Main Sewer Line vs. Drain Line Issues: Signs & Solutions

Plumber with ground sewer cover open, unblocking an underground line problem with a tool
What's the Difference Between Main Line & Drain Line Problems?

Hidden behind your home’s walls, floors, and lawn is a series of pipes that carry your home’s wastewater away from your property and into the city’s sewer system.

When something goes wrong with your home’s plumbing, it’s usually because of problems with the drain lines in your home or the main sewer line that runs out to the city limits. But, due to the widespread reach, your sewer system has within your property, it can be hard to determine where specifically the problem is occurring.

To help you understand whether your plumbing problem is because of an issue with your main sewer line or your drain lines, Mr. Rooter of Omaha is here with differences between the two, common symptoms of each, and some guidance on what to do once you understand what the issue is

Signs of Main Line Problems

Most of the time, main sewer line problems occur due to the pipes being older or having corrosion. The problem will likely be caused by increased pressure from a clog, a root intrusion, a shift in soil, or something else that causes damage, leading to a leak or blockage.

Common signs that you’re dealing with the main sewer line problem include the following:

  • Frequent Toilet Backups – While a clogged toilet every once in a while could mean you’re using too much toilet paper, a toilet that frequently clogs and overflows could signify a severe clog deep in your main sewer line.
  • Water Damage – If the main sewer line in your home breaks, you’ll likely see signs of water damage. This includes peeling and bubbling paint, wood rot, and even mold and mildew growth, all of which will need to be repaired along with your sewer line leak.
  • Soggy or Lush Lawns – Underground sewer line bursts can leak water into the ground causing soggy lawns, rapid grass and vegetation growth, and uneven lawn appearances. This can also create a pest problem for your property!
  • Sewage Backup – Seeing sewage seep back up from a drain is the most obvious sign of a problem with your main sewer line rather than your drains. It’s destructive, hazardous, and emits a foul odor.

Bottom line – if you see, smell, or even suspect a sewage problem in your home, it’s best to request a professional inspection to be sure and ensure the proper plumbing repairs are done to protect the health of yourself and anyone else in your home.

Signs of Drain Line Problems

Drain line issues are usually a bit more manageable than main line problems but should still be dealt with by a professional plumber. As soon as you suspect a drain problem, seek help immediately. Doing so makes the solution cost less and helps prevent water damage to your home.

Signs that you’re dealing with a drain line problem include:

  • Signs of Clogging – Slow-moving and blocked drains without any other sewage line indicators mean the problem is isolated to the drain line. Even if snaking or another do-it-yourself drain cleaner is attempted, like combining baking soda and vinegar, to provide relief, professional cleaning may be the only thing that can actually fix the underlying issue and prevent future problems.
  • Bad Smelling Drain – If your drain smells bad but doesn’t necessarily smell like sewage, it could signify a dirty drain. Food debris, soap scum, hair, and more may be stuck to the walls of the drain, contributing to the foul odor and other issues.
  • Water Backup – Whether you’ve noticed water coming up from under your toilet or a drain, clean water leaks signify a drain line problem that needs to be inspected and repaired by a professional plumber.

Unlike main sewer line problems, drain lines require simpler solutions, even for the toughest clogs!

A professional plumber can complete the one-time unclogging services needed to get your pipes flowing, repair to fix any damage caused, and the annual drain cleaning services needed to prevent issues in the first place!

Consider Where in Your Home the Problem is Happening

Where you’ve noticed the plumbing problem in your home could also help determine if it’s your main line or a drain line. If the problem is happening in the lowest part of your home, it’s safe to assume that it’s due to an issue with your main line. If it’s occurring higher, it’s likely a drain issue.

Need Sewer Line Repairs in Omaha? Mr. Rooter of Omaha is Here.

If you’re experiencing any symptoms of sewer or drainage problems in your home, turn to the team at Mr. Rooter of Omaha for help!

We have years of experience delivering all kinds of Omaha sewer and plumbing repair services and can deliver any of the repairs you need. We also offer maintenance services after all repairs are complete to keep everything running smoothly.

When you hire our Omaha plumbers, you’ll benefit from the following:

  • An arsenal of sewer repair methods that provide long-lasting solutions and fit various budgets.
  • A team of trusted, experienced, and friendly professionals committed to providing you with top-tier service.
  • Upfront, honest, and easy-to-understand pricing estimates and clear recommendations on the best method of repair for your sewer’s specific situation.
  • Around-the-clock availability for emergency repairs and convenient appointments that work with any schedule.

It’s easy to see that Mr. Rooter of Omaha offers a service that stands out among the rest. Local homeowners think so, too – explore our customer reviews to see for yourself! You can also explore our other sewer line repair blogs to learn more about the repair process.

Request your job estimate today from our Omaha plumbers to get ahead of your sewer problems!