Home Home Improvement A Step-By-Step Guide to Sewer Line Repair
Home Improvement

A Step-By-Step Guide to Sewer Line Repair

A Step-By-Step Guide to Sewer Line Repair

Your sewer line is responsible for carrying away the waste that flows down your drains. When your sewage system malfunctions, it can have some unpleasant side effects.

Clogged or slow-moving drains, rising toilet water levels, and sewage seepage are all telltale signs that you have a problem with your sewer line. Catching the issue early can save you thousands of dollars, severe structural damage to your home, and a lot of hassle.


The first step in addressing any sewer line problem is getting an accurate diagnosis. A plumber can use a camera to view the line’s condition and identify cracks, blockages, holes, collapsed sections, and root damage. This will let them know if a total replacement is necessary or whether a less invasive trenchless repair will suffice.

The most common signs of a damaged sewer line include slow drains, sewage backups, and foul odors. However, some homeowners only realize a sewer line problem is at hand once it’s too late.

A professional can help diagnose residential sewer line repair by running a chemical solution through the system and cutting tree roots away. However, if the line has sustained extensive damage, it may need to be dug up and replaced entirely.

A residential sewer line is a complex network of pipes, pumps, valves, and chambers. A clog or leak in one area could cause problems throughout the system, so fixing any issues as soon as possible is essential. A plumber can use a camera to inspect the lines and mark their location with spray paint so they can avoid any underground obstacles like sprinklers, utility lines, and electric dog fences. This will save time and money for everyone involved in the project. It can also help you avoid costly repairs down the road.


There are a variety of signs that a residential sewer line needs repair. The most obvious is a slow drain or clog. A gurgling toilet is another telltale sign that you have a problem with your sewer lines. Lastly, you may notice that your yard is filled with water puddles or has a musty odor. These are all excellent reasons to get a professional in for a diagnosis and repair.

Generally, plumbing professionals use a camera inspection to locate a clog or leak and determine how to fix it. This can be done with or without excavation, allowing your plumber to see how well or poorly the pipes are functioning.

If the pipes aren’t severely damaged, a trenchless method called pipe lining can patch the damaged area. This method involves feeding an inflatable tube covered in tough epoxy through your existing pipe. When inflated, the epoxy presses against the line and then cures and hardens to fix the crack or hole.

Sometimes, however, the pipes are so damaged that a total replacement is necessary. The traditional trench method requires your plumber to dig up your entire yard and replace the old line with a new one. This process can be costly and time-consuming, but it is the only way to guarantee that your sewer line works properly.


If your sewage lines are severely damaged, you will need professional help to replace them. A plumber will use a camera to view the line and mark its location with spray paint on your property’s exterior. The plumber will also mark other below-ground obstructions, like sprinkler heads and electric dog fences.

Homeowners who are still waiting to be ready to pay for a complete replacement can opt for a trenchless method such as pipelining. This process involves feeding a tube with epoxy resin through the existing pipes. When inflated, the epoxy will adhere to the pipe’s walls and fill in leaks. This method works for most lines, including PVC and cast iron.

Your plumber may need to dig up the sewer line and replace it for more extensive repairs. This option is more costly but will guarantee that the new line will be structurally sound and free of defects and cracks.

Traditionally, this type of repair requires large ditches and heavy machinery to remove and replace the old pipes. More recently, plumbers have been able to use trenchless techniques like micro-tunneling and line bursting to remove damaged tubes without damaging nearby landscaping and structures. During the installation, you should postpone book club or your team’s big game until after the repair work.


Regular preventative maintenance is the best way to keep your home’s sewer lines healthy and functioning correctly. Doing this every six months will allow you to spot issues like leaks or cracks as they develop and address them before they become plumbing emergencies.

Sometimes, a home’s sewer line may need to be replaced rather than repaired. This is typically when a significant clog or extensive damage cannot be fixed through other methods. When this happens, a professional should be called in to dig up and replace the old pipe with a new one.

Most residential sewer lines connect the house wastewater to the city sewage system. These are known as the upper and lower lateral pipes. Problems with these lines usually arise from a clog caused by debris entering the sewer line, such as fatbergs. While city workers are responsible for dealing with problems in the main sewer line, homeowners are liable for any plumbing issues associated with their lateral lines.

You can recognize symptoms of a sewer line issue by watching for things like sluggish draining, odd smells, wet spots in the yard, and rising water bills. Keeping up with recommended preventative maintenance will also help you avoid costly repairs.

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