Ignoring a faulty sewer line is downright foolish. After all, it doesn’t only damage your property but also risks your family’s health & safety.  

Taking corrective action as soon as possible is a must and not optional. Moreover, if there is a sewer backup, you and your loved ones will be exposed to threats like fecal-oral diseases. Aside from that, your family may also be exposed to toxic gases such as Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs), Methane, Ammonia, and even Asbestos. If you give it a closer look, there is no sound reason to take such risks. 

Health Problems Caused By A Faulty Sewer Line

The leaks from a faulty sewer line can promote the growth of mold, mildew, and bacteria. When it is not fixed right away, it can slowly damage your home and affect your indoor air quality. Unlike these living organisms, sometimes, problems caused by a faulty sewer line is undetectable through our eyes or our sense of smell. For example, some VOCs coming from your sewer does not have a smell at all. Prolonged exposure to these things can affect your family’s health in a lot of ways. Here are some of them:

  • Fatigue,
  • Headache,
  • Troubled Breathing,
  • Respiratory Infections,
  • Dizziness or lightheadedness,
  • Poor memory or concentration,
  • And More severe asthma episodes.

Depending on the severity of the gas leak, it can even result in death.

Let’s face it. The homeowner is responsible for the functionality, upkeep, and replacement of the sewer line. It’s critical for the health of everyone in your home.

Your insurance company will not provide coverage for the damage caused due to the deteriorating sewer line. At most, you may find some coverage for sewer backups. Therefore, you must identify the best solution for your plumbing system and take some action.

To find the right solution, homeowners must understand the sewer line issue and its causes.

Find the Root Cause of The Sewer Line Issue

Frequent sewer backups and nasty leaks are a massive nuisance for homeowners. However, the issue may become even more complicated once it is ignored for too long. Plumbing systems are complex, and something as simple as the way the pipes were installed can become an issue. 

There are a few reasons why you might be dealing with faulty and broken sewer pipes. Here are some common ones:

  1. An aging cast iron plumbing infrastructure
  2. Heavy tree root infestation
  3. Incorrect installation of sewer pipes
  4. Structural failure due to corrosion
  5. Pipe connections that have deteriorated
  6. Issues with the slope and pitch of the pipe

During the 1930s, there was an upsurge in the construction of housing facilities. These premises usually utilized cast iron plumbing pipes for their sewers. The average life of these fixtures is about 80 to 100 years. Therefore, most of the old houses have deteriorating plumbing systems which are reaching the end of their life. It’s no surprise why older houses still standing today are more prone to indoor air quality issues.

Did you know that tree roots can extensively damage the pipes? Tree roots can penetrate inside the sewer line and find subsistence through the sewage water. One way to evade this situation is by planting maple trees or poplars which have shallow roots.

To evaluate the level and nature of the sewer line damage, you need to hire a plumber. This professional will most likely use a video sewer inspection to ascertain the condition of the plumbing. If the sewer line is severely damaged, a sewer line replacement may be more suitable than repair.

What Determines the Replacement Timeline?

When your plumbing pipes are deteriorating, a sewer line repair is only a temporary solution. Therefore, it may be wiser for you to invest in a holistic solution like a replacement. 

A homeowner will never regret this choice as it will relieve him of hassle and give him peace of mind.

Here are a few factors that can affect how long it takes to replace the sewer pipes. 

  1. The material of the pipe
  2. The age of the pipe
  3. Type of damage to the sewer line
  4. The location of the clog or blockage
  5. The chosen repair method 

There is no doubt about the superior performance and longevity of PVC pipes. When compared with cast iron, ductile iron, concrete, steel, and asbestos cement pipes, PVC pipes had the lowest failure rate. However, homeowners should talk to their contractors for proper installation and use of PVC pipes for safer air quality inside your home. Check with them if they have BPA-free and phthalate-free pipes to eliminate the possibility of these chemicals off-gassing inside your home.

While there may be variation in completion time due to limitations, you can get a rough idea about the procedures. 

If you opted for a traditional sewer line replacement, expect it to take anywhere from four to six days. In comparison, a trenchless method is more time-efficient as it requires minimal excavation. You can have a complete replacement within a weekend unless there are some complications

A traditional sewer liner replacement time does not include the time it takes to have a complete landscape replacement. If you choose this method, you will have to bear with the hassle for more than a week.

A Timely Sewer Line Replacement Is Essential

A plumbing issue may escalate further if effective action is not taken within time. 

Extreme water damage can be a threat to both the property and your belongings. Therefore, you need to weigh your solutions and choose the right one. However, you may wonder what factors must be considered to make a great decision.

One consideration is cost. HomeGuide reports that a trenchless sewer line replacement can cost anywhere between $6,000 to $12,000.

This trenchless modern procedure results in minimal invasiveness. If you opt for a more traditional replacement method, expect to pay an average of $3,000 to $6,000. However, if the sewer situation is too complicated, the replacement may even cost up to $30,000.

While a traditional sewer replacement may seem the cheaper option on paper, it is usually isn’t. Most plumbers do not include the excavation costs when they give a quote. Apart from that, homeowners must also keep a certain amount on the side for the landscape replacement. 

Not only does the traditional sewer line replacement consume more time, but it also costs more. Therefore, homeowners should opt for the modern and less invasive trenchless replacement procedure. 

If you consider the costs and invasiveness of the method, the trenchless sewer line replacement method will seem more suitable.

The Final Thoughts

Homeowners miss their nuisance-free lives when a sewer issue strikes and rightly so. 

The foul odor, slow draining, and unsanitary conditions are repulsive to people. There are various reasons why the plumbing system might need to be replaced. 

Usually, corrosion, deteriorating cast-iron pipes, and tree root infestations result in faulty and broken pipes. In the case that timely action is not taken, there may be substantial water damage to your property & belongings, and most of all, cause health issues to your family.  

While a trenchless sewer line replacement can be done within three days, traditional replacement takes about a week. Moreover, the trenchless method is also more cost-efficient.


This was a guest post from Ashley Rosa.

About Ashley Rosa: Ashley Rosa is a freelance writer and blogger. Writing is her passion, that’s why she loves to write articles related to the latest trends in technology and sometimes on health-tech as well.  She is crazy about chocolates. You can find her on twitter: @ashrosa2.