Sewer Lines

Commercial & Residential Sewer Main Lines: Cleaning, Repair and Replacement

A sewer line moves waste from a home or business into the underground sewer mains. Unlike clogged toilets and bathroom drains that are slow moving, you’re not going to notice there’s an issue with a sewer main line until it’s too late. A sewer line clog can have raw sewage (use your imagination here) backing up the drains, ultimately causing major damage to your home or commercial space. The good news is that with regular maintenance, cleaning and knowing the warning signs, you can avoid this disgusting disaster.

Surprisingly, the biggest red flags are often confused with less serious issues. Listen to your home or business—is water backing out of a drain? Is there gurgling coming from the drains? Is your toilet backing up? When your washing machine is on, does the toilet start “percolating”? This might be residual side effects of a sewer main problem that needs attention immediately.

A Complex System

Think of your home or business as a tree: There’s a main trunk (the main sewer line) as well as a number of smaller branches. These are the secondary lines. Any of the limbs, and of course the trunk, can experience problems. Clogs can be caused from flushing non-flushables (just because it seems to have gone down the drain doesn’t mean it did), buildup from grease such as cooking residue, simply being an old and outdated system, or tree roots might be sneaking into them. The older your home or building, the more likely you’ll have main sewer problems.

If you suspect trouble, ask Captain Plumbing about a camera inspection to get to the “root” of the problem. However, this is often a secondary step after a simple auger or “snaking.” A reputable plumber will always try the simplest, fastest and most affordable option first—sometimes it’s tough to tell if a clog is just a few feet down the drain or nestled deep into your main sewer line. Once surface possibilities have been tried, it’s time to move into more serious business.

Sewer Main Line Cleaning

Savvy homeowners and business owners have their pipes cleaned and maintained annually. It’s best to schedule these in the autumn before the cold fronts hit—this ensures any dangers of frozen pipes are addressed early. During this time, your plumber will also be able to schedule any repairs or replacements your pipes and main sewer line may need.

Of course, one of the most pressing questions is always, “How much is this going to cost?” There’s no one price fits all solution. It depends on the type of damage, degree of damage, accessibility to main sewer lines and your property. However, the earlier a sewer line issue is caught and addressed, the easier and more affordable it will be.

Out of sight, out of mind? Don’t let this be your mantra when it comes to sewer lines. There might be a big problem right under your nose.