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Sewer Lateral Line: Should You Replace Your Line Before It Fails?

The sewer lateral line is the most important pipeline in your plumbing system. If any portion of the line breaks, collapses, or leaks underground due to age or structural damage, it could spell disaster for your entire home. Learn what happens if your sewer lateral line fails before you have a chance to replace it.

What Happens if the Line Breaks, Collapses, or Leaks?

All homeowners are responsible for the sewer lateral line on their property. The line begins at the city street and ends at the main sewer outlet port connected to your home. If age, time, and outside forces, such as tree roots, break the line, it can and will leak. If you don't fix the leak as soon as it occurs, it can cause problems throughout your home.

If the line does break open or collapse, a number of things may happen to the plumbing system in your home. Your toilets may back up with sewage, toilet paper, and other waste. The drains in your sinks and bathtubs may develop an unpleasant odor or scent. These are a few things that may occur if your sewer lateral line breaks, collapses, or leaks. The best way to keep your sewer line from failing completely is to call a plumber for help.

What Should You Expect From a Plumber?

A plumber can see if your sewer lateral line is at risk for failure by examining it. Plumbers usually inspect sewer lines with pipe cameras. Pipe cameras allow contractors to find holes, cracks, and even the presence of tree roots inside pipes. 

If a pipe camera detects problems in any section of your sewer lateral line, a plumber can replace those specific areas of the pipe, or they can recommend you replace the entire line. If the rest of the line will eventually crack or collapse, you may want to go ahead and opt for a complete replacement.

There are several techniques used to replace sewer lateral lines, including trenching and excavation. Trenching may be a good choice for you because it doesn't require a contractor to uproot portions of your yard to access the sewer line. The excavation technique may require a plumber to uproot some of your property to access the line. 

If you think your sewer lateral line is on the verge of failing and you would like to replace the line before it does break, contact a plumber for services today. They can help you facilitate a sewer lateral replacement if necessary.