How to Locate a Sewer Line on Your Property
You probably noticed some weird smell in your home and now want to know how to find sewer line issues that may be causing it. Locating the sewer line will help you determine if the bad smell is from a leaking sewer pipe or clogs.
All your indoor drains flow into the sewage system, which you might not know how to locate if you are not the house’s first owner. However, you can ask the previous owner, check with the municipality, or call a professional plumber.
Other homeowners figure out where the drain line passes and dig to reach it. However, this method is risky, but you can get professional and experienced Clover Services plumbers who know how to install and repair the sewer line. Before identifying a sewer line, let’s first look at the components of the sewage system.
The Main Parts of a Sewer Line
Before knowing how to locate sewer line components, it is essential first to understand what the sewage system consists of. Knowing the main parts can also help you figure out where each component is, making it easier to locate the pipes.
The main parts of the sewage system are as follows:
When you flush your toilet or let water flow down the kitchen sink, it flows through the pipes into the septic tank. These pipes are installed in the buildings and extend to the backyard to transport the waste.
2. Septic Tank
Once the waste flows through the pipes from the building, they deposit in a septic tank. The tanks are mainly fiberglass, concrete, or polythene, dug underground. The tank stores wastewater and lets all the solids settle at the bottom.
It also has a T-shaped outlet to ensure no waste flows outside. The tank manufacturers also use screens to prevent overflowing until the waste goes to the drain field.
3. Drain Field
The wastewater from the septic tank flows into the drain field, and the soil around treats it. If the wastewater is too much and the drain field gets fully soaked, some water flows into the ground. There should be an extra drain field for backup if the main one fills up.
The wastewater from the drain field flows into the soil for cleansing. The ground contains microbes that remove viruses, bacteria, and other harmful nutrients in the wastewater. Once the cleansing is over, the water can join the groundwater.
How Do I Find The Sewer Line On My Property?
Finding the sewer line for your property seems complicated until you try. You can start by contacting the previous owner, talking to the municipality, locating the septic tank, or hiring a plumber to dig in the backyard. Let us look at these methods in-depth.
Contacting the Previous Owner
If the previous owner was the home’s first owner, they probably were present during the construction and know where the plumber laid the sewer line. You can get their contact information from the municipal tax records.
Besides being the initial owner of the home, the previous owner might have also had a problem with the sewage system and knew where it was. If you cannot get their contact credentials, ask your neighbors if they know anything about the sewer line placement.
Check for the Septic Tank
Once you locate the septic tank, you can find the sewer lines. They flow from your basement, and plumbers generally fix them away from growing trees to prevent root damage. The sewer line follows in a straight line from the basement to the tank. You can dig small holes around the places you suspect the line, but be careful not to damage them.
Also, the burial depth for sewer lines depends on the municipality, so if you dig past 24 inches and cannot see the line, it probably is not around that area.
Contact the Municipality
If your sewer pipes have burst and are causing odors to the home, you need immediate repair. Contact the municipality to locate your sewer pipe. The municipal councils keep maps for different properties’ sewer lines to help the new homeowners if they need repairs.
Hire A Plumber To Check And Dig
If you are patient with finding your sewer line, you can hire a plumber to dig the ground. They will locate the pipe’s exit from the basement and follow it. This helps you narrow down the possible areas to search the line. The plumber can also aim to locate the pipes from the toilet or connect from the kitchen sink because they know for sure that those pipes lead to the drainage system. Check for the areas where the pipes meet and connect to a larger line.
The larger drain pipe leads to the septic tank and is your main sewer line. The plumber should dig the ground carefully to ensure they don’t cut the drainage pipes when finding the small ones.
Use a Pipe Locator
If you are curious about knowing how to find your sewer line more quickly, try using the pipe locator. You can buy one from your nearest store and set the transmitter. You should also set the locator wand to identical frequencies to the transmitter.
Fix the detector 15 feet into a drain, but avoid putting it in a toilet. The devices work poorly when submerged in water. When using the sensor on the ground, ensure the wand is pointed vertically at the ground. You should then rotate the pipe locator until you hear a beep that gets louder at the end of the pipe. It will also have arrows to show you the direction the line flows. Ensure you mark the pipe’s location with a flag or something significant.
To be sure about the line’s location, repeat this procedure two to three times and place flags at the points where you locate the sewer line. You can then call a plumber to dig, find the leaking pipe, and replace it.
Knowing how to find sewer line sounds complicated, but it is straightforward. To make things easier, you can ask the previous owner where the sewer line is before they move out. You can also use the municipal council and plumbers to locate the sewer line.
Photo by Korie Jenkins on Unsplash