How to Diagnose a Cracked Y-Connector in a Sewer Line How to Diagnose a Cracked Y-Connector in a Sewer Line

What You'll Need
Shovel
Pipe wrench
Sewer camera

There are many things that can cause a Y-connector on a sewer pipe to crack. If there seems to be a problem with the plumbing in a house, here are a few steps to take to diagnose if the problem may be a crack in the sewer line.

Step 1 – Use Your Sense of Smell

If there is a strong sewer smell in the house or even outside, that may be a sign that there is a sewer line leakage.

Step 2 – Look for Shifting or Settling

Inspect the walls of the foundation for cracks or uneven walls. Cracks can develop when a foundation shifts which can be the result of excessive water in the soil and possibly from a cracked pipe. Since a crack in a sewer line can dump high quantities of water into the soil, a puddle may also develop in the yard above the crack in the pipe. The water laden soil may cause sink holes to develop in one’s yard as well.

Step 3 – Check the Plumbing Fixtures in the House

A typical symptom of a sewer pipe crack is a weak flushing or burping toilet, a well as water bubbling back up through shower and tub drains.

Step 4 – Use a Sewer Camera

If any of the above steps reveal symptoms of a possible sewer line leak, a special sewer camera can be inserted into the pipe to confirm that a crack exists. Usually a licensed plumber will be able to provide and operate one of these cameras, but there are some plumbing stores that rent them for do-it-yourselfers to use. Simply use a pipe wrench to open the pipe access valve and insert the camera. Slide the camera through the pipe carefully inspecting it for cracks.

Step 5 – Dig Up the Pipe

If all else fails, it may be necessary to dig up the pipe and inspect it by hand for a leak. Dig down to the pipe where the leak is thought to be (usually beneath a sink hole or puddle) and look at the outside of the pipe. Have someone inside the house flush the toilet and the leak should become immediately apparent.

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