If your home is more than 20 to 25 years old, chances are good that you've got cast-iron plumbing pipes. If you do, you're likely going to be looking at some serious plumbing issues in the coming years. That's because cast-iron pipes aren't designed to last forever. In fact, if they've lasted this long, they're probably getting ready to rupture.
Unfortunately, you can't always tell when there are problems underground. In fact, you could have a ruptured sewer line and not even know it until the symptoms started presenting themselves. By then, the damage is done. If you suspect that your cast-iron sewer pipes are about to rupture, take a look at the list below. If you're experiencing any of those issues already, it's time to call your plumber. You've probably got a ruptured sewer line. Here are a few signs you need water main repair.
Cracks in the Foundation
Because your sewer lines run under your house, the damage will usually present itself from the soil up. If the broken sewer line is located under your home, the soil is going to get saturated and start seeping up through the foundation. When that happens, the concrete will begin to deteriorate and you'll start noticing cracks in the foundation that weren't there before. If you're starting to see new cracks in the foundation, or the cracks you've already noticed are starting to get bigger, you need to have your sewer lines inspected.
Sinkholes in the Yard
Not all of your sewer lines run under your home. Some of them run through your yard, as well. That's why it's important that you also keep an eye out for changes in your yard. As the soil becomes saturated with water from the leaking pipe, your yard may develop sinkholes. Those sinkholes are a sure sign that you've got a leaking sewer line under there. Don't wait until the problem gets too big. As soon as you notice sinkholes developing in your yard, have a plumber come out and take a look at your sewer lines.
Rodents in Your Toilets
You probably don't want to think about this, but rodents can travel through broken sewer lines. You might not realize this, but full-grown rats can squeeze through a space about the size of a quarter. If you find a rat in your toilet, there's a strong possibility that it found a hole in your sewer pipe and squeezed through. Once it was in the sewer pipe, it crawled through to your toilet. Don't wait for another rat to come for a visit. Call your plumber immediately.