to your home.
Note: Beware of using chemical drain cleaners to solve a slow drain or blockage. As the chemical sit in the pipe they will eat away at the cast iron and/or PVC causing corrosion.
Lush Lawn Patches
Since sewage acts as a fertilizer for vegetation, leakage from your main line into the surrounding soil will give the surrounding grass extra nutrients that will result in a lush and extra green appearance.
Experiencing symptoms but haven't filed a claim yet?
Wet and damaged baseboards behind the dishwasher, under sinks, or washing machine; warped wood floors; or loose floor tiles can be inspected for damage, but your pipes might be concealed or under concrete slab.
It's not a matter of "if" but when cast iron pipes will start to deteriorate.
How Dangerous are Sewage Back Ups?
Sewage backups are among one of the worst plumbing problems because of the risk that they present to homeowners and residents. Sewage can spread illness, disease and even death. The National Resources Defense Council reports that nearly 2 million cases of illnesses are caused by sewage contamination each year. Sewage is full of contaminants, viruses, and bacteria that pose a serious threat to people and their pets. In addition, sewage may contain other toxic substances like pesticides, residuals from pharmaceutical drugs, fungi, and protozoan.
Here are a few of the most common bacteria that are found in sewage and what they can do to the human body:
- E. Coli – Causes abdominal cramping, diarrhea, and occasionally death.
- Acanthamoeba – Causes eye, nose, throat, and ear infections.
- Salmonella – Causes abdominal cramping and diarrhea
- Heliobacter Pylori – This leads to an increased chance of ulcers
- Hepatitis – Causes liver infection and liver failure
- Leptospirosis – Creates muscle aches and vomiting