When Should You Replace Your Sewer Lines?

When Should You Replace Your Sewer Lines?

Sewer Replacement in Marin County

Your sewer line is an underground pipe that transports sewage from your home to the sewer main.

Your sewer line is an extremely important component of your plumbing system. It keeps your home from flooding and prevents the spread of water-borne diseases by safely transporting wastewater to the nearest wastewater treatment plant.

The lifespan of a sewer line primarily depends on the type of materials used. If properly maintained, a sewer line can last between 30 and 100 years. A damaged sewer line is a recipe for disaster and can lead to a number of problems ranging from sewage backups to foundation damage.

Your plumbing contractor will perform repairs to fix sewer line clogs and other problems. However, if your sewer line is too old or beyond repair, your contractor will recommend replacing it.

Here are some telltale signs it’s time to replace your sewer line from McDonald Home Solutions.

Pooling Water in Your Lawn

Standing water in your lawn is one of the most common signs that your sewer pipe is damaged and needs to be replaced. If you fail to resolve the issue in a timely manner, raw sewage can seep into your soil, causing major health issues. It can also affect the environment.

Maintaining and replacing your sewer line in a timely manner is your responsibility. If it is damaged and pollutes groundwater or a nearby water body, you may be held responsible or liable for any claims or damages.

You may also spot an extra green and lush patch of grass in your lawn as sewage provides all the necessary nutrients for plant and grass growth. Do not wait for things to get from bad to worse. If you notice water pooling in your yard, have a professional inspect your sewer line as soon as possible. 


Like everything else, sewer lines deteriorate over time. If your sewer line hasn’t been maintained for a long time, grease, debris, and foreign objects can build up, causing irreversible damage. It’s fairly common for tree roots to clog up sewer lines over 20 years old.

The life of your sewer line depends on the material used. Cast iron pipes usually last between 75 and 100 years. Orangeburg pipes have a useful life of 50 years; clay and cement pipes are known to last up to 100 years. PVC pipes can last more than 100 years.

If you do not know how old your sewer line is, consider the age of your home. If it was built 20-25 years ago, you might need sewer replacement in Marin County. Cast iron pipes can rust and begin to break down over time. This can cause sewage to seep into the ground, giving rise to serious environmental problems.

If you live in an old house, have a professional inspect your sewer line to determine if your sewer line needs to be repaired or replaced.

Overflowing Toilets

If all the toilets in your home overflow from time to time, chances are you are dealing with a major sewer line problem. Sometimes, water from one fixture can back up somewhere else. For example, water from your toilet can back up in your tub or sink on the same floor.

This problem can occur when tree roots grow into your sewer line. If tree roots have penetrated deep into your sewer line and caused irreversible damage to your pipes, it’s time to replace your sewer line.

A Sunken Area in Your Lawn

Do you notice a sunken area in your lawn near the place your sewer line runs? Chances are you have a major sewer line problem. Over time, the ground below your sewer line can shift and settle, causing your sewer pipe to swell.

When this happens, your sewer line starts trapping waste in the area. Over time, the build-up can cause your sewer pipe to clog up with debris and waste. In most cases, sewer replacement in Marin County is a viable solution to this problem.

Weird Noises

Unusual noises including gurgling noises coming from your sewer line could indicate a serious sewer line problem such as a sewer drain clog. If you stay on top of maintenance, but your sewer line still keeps clogging up, your sewer contractor may recommend replacing it.

Tips to Help You Maintain Your Sewer Line

They say that an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. Why wait for your sewer line to fail to replace it, when you can prevent major problems in the first place? Follow these tips to extend the lifespan of your sewer line.

Avoid putting solid waste down your drain: Never throw solid waste (such as paper towels and feminine hygiene products) and food waste (such as eggshells and coffee grounds) down your drain. Solid waste does not break down easily and can clog your sewer line.

Maintain your landscape: Plant and tree roots are naturally attracted to sewer lines. Choose slow-growing varieties of plants and shrubs. Plant them at least 10 feet away from your sewer line. If there are already trees growing near your sewer line, pay close attention to your drain flow and call a plumber if you notice any change.

Stay on top of maintenance: Have a professional inspect and maintain your sewer line at regular intervals. Clean your sewer line every 18-22 months.

Is your sewer line damaged? McDonald Home Solution has you covered. We will work with you to create an effective maintenance plan for your sewer line post-repair to keep it in pristine condition. To make an appointment, call us at(707) 536-3659.