It’s 06:12 PM and today is . we’re open!

3000+ Reviews

$50 OFF This

8 Warning Signs Your Sewer Line Needs Replacement

Today, most homes have drainage pipes that run into an underground main sewer line outside. However, these sturdy lines can still get clogged. In worse cases, they can collapse. When this happens, a sewer line replacement can cost thousands of dollars and may take longer than five days to fix. 

This inconvenience is not just costly, it also smells bad, which only adds to the problem.

As with most home repairs, the earlier you notice that your sewer line needs replacement, the cheaper the repair costs.


How long can a sewer line last?

Your home’s age, the pipe material used, the occasional flushing of items that have no business being in toilets, and the environment, all affect how long sewer lines can last. At a minimum, a properly built sewer line can last up to 60 years. However, it isn’t unusual for PVC pipe sewer lines to last more than 100 hours.

As a homeowner, you should know how old your sewer lines are and when they were replaced. 

How do you know when a sewer line needs replacement?

1. Age

Sewer lines don’t last forever. If properly installed by a professional with regular maintenance, a PVP pipe sewer line can serve your family’s bowels happily for decades. But, having the sewer line checked periodically is necessary so repairs and replacements can be made before worse issues arise. 

2. Slow drains

Most homeowners will use commercial drain cleaners to solve slow-draining sinks and showers. This can work, even with a clogged sewer line. But this is a temporary fix. In fact, using toxic chemicals can cause more damage to your sewer lines.

If slow-draining showers and sinks have become common, have your local plumber on speed dial.

3. Inconsistent toilet bowl water levels

Many homeowners don’t know this but toilet bowl water levels should be consistent. If they’re not, they’re a sign of worse things to come. To be sure, call a professional plumber to check.

4. Higher water bill

A crack or break in an underground pipe can make your water bill rise without you noticing. If you didn’t do anything unusual and your water bill keeps getting higher, get a professional inspection. This can help you get to the root of the problem, saving you money even if it isn’t caused by a sewer line break.

5. Frequent clogging

Multiple blocked drains around the home are a tell-tale sign that your plumbing isn’t working right. The only way to know is to call your local plumbing and drain specialist.

6. Water Damage

When a pipe leaks or ruptures, it doesn’t always cause flooding. Sometimes, a worrying sign can come in the form of a water spot on the floors or walls. This can also cause mold to spread alongside your home. Both of these aren’t good for your family and for your finances. 

7. Foul Smell

It’s easy to blame the foul smell in your backyard on pests but they aren’t always the culprit. Another sign of sewer line damage is a bad smell around your yard. This may be because the sewage gasses from the leaked pipe have begun seeping through the soil. This may be accompanied by a pool of standing water even if there’s no obvious source.

8. Pests

A broken sewer line can attract unsanitary visitors like rodents, mice, and insects like cockroaches to your home. These critters often live in sewers and are small enough to slide through small crevices in cracked pipes. Your first instinct is to call your local pest exterminator. When that doesn’t work, you may have a bigger problem with your sewer line. 

What should you do if you see signs of sewer line damage?

Don’t attempt to fix it

It’s risky trying to fix a sewer line yourself. It’s also more expensive. It may look cheaper and you may think that you can watch a video online and teach yourself how to do it. But you lack the years of experience and the proper equipment. Sewer lines are complicated. A small mistake can cause a huge dent in your finances. It also puts you at risk of injury and possible health complications.

Call a professional

Licensed plumbers have years of technical training and experience finding the sometimes literal root cause of sewer line breaks. They also have all the right equipment to identify the necessary issues safely and efficiently. Finally, a professional repair can prevent recurring issues and potentially worse problems.

Prepare for the worst

With help from experienced plumbers, sewer line repair and replacement can only take a day. But depending on how long you took to call a professional plumber, it can take a week or even longer. The costs can also vary, with minor jobs starting at around $600-$700 and larger jobs like replacing a trenchless sewer line or breaking into a slab costing more than $10,000.

Can you prevent sewer line damage?

Regular maintenance and good habits go a long way in preventing severe sewer line damage.

Doing the following can help:

  • Proper grease disposal.
  • Throw paper products in the trash.
  • Cut tree roots around the house periodically.
  • Replace hardened clay and cast-iron pipes with PVC pipes.
  • Have your house checked for unsanitary and potentially illegal plumbing connections.

While your sewer line will need replacement eventually, these steps can make sure it lasts as long as intended.


Modern plumbing can feel like magic but they’re not perfect. For your sewer line replacement needs, hire a sewer line repair expert for peace of mind.

At Discount Plumbing Rooter, Inc., we have access to specialized equipment and experienced professionals to guarantee that the sewer line repair complies with local regulations and is done correctly the first time for a worry-free plumbing system.