Most people probably never think of their sewer system until there’s a problem. As a homeowner or property manager, knowing about your home’s or office’s drain system can help you manage issues more effectively or even resolve them without involving a professional sewer and drain cleaning company. 


The sewer system in your home is often a smaller unit or a part of a much larger wastewater infrastructure or waste removal system in your municipality. This is why drainage and sewage systems are essential to modern plumbing. 


Understanding how your sewer and drain pipes work can also help you choose the right materials for your building. You can also stay compliant with building codes, which are sets of rules that specify the standards for constructing buildings in your area.

What are sewer and drain pipes?

Sewer drain pipes or main drain pipes are special large pipes connected to a particular building and help convey water and wastewater away from the building’s plumbing system to a sewer. There are different types of sewer drain pipes, with each best suited for different applications. 


There are two different types of wastewater pipes installed in sewers and drains. Note that while residential or commercial drainage pipes run from your home or commercial building to the municipal sewer owned by your city, you are responsible for maintaining and repairing the pipes. There is another type of pipe, called sewer drain pipe, which takes wastewater from your property to the municipality’s water treatment facility. The local water authority manages this.

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What are the Types of Drain Pipes?

There are different types of drain pipes on the market to choose from. There are different types of sewer pipes based on the materials used in making the pipe. This includes clay or ceramic pipes, cast iron sewer pipes (thick metals), Orangeburg sewer pipes (wood-fiber conduit), PVC sewer pipes, white flexible plastic, ABS pipes, and reinforced concrete sewer pipes. To make the best choice, you might want to talk to a certified sewer and drain specialist near you.

What is the Best Drainage Pipe?

Most plumbing experts and drain and sewer specialists recommend PVC, ABS, and HDPE pipes for the majority of drainage and sewerage purposes. These pipes stand the test of time and can serve you for the long haul. ABS and PVC pipes have common characteristics and are often used in similar applications. They are both plastic pipes that are inexpensive, lightweight, and resistant to corrosion. However, Polyvinyl Chloride (PVC) pipes are more popular with plumbing specialists and are extensively used in many home and commercial buildings. 


How Long Does Sewage Pipes Last?

The lifespan of a standard sewer line is between 50 to 100 years, depending on the integrity of the sewer pipe and how it was installed initially. The average life expectancy of mist sewer pipes is believed to be 75 years. In addition to this, the phenomenon that has occurred underground over time, and materials surrounding the sewer can equally affect the life expectancy of the pipes. 

What Causes Blockage in Sewer Lines?

Sewer line obstructions or blockages result from a variety of factors. Common causes of sewer line clogs are grease (accumulated over time), root intrusions, and the build-up of debris or foreign objects. Note that if these clogs are not removed on time, they can cause very unpleasant situations within the pipes. 

What is the Best Sewage Pipe Cleaning Method? 

The three drain cleaning options commonly used are store-bought cleaning chemicals, drain snaking, and hydro-jetting. Of these, hydro-jetting is the most accepted and environmentally-friendly option. Chemical cleaning involves using chemical drain cleaners, making them the most affordable sewer drain cleaning option. But they are not the best drain cleaning option. 


Snake drain cleaning and hydro-jetting are a bit more advanced. Snake drain cleaning uses a plumbing auger device to remove waste from the pipes, while hydro-jetting uses pressurized water to dislodge debris and all kinds of waste stuck within the pipes. 

How to Prevent Damage

Sewer damages occur anytime — in most cases, when you least expect it. There’s no specific method to prevent damage to your sewer line. However, from experience, it is best to constantly keep an eye on the pipes and engage a professional drain cleaning company to clean the drainage routinely.


A particularly efficient way to do this is to watch out for signs of malfunction, such as slow-moving drains, foul odors in your sink and toilets, and gurgling sounds from your pipes. These are indications that something is wrong.

Repair vs. Replacement of Drain Pipes: Which is Better? 

Whether you repair or replace the pipes depends on the type of pipe installed underground. For instance, if you ascertain a fault in cast-iron pipes that are under a concrete slab, for instance, they should be replaced and not repaired. In most cases, if the damage is severe, regardless of the type of pipe, a replacement should be done. 
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What is the Cost of Replacing a Damaged Sewer Pipe?

What you will spend putting your sewer line back in order will typically differ depending on the nature of the damage and the type of pipe inquisition. Sometimes, other factors like the sewer and drain specialist you’re working with can influence the overall cost of repairing or replacing your damaged drain pipes.


Therefore, the best way to know the project’s cost is to reach out to a sewer and drain cleaning company near you with complete details on what you need to do. 

Your Sewer Line Can be Inspected with a Special Video Camera

This is known as sewer camera line inspection. It is a smart technology that uses a special camera inserted into the drain pipes. It is connected to a flexible cord and made to move around the corners of the pipe. The camera sends a live feed to a monitor where the sewer and drain specialist can see it and follow its movement in the pipes. 

Need Help Cleaning Your Drain and Sewer Pipes?

Reach out to us today at N.W. Sewer & Drain for quick diagnosis and resolution of all sewer and drain-related issues in your home or office. We have a ready-to-move reliable team of experienced plumbing technicians dedicated to fixing all your drainage issues, including broken drain pipes and clogged drain pipes.

We currently service residential and commercial properties in Seattle, including Everett, Marysville, Arlington, Oak Harbor, Burlinton, Bellingham, Bellevue, Kirkland, Shoreline, Renton,  Lake Forest Park, Mountlake Terrace, Auburn and other surrounding areas. For about 20 years, we have maintained top-notch drain cleaning services. Whether snaking, hydro-jetting, or trenchless sewer pipe repair, we follow the best practices in the industry.


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