The Essential Guide to Sewer Line Services: What It Means for Your Home

By Brian on May 27, 2024


What is sewer line service? Simply put, sewer line service includes the inspection, cleaning, repair, and replacement of the pipes that carry wastewater from your home to the municipal sewer system or septic tank. Proper sewer line functioning is crucial because it keeps your home’s plumbing system in top shape, preventing messy and costly backups and leaks.

Here’s why sewer line service is essential:

  • Prevents clogged drains: Ensures your sinks, toilets, and showers drain efficiently.
  • Avoids property damage: Prevents water damage and mold growth in your home.
  • Protects health: Reduces risks of exposure to harmful sewage waste.

Regular maintenance of your sewer line can save you from expensive emergency repairs and unpleasant surprises. In this guide, we’ll discuss what sewer line service involves, the common issues it can help resolve, and why it’s vital to keep your home’s plumbing in optimal condition.

Sewer Line Service Infographic - what is sewer line service infographic process-5-steps-informal

What is Sewer Line Service?

Sewer line service is a crucial aspect of maintaining your home’s plumbing system. It involves inspecting, cleaning, repairing, or replacing the pipes that carry wastewater from your home to the municipal sewer system or a septic tank.

Home Plumbing

Your home’s plumbing system is like the veins in your body. Just as veins carry blood, the plumbing system carries water and waste. The sewer line is a key part of this system, ensuring that waste is efficiently transported away from your home.

When your sewer line is functioning properly, you likely won’t think about it. But when things go wrong, you’ll notice—clogged drains, foul odors, and even water damage can occur.

Waste Management

The primary function of your sewer line is waste management. It handles everything from the water you use for washing dishes to the waste flushed down your toilets. This makes it essential to keep it in good shape to avoid backups, leaks, and other issues.

Did you know? According to This Old House, clay sewer pipes found in older homes are particularly susceptible to damage from tree roots. This is a common issue that sewer line services can address.

Why It Matters

Ignoring sewer line issues can lead to severe consequences. For example, a clogged sewer line can cause wastewater to back up into your home, creating unsanitary conditions and potential health risks. Regular sewer line services can help prevent these problems.

Sewer Line Inspection - what is sewer line service

What’s Involved?

Inspection: A professional will use a digital camera to inspect the inside of your sewer line. This helps identify any blockages, leaks, or cracks.

Cleaning: Techniques like hydro-jetting use high-pressure water to clear out clogs and buildup, ensuring smooth flow.

Repair and Replacement: Depending on the damage, repairs can range from trenchless methods like pipe bursting and lining to traditional excavation.

Statistics and Facts

  • Longevity: PVC pipes can last over 100 years, while Orangeburg pipes last around 50 years.
  • Common Issues: Tree roots, corrosion, and extreme temperatures are common causes of sewer line damage (source).

By understanding what sewer line service entails, you can take proactive measures to maintain your home’s plumbing system. Next, we’ll dive into the different types of sewer line services available and how they can benefit you.

Types of Sewer Line Services

Inspection and Maintenance

Camera Inspection: One of the first steps in maintaining your sewer line is a camera inspection. Technicians use small, waterproof cameras to visually inspect the inside of your pipes. This helps identify clogs, cracks, or other issues without digging up your yard. With over 800,000 miles of public sewers in the U.S., these inspections are crucial for both homeowners and public infrastructure .

Routine Checks: Regular inspections can catch minor problems before they become major headaches. For example, corrosion from magnesium and calcium buildup can lead to cracks and leaks if left untreated. Regular checks ensure your pipes stay in good condition, extending their lifespan.

Cleaning Services

Hydro-jetting: This method uses high-pressure water jets to blast away debris, grease, and roots from your sewer lines. A camera is often used to target problem areas, making hydro-jetting both effective and precise. It’s a great way to restore pipe diameter and improve flow without chemicals.

Snaking: Also known as cable cleaning, snaking involves using a spinning cable with blades to cut through roots and clear blockages. This method is ideal for routine maintenance and straightforward repairs. It can even return your pipes to their original diameter, improving drainage.

Chemical Treatments: While less common, chemical treatments can dissolve minor clogs and buildup. However, they should be used cautiously, as some chemicals can damage your pipes or harm the environment.

Repair and Replacement

Trenchless Repair: If you dread the idea of digging up your yard, trenchless repair is a game-changer. This method allows technicians to fix your sewer line with minimal excavation. Two popular trenchless options are pipe bursting and pipe lining.

  • Pipe Bursting: This involves sending a cone-shaped bursting head through the old pipe. The head breaks up the old pipe and pulls a new HDPE pipe into place behind it. This method is quick and often completed in a single day.

  • Pipe Lining: Known as Cured-in-Place Pipe (CIPP), this method installs a new liner inside the old pipe. The liner is then cured to form a new, durable pipe within the existing one. This can extend the life of your pipes by 50 years or more.

