We get it, replacing your sewer line is the getting-socks-for-Christmas version of home improvement. It’s not a ton of fun and it’s definitely not exciting, but it happens to the best of us at some point in our lives. Unlike socks, which are pretty straightforward (they either have holes or they don’t), there are a few things to know about repairing or replacing your water and sewer lines.

5 Reasons Why Your Water and Sewer Lines Call it Quits

Generally speaking, your water supply line and sewer main will work perfectly for many years. However, there are a few common reasons for your supply lines to fail.


If your yard is dotted with beautiful and majestic trees, it’s possible that the tenacious roots of those shade-providing marvels of nature have infiltrated your pipes in search of water.

Mineral Deposits

Like arteries, water and sewer lines have a tendency to clog over time. Minerals and residue may build up, restricting the flow of water from the street to your home. Or, your kid may have flushed one too many rubber duckies down the toilet, clogging and cracking your sewer line.

High Water Pressure

Ironically, that drop in water pressure you may be experiencing may be caused by high water pressure. High water pressure from the street may add stress to your pipes and cause them to fail.

Ground Movement

If you live on a fault line and the earth is moving under your feet, well, that could do it. Frequent freeze/thaw cycles could also be a culprit.

Acidic Soil

If you’re enjoying a bumper crop of blueberries and your blue hydrangeas are the talk of the town, you may end of paying for them in the form of a new water or sewer line. Acidic soils, which make your blue plants happy, may speed up the deterioration of your pipes.

Water Line Inspection, Repair, and Installation

It’s easy to take clean water for granted. Let’s say you’re thirsty: you turn on the tap, fresh cool water flows out. End of story. You probably don’t spend a lot of mental energy figuring out where that water comes from. (Hint: if you live in a city, then it arrives via a water supply line from the street to home to your faucet.)

However, if you notice a sudden drop in water pressure, discolored water, stained sinks, or a persistent puddle in your yard, then there’s a good chance you’ve got trouble in water city and it’s time to call the water doctor (also known as your plumbing professionals) for help.

Your plumber will determine exactly where your leak is located. If you’re lucky, only a section of the water line will need to be replaced. If this is the case, then the faulty sections of pipe are replaced with brand-new, high-quality pipe. However, if you’re having your yard excavated, you may want to consider a full replacement. You’ll probably thank yourself down the line. Talk to your plumber about your options before making a decision. Once your new pipe has been installed, it will be inspected and approved. Make sure you ask your plumber to do their best to restore your yard so you can reseed and landscape.  

Sewer Line Inspection, Repair and Replacement

Keep your eyes and ears open for signs of a potential sewer line clog or leak. Some common symptoms of clogs include:

A Toilet that Talks Back

If you hear a bubbling or gurgling issuing from your toilet after you flush, it means that trapped air is traveling back up through your sewer line and escaping from the toilet bowl. That’s not good.

Your Drains are Slow

A slow-draining drain may be caused by a grease, paint, hair, soap scum, or other blocking agents.

Your Drains Smell Like a Dumpster

This may be caused by a buildup of food, fat, and other unpleasantness.

Indications of a broken sewer line include sewage backup, higher than normal water/sewer bills, a sulfurous odor, or sewage puddles in your yard.

Ask your plumber about having a video inspection to avoid the mess and expense of exploratory plumbing. This is also a great opportunity to inspect the overall integrity of your sewer pipes. Once they’ve identified the problem and assessed the structural condition of your pipes, they’ll be able to determine if an augur or high-pressure flush will solve the problem. If not, a full replacement may be in your future.

Worried about the costs associated with water line or sewer line replacement and repair? The City has partnered with American Water Resources to provide homeowners with unlimited protection for water and sewer line repairs. Need a professional plumber that can assess your water and sewer lines? Contact Parthenon Plumbing & HVAC.