Sewer Line Maintenance, Repair and Replacement Strategies


“Don’t know what you got, til it’s gone…” – truer words have never been spoken, and while 80’s rockers Cinderella were talking about love, the same adage applies to your sewer line. Sewer lines are the workhorse of your home or building’s plumbing system. It swiftly whisks away wastewater, sending it back to the wastewater treatment facility while removing foul odors, bacteria and germs. We tend to just take sewers for granted, but the moment our nose, ears, or eyes sense something may be wrong, fixing it becomes our utmost priority.

Depending on how your house or building was built, not to mention where and when, your sewer line might involve hundreds of feet of pipe, often running under concrete slabs, foundations, and landscaping, before connecting to the city line. Therefore, when symptoms present, it can be a challenge to detect and diagnose the problem. Ace Plumbing and Rooter is a highly trained plumbing and engineering contractor and sewer repair specialist, we can help you resolve your sewer line issues and maintain your lines with fast response repairs and preventative maintenance strategies.

Sewer Line Maintenance, Repair and Replacement Strategies

The most common causes of sewer line issues are:

  1. Clogs – simply put, we demand a lot from our toilets and drains, but out of sight doesn’t always mean out of mind. Grease, hair, food waste, hygiene products, and things that were never meant to be flushed (on purpose or by accident) can get stuck between their entry point and the city line. A small buildup of grease can collect other debris and eventually clog the line.
  2. Aging Pipes – in San Francisco, many buildings are more than a century old, which means their pipes are aging too. Metal “galvanized” pipes are prone to rust while ceramic Terra Cotta pipes can crack and allow tree roots to intrude. While temporary repairs can be made, eventually, the time will come for a full or partial sewer line replacement.
  3. Tree Roots and Ground Shifts – Tree roots are the most common culprit of damaged sewer lines, they often coil around the pipe before breaking through. Roots naturally detect the moisture within pipes and will make every attempt to access it. San Francisco sits on a world-famous seismic fault line, so earthquakes and tremors can cause sewer lines to shift and break.

The most common signals your sewer line needs help:

  1. Sight – tubs, sinks and showers that are slow to drain, or a slower than normal or burping toilet flush, signal sewer line buildup. This can often be cured with Ace’s award-winning rooter and hydro Jetter service, which is usually the first remedy we’ll employ.
  2. Smell – even if the water is draining, a lingering foul odor is a clear sign something is up further down the sewer line.
  3. Sound – if you hear gurgling, bubbles, or squelches after showering or flushing the toilet, you’re hearing water pass around a clog – so the earlier you fix it, the better!
  4. Feel – if you step into standing water around your toilet or shower, that’s one signal a drainage issue may be at hand. Outside, if you see the landscaping deflate like a soufflé, or the ground is wet when it hasn’t rained for a while, then your sewer line might be broken.
Sewer Line Maintenance, Repair and Replacement Strategies


Having an urgent problem and can’t wait? We will call you.

Sewer Line Repair Strategies

  1. Rooter Service – quite often, ACE technicians can unclog a drain simply by sending our extended telescopic rooter coil straight to the issue, bringing the clog back up to the surface where we can dispose of it properly. We can access the sewer line from a sink or shower drain, a toilet, or a sewer line clean out access point.
  2. Video Scope – even once the waste water is flowing once more, it’s best to send a video camera down there to check the integrity of the line all the way to the city connection. We can note other clogs, cracks, roots, and breaks along the way.
  3. Trenchless Sewer Line Replacement is a cost-effective solution that doesn’t require as much expensive digging, disruptions to your landscaping or holes in your concrete. For this service, we pull a new high density polyethylene pipe through the existing sewer line to replace compromised pipes. This solution is often the most cost-effective way to replace your sewer line.
  4. Conventional Sewer Line Replacement – In the event your sewer is not a good candidate for a trenchless sewer replacement, Ace can excavate and replace your damaged sewer line.
  5. HydroJet Sewer Line Cleaning ACE has the most powerful fleet of high-pressure HydroJetters in the city, pumping water at 4000 PSI (18 gallons per minute) to safely blast all grease buildup, clogs and debris into the city line. This is a cost effective preventative maintenance service for homes and businesses that are more susceptible to sewer line clogs.
  6. Spot repairs make sense if we need to replace a section of your sewer line, or the entire run. Ace is your proven sewer line replacement specialist. We have tools, equipment, and highly trained technicians to get the job done right at a competitive price.

If you have immediate sewer line needs, or want to discuss preventative maintenance solutions, give your sewer line experts at Ace a call!

Sewer Line Maintenance, Repair and Replacement Strategies