Traditional Excavation: Sometimes, traditional methods are necessary, especially for severe damage. This involves digging a trench to access and replace the damaged pipe. While more disruptive and time-consuming, it ensures a long-lasting solution.

By understanding these various types of sewer line services, you can make informed decisions to keep your home’s plumbing in top shape. Next, we’ll look at common problems that these services address.

Common Problems Addressed by Sewer Line Services

Clogs and Blockages

Grease Buildup: One of the most common causes of sewer line clogs is grease. When you pour grease down the drain, it cools and solidifies, sticking to the inside of your pipes. Over time, this buildup can cause significant blockages. Instead of pouring grease down the drain, let it cool and dispose of it in the trash.

Foreign Objects: Items like food wrappers, paper towels, and even small toys can find their way into your sewer lines, causing clogs. Unlike toilet paper, these items don’t disintegrate and can create stubborn blockages. Avoid flushing anything other than human waste and toilet paper to keep your pipes clear.

Pipe Damage

Tree Roots: Tree roots naturally seek out water sources, making your sewer lines an attractive target. They can wrap around and infiltrate your pipes, causing cracks and blockages. This is especially problematic for older homes with clay or cast iron pipes. Regular inspections can help detect root intrusion early and prevent severe damage.

Corrosion: Sewer pipes, especially those made of metal like cast iron or steel, can corrode over time. Corrosion weakens the pipe structure and can lead to cracks and leaks. Galvanized pipes are particularly susceptible to this issue. Addressing corrosion early can save you from more extensive repairs down the line.

Age: Just like everything else, sewer pipes have a lifespan. Cast iron pipes can last 75–100 years, while clay and cement pipes can last up to 100 years. PVC pipes, on the other hand, can last over 100 years. Knowing the age of your pipes can help you anticipate when they might need replacement.

Sewer Line Failures

Collapses: Sewer line collapses are a severe issue that often requires immediate attention. They can be caused by a variety of factors, including tree roots, corrosion, and ground movement. A collapsed sewer line will usually result in a complete blockage, requiring excavation and replacement of the affected section.

Severe Leaks: Leaks in your sewer line can cause water damage and lead to mold growth in your home. They often result from cracks or breaks in the pipe, which can be caused by corrosion, tree roots, or ground movement. Early detection and repair are crucial to prevent extensive damage.

By addressing these common problems, sewer line services help maintain the functionality and safety of your home’s plumbing system. In the next section, we’ll discuss the cost and considerations for these essential services.

Cost and Considerations for Sewer Line Services

Cost Factors

Several variables affect the cost of sewer line services. Here are the key factors:

Length of Sewer Line: The longer your sewer line, the more it will cost to repair or replace. For instance, repairing a 50-foot line can range from $10 to $7,500, depending on the materials used.

Repair Type: The method of repair significantly impacts the cost. Trenchless repairs, like pipe bursting or lining, are generally less invasive and can be completed quickly, often in a single day. However, they may not be suitable for severely damaged or old pipes. Traditional excavation methods are more invasive and typically cost more due to the extensive labor involved.

Access Difficulty: If your sewer line is located under a landscaped yard, driveway, or structure, the cost will increase. Excavating through these areas requires more work and restoration, adding to the total expense.

Budgeting for Sewer Line Services

Understanding the average costs and potential unexpected expenses can help you budget effectively:

Average Costs: The average cost to connect to a city sewer is around $3,000, but it can range from $250 to $55,000. The wide range depends on the specifics of your project, such as the type of piping and the length of the sewer line. Materials like PVC are cheaper, costing $0.20 to $3 per linear foot, while cast iron is more expensive, ranging from $25 to $150 per linear foot.

Unexpected Expenses: Be prepared for additional costs that might arise. These can include obtaining permits, addressing unforeseen complications like hidden pipe damage, and restoring landscaping or structures affected by excavation.

Choosing a Service Provider

Selecting the right sewer line service provider is crucial for a successful and stress-free experience. Consider these factors:

Certifications: Ensure the company has the necessary certifications and licenses to perform sewer line work. This guarantees they meet industry standards and local regulations.

Experience: Look for a company with experience in sewer line services. Experienced professionals are better equipped to handle unexpected issues and provide reliable solutions.

Customer Reviews: Research customer reviews and testimonials. Positive feedback from past clients can give you confidence in the company’s ability to deliver quality service.

By understanding these cost factors and considerations, you can make an informed decision about your sewer line service needs. In the next section, we’ll explore preventative measures and maintenance tips to help you avoid costly repairs in the future.

Preventative Measures and Maintenance Tips

Taking care of your sewer line is like maintaining your car. Regular attention can save you from costly repairs down the line. Here are some preventative measures and maintenance tips to keep your sewer lines in top shape.

Regular Inspections

Routine inspections are crucial. A camera inspection can detect small issues before they become big problems. According to Forbes, regular checks can help identify slow drainage, gurgling sounds, and other early signs of trouble.

