What to Expect from a Sewer Line Repair

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From inside and outside your home, there are forces regularly working in your pipes which can cause very costly damage to your sewer line. And you might be overwhelmed with the possibility of having to repair it. Thankfully there are plenty of ways you can be proactive and ease the stress on your piping, making any servicing for your sewer line repair options less costly and invasive.

Causes of Sewer Line Damage

Here are the most common causes of sewer line damage that you should know about and watch out for:

sink drain

Tree Roots

Little leaks in your piping can attract growing tree roots around your home. They can then invade your drain line, further damaging your piping from the inside and obstructing the passage of your wastewater to your municipal sewer system.

Corroded Pipes

Although your metal pipes are typically galvanized to prevent rusting, corrosion still occurs due to scaling of calcium and magnesium and that’s expected with regular and long-term use. Without taking care of mineral build-up, your piping will be much more vulnerable to leakage and cracking.


The waste you flush through your drain can be the very undoing of your drainage system, given how your many types of waste interact with each other, as well as your piping. An unfortunate mixture of scum, minerals, and hair could be a damming cocktail for a hefty blockage in your pipe.

Be proactive about eliminating an excess amount of any of the following common cloggers, and be consistent in regularly using your favorite homemade drain cleaner and declogger.

  • Hair binds with grease and soap scum, lodging in your drain line, creating a substantial blockage. The best way to deal with hair is to prevent it from entering your drain in the first place. Use a drain guard which will catch larger debris, such as hair, which can then be tossed in your waste bin instead.
  • Body soap will build up on the walling of your pipe, creating soap scum. Your soap is typically made with grease or fats, which then combines with the minerals in your water, leaving that all-too-common hard residue. Using soaps with alternative ingredients, or even soap-free washes, will help prevent soap scum from clogging your home.
  • Too much dirt down your drain will lead you to a clogging disaster. It’s best to shake off and remove as much loose dirt as possible from what you plan to wash in your sink or tub before you do.
  • Grease and oils are some of your pipe’s worst enemies, and food scraps like tea leaves and coffee beans don’t break down like other foods do. As much as you can, throw food scraps in your trash or compost instead of flushing it down your sink. And wipe up any oils with paper towels, and toss those in the trash as well.
  • Hard water may be a serious issue for you, depending on where your home is regionally located. These minerals will scale in your pipeline to the point of clogging your drain line, certainly not without the help of other common cloggers making it worse. A common solution for having hard water is installing a water softening system in your home to either neutralize or remove those minerals working against your drain lines.
  • Too much toilet paper down your drain at once can prove to be an all-too-common clogging problem. Using a plunger may very well solve your problem, but it might be too severe, requiring snaking or other methods of drain clearing.
  • Small objects like toys are a common clogger, particularly for those with children in the household. The blockage might be close enough to your drain for you to reach and remove simply with your hands. Otherwise, you’ll likely need professional help from your trusted local plumber to remove the object.

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Signs of Sewer Line Damage

Here are some warning signs you’ve likely got a sewer line problem. Keep any eye out for these to stay on top of a brewing sewer line problem before it gets out of hand.

Gurgling Sounds

If your sewer line is stopped up enough, you’ll likely have air bubbles traveling through your pipes as you continue to use your drains. You’ll hear odd sounds that seem to be coming from your fixtures, even long after you’ve stopped using them. A gurgling sound from your drain is most common, but you might also hear hissing, bubbling, or trickling.

Clogged Plumbing Fixtures

If you don’t notice a sewer line clog long enough, your drains will no longer work. Your wastewater won’t drain anywhere as it can’t travel through your drain lines. And since every one of your fixtures connect to your one sewer line, all your sinks, bath tubs, toilets, etc. are all affected and unable to properly drain.

Slow-Moving Drains

A way to avoid having a completely clogged home is to pay attention to any slow drains in any of your fixtures. This means there’s only partial blockage potentially in your sewer line. So your wastewater is still drainable, but you’re on your way to complete blockage if it isn’t taken care of soon enough.

One way to tell if it’s either a fixture drain clog or an actual sewer line blockage is if you notice slow-moving drains or gurgling sounds in multiple fixtures throughout your home at once. If you’re noticing these symptoms in multiple drains throughout your home, you’ve likely got a clogged sewer line.

Dark or Discolored Water

Probably the worst symptom you want to avoid completely is having backed-up sewage return through your drain line and into your shower or tub. Essentially, your wastewater has nowhere to drain and will flow back into the nearest point of entry, which is normally a low-level drain in your home.

Since your wastewater is carrying waste from fixtures such as your toilets, your water will be dark and discolored. This can be hazardous, so make sure you use proper protective gear when directly handling and cleaning up any sewage backflow.


If you have a flooded yard, you might have a broken sewer line. Even before water begins pooling on the surface of the ground, you’ll likely start smelling sewage as the gases release through the soil.

Water Damage

If a drain line leak or break occurs inside your home, you’ll begin to see mold spreading along your floor or walls. If so, immediately call a plumbing professional to identify the cause and resolve your problem before it becomes a hazard to your health or further damages your property.

Sewer Line Repair & Replacement Options

After it’s clear you’ve got either a leaky or broken sewer line, what should you expect from its repair? First, plumbing technicians will assess the leak or breach in your pipe by sending a camera down into your drain. Then, they’ll recommend options for repair, including trenchless sewer repair methods that are cost-effective, time-efficient, and don’t require much digging, if any at all.

Pipe Lining

For minimal leak repairs, pipe lining utilizes an inflatable tube inserted into your sewer line to fill any cracks with an epoxy which will harden and cure, repairing your leak. The tube is then removed and your sewer line is as good as new.

Pipe Bursting

For cases where your sewer line damage is too severe for pipe lining, pipe bursting is used to completely replace your damaged pipe with a new one, but from within your pipe by feeding a cone-shaped bit through your existing line which destroys your original pipe and leaving a new one in the process. Although it takes more of your time and money, it still requires less digging than traditional methods of pipe replacement.

Learn more about Sewer Line Repair Services at Deer Valley Plumbing

At Deer Valley Plumbing, we provide top-quality, same-day services for commercial and residential plumbing emergencies. Our plumbing technicians are experienced and certified to handle any plumbing problem bound to come your way. Whether you’ve got an emergency on your hands, or would like to prevent one, call us at 602-832-8418 and we’ll make sure your pipes are clear and ready to flow.

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