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Sewer Line Repair: What You Need to Know

Sewer line repair is a critical yet often overlooked aspect of maintaining a healthy and functional home. Damaged sewer lines can cause significant problems, including foul odors, slow drainage, and even health hazards. In this article, we will explore the importance of sewer line repair, common causes of damage, signs that you need repair, various repair methods, and preventive measures to keep your sewer system in top shape.

Why Sewer Line Repair is Important

It is imperative to conduct repairs on your sewer line for various reasons. If the sewer system operates efficiently, it can ensure a secure and hygienic environment by draining wastewater from your residence. Additionally, fixing ruptured sewers will evade expensive damages that may affect the structure of your dwelling and amplify its value in return.

Common Causes of Sewer Line Damage

There are several factors that can cause sewer line damage, including:

  • Tree Roots

One of the most common culprits is tree roots. They can infiltrate sewer lines in search of water, eventually causing blockages, cracks, or even complete collapse of the pipe.

  • Corrosion

Over time, sewer pipes can corrode, especially if they are made of metal. This corrosion can lead to leaks, breaks, and ultimately, the need for repair or replacement.

  • Blockages

Accumulation of debris, such as grease, hair, and other foreign objects, can create blockages in your sewer line. These blockages can cause pressure buildup, leading to cracks or breaks in the pipe.

  • Ground Movement

Shifting soil, earthquakes, or nearby construction can cause your sewer line to move, break, or become misaligned, necessitating repair.

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Signs You Need Sewer Line Repair

Here are some common signs that you may need sewer line repair:

Frequent Drainage Issues

If you are experiencing slow drains, frequent clogs, or sewage backups, there might be a problem with your sewer line.

Unpleasant Odors

Foul smells coming from your drains or in your yard can indicate a damaged sewer line.

Soggy Patches in the Yard

If you notice wet, soggy areas in your yard, it could be a sign of a leaking sewer line.


Rodents or insect infestations can be a sign of a broken sewer line, as they are attracted to moisture and waste.

Foundation Cracks

Cracks in your home’s foundation can indicate a damaged sewer line, as water can erode the soil beneath the structure.

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Sewer Line Repair Methods

There are two primary methods for sewer line repair: traditional and trenchless. Each method has its advantages and disadvantages, which we will discuss in detail below.

Traditional Sewer Line Repair

Traditional sewer line repair involves digging a trench to access the damaged section of the pipe. The damaged pipe is then replaced or repaired as needed.


  • Can handle extensive damage, including complete pipe collapse
  • Allows for inspection and repair of the entire pipe


  • Requires digging up your yard, which can be disruptive and costly
  • Takes longer to complete compared to trenchless methods
  • Can cause damage to landscaping and nearby structures


Trenchless Repair

Trenchless sewer line repair is a less invasive alternative to traditional repair methods. There are two main types of trenchless repair: pipe bursting and pipe relining.

Pipe Bursting

Pipe bursting involves breaking the damaged pipe apart while simultaneously pulling a new pipe through the old one. This method is ideal for replacing severely damaged or collapsed pipes.

Pipe Relining

Pipe relining, also known as cured-in-place pipe (CIPP) lining, involves inserting a resin-coated liner into the damaged pipe. The resin hardens, creating a new, seamless pipe within the old one. This method is suitable for fixing leaks, cracks, and minor damage.


  • Minimally invasive, requiring little to no digging
  • Faster and often less expensive than traditional repair methods
  • Less disruption to your yard and property


  • May not be suitable for severely damaged or collapsed pipes
  • Limited lifespan compared to new pipes installed through traditional methods


Choosing the Right Repair Method

Different factors need to be considered when choosing a suitable repair method for your sewer line. These comprise the severity of harm, the material used in piping and monetary restrictions that you may have. In order to assess which option best fits your needs, it is recommended that one seek guidance from an expert plumber who can evaluate its condition thoroughly.

Preventive Measures to Avoid Sewer Line Damage

To prevent sewer line damage and costly repairs, consider the following measures:

  • Regularly inspect and maintain your sewer system
  • Avoid planting trees with invasive root systems near sewer lines
  • Dispose of grease, oil, and food waste properly to prevent blockages
  • Install a backwater valve to prevent sewage backups
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Sewer line repair is essential for maintaining a healthy and functional home. By understanding the common causes of damage, recognizing the signs of a problem, and knowing your repair options, you can ensure your sewer system remains in good working order. Regular maintenance and preventive measures can also help avoid future issues and costly repairs.


  1. How much does sewer line repair cost?

The expenses of fixing a sewer line may fluctuate depending on the technique utilized, the intensity of the harm caused as well as your area. The average charges for conventional methods per linear foot typically fall between $50 and $250 whereas trenchless alternatives have an estimated cost range from roughly $80 to about 250 dollars each linear foot.

  1. How long does sewer line repair take?

The duration of sewer line repair depends on the method used and the extent of the damage. Traditional repair methods can take several days to a week, while trenchless methods can often be completed in one to two days.

  1. Can I repair my sewer line myself?

While some minor sewer line repairs can be done by handy homeowners, it is generally recommended to consult a professional plumber. Sewer line repairs can be complex, and improper repairs can lead to further damage and increased costs.

  1. How often should I have my sewer line inspected?

It is recommended to have your sewer line inspected every 2-3 years or more Frequently if you have experienced previous issues. Regular inspections can help identify potential problems before they become severe and require costly repairs.

  1. What is the lifespan of a sewer line?

The lifespan of a sewer line depends on the material and installation quality. Cast iron pipes can last 75-100 years, while PVC pipes have a lifespan of 50-70 years. Proper maintenance can significantly extend the life of your sewer line.

If you need sewer line repair or suspect there might be an issue with your sewer system, don’t hesitate to contact Jilly Plumbing at Boerne. Our experienced and knowledgeable team can inspect, diagnose, and repair your sewer line efficiently and professionally. Call us today to schedule an appointment and ensure your sewer system remains in top condition!

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