Tip: Schedule an annual inspection with a professional plumber to ensure everything is flowing smoothly.

Proper Disposal Practices

What you put down your drains matters. Avoid flushing anything other than human waste and toilet paper. Items like paper towels, food wrappers, and grease can cause severe blockages.

In the Kitchen: Let oils and grease cool, then dispose of them in the trash. Pouring them down the drain can lead to clogs that even drain cleaning liquids can’t fix.

In the Bathroom: Stick to flushing only toilet paper and waste. Wet wipes, even those labeled as “flushable,” can cause major blockages.

Landscaping Advice

Believe it or not, your yard can affect your sewer line. Tree roots are a common cause of sewer line damage. They seek out water sources and can wrap around or even break into your pipes.

Plant Wisely: Plant trees and shrubs at least 10 feet away from your sewer lines. Opt for slow-growing trees with less aggressive root systems.

Regular Yard Checks: Keep an eye on your yard for signs of sewer line issues, such as soggy patches or unpleasant smells. These can indicate leaks or breaks in your sewer line.

By following these preventative measures and maintenance tips, you can extend the life of your sewer system and avoid unexpected and costly repairs.

Next, we’ll discuss why Go Pro Plumbing is the best choice for your sewer line service needs.

Why Choose Go Pro Plumbing for Your Sewer Line Services

Commitment to Service

At Go Pro Plumbing, customer satisfaction is not just a goal—it’s a promise. Our team is dedicated to providing top-notch service and ensuring all your plumbing needs are met with the highest level of professionalism. Whether it’s a minor clog or a major sewer line repair, we approach every job with the same level of dedication and expertise.

Same-Day Solutions

Plumbing emergencies don’t wait, and neither should you. That’s why we offer same-day service, seven days a week. Whether you have a burst pipe at 2 am or a clogged drain on a Sunday, we’ve got you covered. Our quick and efficient response sets us apart from the rest.

“Go Pro Plumbing helped me and my family in an emergency situation and got the job done quickly. I will use them again for future plumbing issues.” — Mike Accer, a satisfied customer

This commitment to rapid response ensures that your home remains safe and functional, minimizing the inconvenience and potential damage that plumbing issues can cause.

By choosing Go Pro Plumbing, you’re partnering with a team that values your time, understands your needs, and is equipped to provide efficient and effective solutions.

Next, we’ll explore the costs and considerations for sewer line services to help you budget and plan for potential expenses.


Long-Term Benefits

Investing in sewer line services has long-term benefits for your home. Regular inspections and timely repairs can prevent small issues from turning into major problems. For example, addressing tree root intrusion early can save you from a costly pipe replacement down the line.

Home Value

A well-maintained sewer line can significantly boost your home’s value. Potential buyers will appreciate knowing that the plumbing system is in good condition. According to Forbes, a functional sewer line is a critical factor for homebuyers, making your property more attractive in the market.

Health and Safety

Proper sewer line maintenance is crucial for the health and safety of your household. A damaged or clogged sewer line can lead to sewage backups, causing water damage and mold growth. These issues can pose serious health risks to you and your family. Regular maintenance and timely repairs can help you avoid these problems, ensuring a safe living environment.

Next, we’ll explore the costs and considerations for sewer line services to help you budget and plan for potential expenses.

Frequently Asked Questions about Sewer Line Services

How often should sewer lines be inspected?

Regular inspections are key to maintaining a healthy sewer system. We recommend having your sewer lines inspected at least once every two years. However, if your home is older or you’ve experienced frequent plumbing issues, you may need more frequent inspections. Using a camera inspection, a professional can spot potential problems like clogs, leaks, and root intrusion before they become serious issues.

What are the signs that my sewer line needs service?

Several signs indicate that your sewer line may need attention:

  • Slow drains: If multiple drains in your home are slow, it could point to a blockage in the main sewer line.
  • Gurgling sounds: Strange gurgling noises from your toilets can indicate air pushed back up the line due to a blockage.
  • Flooded yard: A soggy, foul-smelling yard may signify a broken sewer pipe.
  • Water damage: Mold spreading on your floors or walls can indicate a leak in the sewer line.
  • Rodent and insect attraction: Unwanted pests might be a sign of a broken pipe attracting them with the smell.

Noticing any of these signs? Contact a certified sewer pipe repair technician immediately to prevent further damage.

Does homeowners insurance cover sewer line repairs?

Homeowners insurance typically does not cover sewer line repairs unless the damage is caused by a covered peril, such as a natural disaster or an accident by another party. However, some home warranty companies offer plumbing system coverage that includes sewer lines. It’s a good idea to check your specific policy or consider additional coverage if you live in an older home or an area prone to plumbing issues.

For more detailed information about our sewer line services, visit our Sewer Line Service page.

In the next section, we’ll discuss preventative measures and maintenance tips to help you keep your sewer lines in top condition.

Category: Home Maintenance