Emergency Service 2 hours from when you call

Sewer line replacement involves removing and installing a new sewer pipe to keep your plumbing system working properly. Over time, sewer lines can develop problems that need replacement, such as severe blockages, cracks, or corrosion. If left unaddressed, these problems can lead to major damage and costly repairs. In this blog, we’ll explore the common reasons why a sewer line might need to be replaced and the signs that show there’s a problem.


Causes of Sewer Line Damage

Sewer lines may need to be replaced when they become damaged beyond repair. Many factors can lead to this damage, causing issues that make replacement the best option. Here are some common causes of sewer line damage:

  • Tree Root Infiltration: Tree roots can grow into the sewer line, causing blockages and cracks. As roots search for water, they can enter the pipes and create major problems.
  • Aging Pipes: Older sewer lines, especially those made from outdated materials like clay or cast iron, can deteriorate over time, leading to cracks, leaks, and collapses. These materials weaken with age, making them more prone to damage.
  • Ground Shifting: Changes in the ground due to construction, heavy traffic, or natural shifts can put pressure on sewer lines, causing them to crack or break. This movement can stress the pipes and lead to breaks.
  • Clogs and Blockages: Buildups of grease, debris, and foreign objects can create severe blockages that are difficult to remove, leading to damage and the need for replacement. Persistent clogs can wear down the pipes over time.
  • Corrosion: Sewer pipes made from metal can corrode over time due to constant exposure to water and waste, weakening the structure and causing leaks. The metal gradually wears away, making the pipes fragile.
  • Poor Installation: If a sewer line was not installed correctly, it might develop problems sooner than expected, leading to the need for early replacement. Incorrect installation can cause immediate or early issues with the sewer line.


Signs Your Sewer Line May Need Replacement

Identifying problems with your sewer line early can save you from expensive repairs and major disruptions. There are several warning signs that show your sewer line might be in trouble and could need replacement. By paying attention to these signs, you can take action before the situation worsens. Here are some common indicators that your sewer line may need to be replaced:


1. Frequent Backups

One of the most common signs that your sewer line may need replacement is frequent backups. If you notice that your drains are consistently clogging or backing up, it could mean a serious issue with your sewer line. These backups can occur in multiple drains around your home, and using a plunger or drain cleaner provides only temporary relief. Regular backups suggest that there is a major blockage or damage in the sewer line that needs attention.


2. Unpleasant Odors

If you smell unpleasant odors coming from your drains or around your property, it could be a sign of sewer line damage. Sewer lines are designed to keep foul odors from escaping, but when there are cracks or leaks, these smells can get out and become noticeable. The presence of these odors, especially if they linger despite cleaning, shows that the sewer line is not working properly and may need to be replaced.


3. Slow Drains

Slow-draining water in sinks, tubs, and showers can point to a problem with your sewer line. While a single slow drain might be due to a minor clog, multiple slow drains throughout your home often mean a more serious issue. This can happen when the sewer line is blocked or damaged, preventing water from flowing freely. If you experience widespread slow drainage, it’s a good idea to have your sewer line checked.


4. Green Patches in the Yard

Unusually green and thick patches of grass in your yard can mean a leaking sewer line. The wastewater leaking from the pipe acts as a fertilizer, causing the grass above it to grow more strongly. While a greener lawn might seem like a good thing, it’s actually a sign that untreated sewage is seeping into the soil, which can lead to health hazards and environmental issues. This often means the sewer line needs to be replaced to stop further leakage.


5. Mold Growth

Mold growth inside your home can be a sign of a sewer line problem. If a sewer line is leaking, the extra moisture can seep into your home’s walls and floors, creating an ideal environment for mold to grow. This is a concern because mold can pose serious health risks to you and your family. If you notice unexplained mold growth, it’s important to look into the possibility of a sewer line leak.


6. Foundation Cracks

Cracks in your home’s foundation can be a serious sign that your sewer line is damaged. When a sewer line leaks or breaks, it can cause the ground beneath your home to shift or settle unevenly, leading to foundation problems. These cracks can compromise the strength of your home, so if you notice new or worsening foundation cracks, it’s important to have your sewer line checked and potentially replaced.


7. Pest Infestations

An increase in pests such as rodents or insects around your home can point to a broken sewer line. These pests are attracted to the moisture and waste from a leaking sewer line and can easily enter your home through cracks and gaps. If you notice more pest activity, it might be due to a compromised sewer line that needs to be repaired or replaced to keep pests away and protect your home.


image of a sewer line underground - why would a sewer line need to be replaced


Replacement Methods for Sewer Lines

Replacing a sewer line can be done using different methods, each suited for specific situations. Here are the main methods used to replace sewer lines:

  • Traditional Excavation
  • Trenchless Pipe Bursting
  • Trenchless Pipe Lining (Cured-in-Place Pipe, CIPP)


Traditional Excavation

Traditional excavation involves digging up the entire length of the damaged sewer line to remove and replace it. This method is often used when the pipe is severely damaged or when other methods are not a good fit. Although it works well, traditional excavation can be disruptive and time-consuming, as it requires digging large trenches that can disturb landscaping, driveways, and other structures.


Trenchless Pipe Bursting

Trenchless pipe bursting is a less invasive method that involves pulling a new pipe through the old one, and breaking the old pipe apart as the new one takes its place. This method requires only small entry and exit points, making it less disruptive than traditional excavation. It is a great option for replacing pipes that are badly damaged or collapsed, as it allows for the installation of a new, strong pipe without extensive digging.


Trenchless Pipe Lining (Cured-in-Place Pipe, CIPP)

Trenchless pipe lining, also known as cured-in-place pipe (CIPP), involves inserting a flexible liner coated with resin into the damaged pipe. The liner is then inflated and cured, forming a new pipe within the old one. This method is ideal for pipes with minor to moderate damage, as it strengthens the existing pipe without the need for extensive digging. Trenchless pipe lining is a quick and effective way to restore the sewer line with little disruption.



Sewer Line Replacement in Northeastern Pennsylvania

If you’re experiencing sewer line issues in Northeastern Pennsylvania, Environmental Service Corp. is here to help. Our experienced team provides reliable sewer line replacement services to keep your plumbing system working smoothly. Contact us today for a professional inspection and to learn more about how we can resolve your sewer line problems quickly and thoroughly.



Sewer line replacement is needed when damage becomes too severe to repair. Recognizing the signs of sewer line issues early can prevent major damage and costly repairs. Whether it’s tree roots, aging pipes, or other common causes, addressing these problems quickly with the right replacement method is important. Keeping an eye on your sewer line and acting fast can help keep your plumbing system in good shape.