- Home Improvement

Sewer Line Maintenance – Preventing Expensive Repairs

Just like any other home system, the sewer line requires routine maintenance. Catching problems early prevents sewage backups, water damage, and property loss.

Sluggish drains, gurgling sounds, foul odors, and changes in your yard are signs that something is wrong with the sewer line. Here are some tips for maintaining a healthy sewer line.

Regular Inspections

The best way to limit the need for expensive repairs is to have a professional inspect your sewer line at least once per year. A professional can determine the condition of your line and make suggestions for maintenance.

During inspection, the plumber may use tools to help remove clogs and locate cracks in your line. Depending on the situation, they might recommend “snaking” the line. This involves sending a metal line with a set of cutters down the pipe to cut through any root intrusions and remove blockages. A professional can also check for sagging in your line, which can cause breakage and allow roots to enter.

If you are thinking about buying a home, have the seller schedule a video sewer line inspection before closing. It will help you avoid paying for costly repairs after moving in. It is also useful for working with your insurance company if you do experience damage to the sewer line later on.

Tree Root Intrusions

Tree roots are naturally attracted to the nutrient-rich environment of sewer lines. Even the slightest breach in pipes can invite them in, where they will grow and wreak havoc.

Root intrusions are a common cause of sewer line blockages, which can lead to sewage backups and other serious plumbing issues. Fortunately, there are effective solutions for preventing and handling the issue.

Preventive measures include knowing where sewer lines are located (call 811 before digging in your yard) and planting trees at a safe distance from the lines. You can also install pipes that are less prone to damage from roots, such as PVC or other plastic materials.

If you suspect that your sewer line is clogged by invading tree roots, you should contact a plumber right away. Professional plumbing services can use techniques such as root cutting and pipe relining to remove the roots and restore flow. This can be much more affordable than a full sewer line replacement.

Debris and Sediment Buildup

Many homeowners know that regular maintenance is essential to keeping the house safe and functional. It’s also important to keep up with preventative maintenance, because waiting to fix a problem until it’s already a disaster can be expensive. This is especially true with your home’s plumbing and sewer lines.

Debris and sediment can accumulate in your home’s drains and sewer lines, causing blockages that lead to costly repairs. These problems can be caused by a number of factors, including tree roots, mineral buildup, and structural issues.

You can reduce the risk of these issues by having your sewer line regularly inspected and cleaned. A professional plumber can use a camera to identify early signs of clogs, leaks, and other problems. If they find a problem, they can perform jetting, which uses high-pressure water to blast away debris and clogs. This process is much less expensive than repairing or replacing your sewer line. It’s also much less invasive than trying to unclog your own drains with an auger.


When a sewer line leaks, it creates wet spots in the yard and can cause rodent infestations. The leaking sewage also encourages mold growth and can cause health problems for family members, such as respiratory irritation and allergies. If you notice a rotten-egg smell or wet areas in your home, schedule an inspection and sewer line repair immediately.

While regular maintenance, such as refraining from flushing non-biodegradable items and avoiding pouring grease down the drains, can reduce clogs, it’s not possible to prevent all potential problems. Regular inspections and professional plumbing services are the best ways to keep costly repairs at bay.

The most obvious signs of a damaged or clogged sewer line are raw sewage backups, wet or soggy spots in the yard, and increased water usage on your property’s meter. A clogged sewer line may even result in sewage backing up into your home’s drains and outlets, leading to extensive plumbing damage and health risks.

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