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Signs Your Main Drain Line Needs to Be Replaced

excavator digging sewer pipe trench for main drain

Your main drain line is the underground pipe that connects your house to the public sewer system. They’re typically 102 millimetres (four inches) in diameter and can run anywhere from five to 30 metres. You may not always see it if you have a problem with your main line, but here are some signs to look for.

Older Homes Are More Susceptible

If your home was built before the late 1970s, your main drain line is likely cast iron or clay tile and more vulnerable to damage than PVC lines used for newer homes. Iron pipes were laid in sections, and as the ground changes, these sections can heave, sink and become detached. Tree roots can also penetrate the cracks in iron or clay pipes.

Another problem with iron or clay pipes is that the inside can get rough. Waste and mineral deposits can catch on rough edges and joints, causing clogs requiring sewer line cleaning or hydro jetting.

Signs Your Main Drain Line Needs Repairs

Here are some signs that the sewer main drain line at your home or business needs a repair or replacement.

  • Foul odours coming from the ground, bathroom or basement

  • Water backing up from a drain or toilet

  • Water leaking around the toilet

  • A gurgling sound from the drains

  • Slow-flowing drains

  • Low water levels in toilets

  • Cracks in the foundation, walls, floors or ceiling

  • Mould or mildew growing in your house

A clog or crack in your main drain line can lead to dangerous and costly sewer backups. If you notice any of these red flags, call a certified plumbing service to check your sewer lines. A plumber can use a tiny camera attached to a cable to examine your pipes and locate cracks and blockages. Responding to these warnings quickly can you save you time and money in the long run.

Drain Line Repair or Replacement?

Your main drain line rarely needs a complete replacement. Typically, a plumber can repair it without the expense of digging up and replacing the whole line. However, a replacement is warranted if the cast iron or tile pipes have collapsed completely. Be sure to discuss the extent of the damage with your plumber and get a second opinion before proceeding with the main drain line replacement.

Main Drain Line Replacement and Repair in the GTA

At Black Forest Plumbing, we provide main drain line pipe repair and replacement for residential and commercial customers in the Greater Toronto Area. We pride ourselves on durable repairs, affordable prices and timely service. Contact us today to book an appointment with one of our certified plumbers.


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