The Difference Between Sewer Line Repair and Replacement
Posted in: Home Improvement
On November 18, 2020

When there’s a problem with your sewer line, it’s good to know for certain whether you require a repair or a replacement. Your home’s sewer system is connected to the main sewer drain — which is located off your property — by something called a sewer line. This line is your responsibility as a homeowner, so you need to contact a plumber for maintenance and service.

One reason that it’s important to understand the difference between sewer line repair and sewer line replacement is that there is a price difference depending on which you go for. Besides that, you’ll also want to go with the right option to get the best results over the long-term period.

What follows is a look at some key things to look for when considering whether to repair or replace your sewer line.

Consider the Extent of the Damage if You Have Broken Pipe

Sewer Line Repair and Replacement


If a professional plumber assesses your sewer line and finds that a pipe is broken, they will carefully assess the extent of the damage. A single break in the pipe can be repaired. But if there are multiple breaks, the best option is a sewer line replacement for a long-lasting solution.

Sewer Line Repair Might Not Cut it if Pipe is Made from Clay

Sometimes repairing what’s already there is nothing more than a band-aid solution. If your sewer line is older and is made out of clay, then a replacement – rather than a repair – is the most prudent choice. Modern sewer lines are constructed out of cast iron, which is superior to clay when it comes to durability.

Consider Cost to Fix or Replace Broken Pipe

Sewer Line Repair and Replacement


It goes without saying that a sewer line repair is more cost-effective than a sewer line replacement. But while fixing it will be enough in some instances, it won’t in others. Also consider that if you repair what you should have fixed, you may have to call the professional plumber again within a few short years – or even sooner – if the repair proves to be short-lived. Do you want to get a break on the price by repairing – while shouldering the risk of dealing with backups later on? You’ll need to weigh what needs to be done and what you’re willing to – or are able to – pay. But if a licensed plumber suggests a replacement, that’s usually your best bet.

Is Sewer Line Repair Even Viable?

Sometimes a sewer line repair is not a live option for one reason or another. For instance, if there’s an underlying issue such as a back pitch, then a mere repair might not correct the issue. In such cases, the underlying problem might have to be fixed before doing a sewer line repair.

Are Tree Roots the Root Cause of the Problem? Sewer Line Repair Might Not be Enough

Sewer Line Repair and Replacement


If tree roots have damaged your pipes, this is a telltale sign that you need a sewer line replacement rather than a mere sewer line repair. Sure, you could have a professional plumber fix a part of the pipe. But this will stave off the roots for only a period of time as they will, once they detect a water source, never stop interfering with the leaking pipes. Replacing the entire pipe, rather than trying to get by with a piecemeal approach, will repel invasive tree roots.

So What Will it be – Sewer Line Repair or Sewer Line Replacement

Again, there will be times when you’ll be able to go with any of a number of solutions to deal with a broken pipe. Repairs can be effective in certain circumstances while replacements are sometimes the only viable option. Your best bet is to call a professional plumber who will go to your home assess the situation, explain any problems discovered during the assessment, recommend an effective course of action, and answer any and all of your questions. Be sure to ask questions and to request recommendations to ensure you pursue the right course of action.

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