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When To Replace Your Sewer Line in Massachusetts: Symptoms of a Sewer Beyond Repair

Installing sewer pipe in the ground trench

When you use plumbing fixtures like sinks, toilets, or bathtubs, as well as appliances like the dishwasher, all the wastewater will eventually find its way from those drains to your main sewer line. Any clogs or damage in that pipe can affect the entire home’s plumbing system, causing slow drains, clogs, or messy sewer backups.

If you have problems with your sewer line, it’s best to call a professional plumber for a sewer inspection. In many cases, unclogging or repairing the sewer line may solve the problem, but if necessary, your plumber may recommend a sewer replacement.

Signs You Need Sewer Services

A clogged sewer line can cause major damage to your home if the wastewater starts backing up and spilling out of your drains, so it’s important to call for help as soon as you notice any trouble with your sewer main. Some signs that you need professional sewer services include:

  • You have frequent drain clogs or slow drains.
  • Multiple drains are clogged at the same time.
  • Toilets clog or overflow often.
  • Foul odors are coming from your drains.
  • Wastewater is spilling out of the lowest drains in your home.
  • There are wet spots or foul odors near the sewer lines outside.

Sewer Pipe Material Life Span

Sewer lines need to be resilient to withstand decades of use. Here are the expected life spans of the most common sewer pipe materials:

  • Cast-iron pipes: Heavy and costly, cast-iron sewer pipes can last 50 to 100 years. However, this material is more prone to corrosion.
  • PVC pipes: Made from plastic, PVC sewer pipes are lightweight and strong, with an estimated life span of up to 100 years. They’ve been the most common sewer pipe material used since the 1980s.
  • Clay pipes: Common before the introduction of PVC, clay pipes can last 50 to 60 years and were used often until the 1970s.
  • Orangeburg pipes: Frequently used until the 1970s, Orangeburg pipe is a composite product made from wood pulp. It has a reputation for a short service life of 30 to 50 years.

3 Reasons You Need Sewer Replacement Instead of Repair

A professional plumber will have to thoroughly inspect your sewer line to determine whether a replacement is necessary or if the problem can be solved with simple cleaning or sewer repairs.

Usually, they’ll conduct a camera inspection to determine the cause of the clogging and the extent of the damage. Some of the most common reasons that you may need a sewer replacement include:

Collapsed Sewer Main

As your sewer line ages, it can become brittle and collapse under the weight of the soil above. While small sections can be repaired, the entire pipe will typically be affected, and a full replacement will be needed.

A collapsed pipe may leave damp areas in the yard, foul odors, or depressions in the soil.

Bellied Sewer Main

The soil under a sewer line can settle with time, allowing the pipe to sag or bend downward. This will slow the movement of wastewater through the pipes, leading to clogging.

Slow drains, clogs, or sewer backups will be the primary signs of a bellied sewer line, and replacement is usually the only option.

Multiple Pipe Breaks

If your sewer line is broken in multiple places, it makes more sense to replace the entire sewer line rather than repair one section at a time.

This ensures the whole sewer line is in good condition once the job is done, and it can be more cost-effective than multiple sewer repairs.

What To Expect During Sewer Line Replacement

During a sewer line replacement, your plumber will use heavy equipment to dig a trench down to the level of the sewer line, and then the pipe will be exposed by hand using shovels.

Next, the old pipe will be cut out and removed, and a new pipe will be installed and connected to your home’s main drain, as well as the municipal sewer main. Finally, the trench will be backfilled and graded.

A complete sewer line replacement is the best way to deal with any major damage to your sewer lines, as it ensures all the piping from the street to your home works as it should.

Choose Blue Bear for Sewer Services in the South Shore

Do you need help with a sewer issue? Call our team at Blue Bear Plumbing, Heating & Air. We offer complete sewer, drain, and plumbing services throughout the MetroWest region.

Our plumbing experts are proud to serve Massachusetts homeowners, and we treat our customers like family, with outstanding customer service, 24/7 emergency plumbing repairs, and a 100% satisfaction guarantee. We also offer financing options so you can restore your sewer line and make it work for your budget.

Call us today at 781-706-4682 or contact us online to schedule a sewer replacement in the South Shore

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