Sewer Main Line / Lateral

What Part Of The Sewer Main Line Is Your Responsibility

Your sewer main line is indispensable to a home’s plumbing system. The city of Riverside suggests that homeowners should periodically clean their sewer lines If we’re honest with ourselves, we would never think of performing plumbing maintenance on our sewer line unless something went terribly wrong. If you have an older home, you may want to have your line inspected to ensure everything is up to par. 

What Part Of The Sewer Lateral Is The City’s Responsibility?

Many homeowners believe that the sewer line is the city’s responsibility up to the house. Not so, the city is responsible for the line up to the meter coming in from the street. Most meters have two shutoffs; one in the front of the meter for the city and one for the homeowner. If your plumbing contractor is completing work on your sewer main and notices that the problem is on the city’s portion of the line, immediately call 3-1-1 to reach the call center. City staff will be dispatched to investigate the problem.

How To Protect Your Sewer Line From Damage And Clogs

Your sewer line is a pipe made of either clay, cast iron, or polyvinyl chloride (PVC). Most homes built from 1970 and beyond have a PVC sewer line, which is the most reliable of the three. While your sewer main line is the only conduit that carries wastewater, consider it as you would an appliance that needs to be inspected and maintained.

  • Your sewer pipe should be cleaned and inspected by a licensed plumbing contractor every 3 to 5 years to ensure it’s not broken or cracked, especially if you live in a home over 30 years old. 
  • What we pour down our drain is critical for a well maintained lateral. Dispose of grease and fats in the trash and never pour it down your drain. Grease and fat can harden and block the drain. 
  • Never flush personal hygiene products, baby wipes, or diapers down the toilet.
  • Never dispose of household chemicals down the drain, including paint and some household cleaners, because they can corrode pipes.
  • Don’t ever plant shrubs or trees close to your sewer line because roots are capable of finding their way into the slightest breach in the line. Once they’re in, they will thrive off the raw sewage and clog your line. While most sewer lines will not allow for the intrusion but in some cases, the line may have been poorly installed or have had failed joints or cracks due to age and shifting soil.

It’s The Homeowner’s Responsibility To Maintain Their Sewer Main Line

Keep in mind that it’s the homeowner’s responsibility to maintain and care for the sewer line from the property line to the home. If there is a blockage in the lines, it’s the homeowner’s responsibility to restore wastewater flow. If not already installed, it is also a good idea to have a licensed plumbing contractor install a cleanout. 

Only Hire A Licensed Plumbing Contractor

The city of Riverside recommends hiring a licensed contractor for repairing your sewer line. Below are their recommendations.

  1. Hire a licensed plumbing contractor with full insurance to complete periodic cleanings and inspections.
  2. Check references and reviews.
  3. Ask for a flat fixed quote.
  4. Get more than one bid.
  5. Ask about the company’s guarantee.
  6. Request for a copy of the estimate.

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