Are You at Risk for Sewer Line Replacement

Closeup shot of man digging tree roots out of an old ceramic sewer pipe in a hole in the ground, pointing at the area where tree roots have invaded the joint in the pipe.

No one wants to have to see that dreaded backhoe tearing up their yard. Sewer line replacement can quickly turn into a dreaded and expensive task. In some circumstances this situation is unavoidable. Here are the main causes of sewer line problems and some tips on avoiding them when possible

Tree Roots

We all love having beautiful mature trees on our property, but they could be reeking havoc underground. It’s all too common for tree roots to shift soil, push and even wrap around sewer lines. As a result, the lines get cracked, dislodged or completely destroyed. Trees are so often the culprit because there is hardly anything we can do to prevent it.

Before planting new trees be sure to get your sewer lines inspected. This way you can be sure to keep your trees at a good distance to avoid the stress. The unknown is always what haunts me. If you are worried this problem is lurking it’s never a bad idea just to get things inspected.


Blockage can be caused by a number of things, but your biggest concern should be grease. Grease will quickly build up and clog not only your drains but your main lines as well. NEVER dump grease or fat into your sinks. And for good measure wipe your pans clean with a rag or paper towel before rinsing them. It’s also a good idea to regularly flush your drains with a product to help break down any debris.

Shifting Soil

These darn Idaho winters make this one pretty inevitable. The ground freezes and thaws as mother nature decides what season she is going to throw our way. In serious cases, the ground shifting can lead to a “bellied” pipe. This is when the pipe sinks so far that it cracks or breaks and creates a pool of water and waste underneath the ground.

Soil shifting usually occurs very slowly. If you are getting your sewer lines inspected by a professional plumber at least every few years you could catch it before it becomes a stinky mess.

Old/Weak Pipes

It’s no secret that everything is affected by normal wear and tear. Old, worn, or poorly installed pipes are more susceptible to crack under pressure than sturdy well cared for lines. Old pipes can deteriorate, leak and even burst. It’s always a good idea to know exactly what you are working with. If you are buying a new house make sure you hire a professional to come inspect the pipes so you know what you are getting yourself into.

Signs you’re already in trouble

It’s pretty easy to tell if your sewer lines are clogged or broken. Either way, make sure you call a professional right away. If your toilet is making bubbling or gurgling sounds, your sinks and tubs are draining at an annoyingly slow rate, or your kitchen sink smells like rotting food it’s likely your pipes are clogged. Broken pipes will usually have more obvious signs like an overwhelming stench of sulfur or noticeable backup of sewage (in your toilet or on your lawn).

Your trusted, local plumbers at A Pro Plumbing would love to come inspect your sewer lines today. We are available 24/7 just in case things go south quickly. Call for an estimate or request an appointment online!