Main Sewer Clogs: Causes, Warning Signs & Replacement

A clog in the main sewer line can cost a homeowner or business a lot of problems and money. They can cause all sorts of trouble like sewer water backing up into a house, the toilet or washing machine not working properly, and a whole host of other things. There are some warning signs that homeowners miss that aren’t obvious. The things that cause a clogged line can be almost anything. Finally, replacing the main sewer line can cost a lot of money and time. It’s always best to catch the warning signs early. Let’s take a closer look below.

Causes of clogs

Clogs can happen from stuff like too many paper towels, bits of material like cloth, and even tree roots growing up into the line. The final cause can be a huge headache since it might involve the removal of the entire tree.

If something like tree roots is ignored too long it could lead to a mainline getting crushed. A good practice to avoid the other causes would be to avoid flushing a lot of these things down the toilet. A little preventive care can save a lot of money.

Warning signs of a clog

A lot of the warning signs are going to revolve around how the plumbing a house is acting. It’s best to pay attention to things like the washing machine and how the toilet acts. If the toilet in a home doesn’t flush right or is affected by other appliances in the home, then this is a warning sign. Most people write off a toilet that won’t flush as just clogged. This can be a mistake.

The same is true for almost any drain in a home. IF something isn’t draining right then it’s a good idea to check it out. Other obvious signs are tree roots growing around a mainline. This is an easy warning sign to see and does get ignored. Some people brush it off as nothing to be concerned over. This can be a very costly mistake. So what happens when a homeowner ignores all of these signs and they have to replace a mainline?

Cost of replacing a main sewer line

The very first step is determining if a replacement is needed. Most homeowners can have a contractor do a camera inspection and see how bad the damage is. In some cases, the clog can be cleared. When damage has been identified this is where the cost begins to pile up. The camera inspection on its own cost on average 350 dollars. Things like materials used for the new pipe, root removal, and digging the old pipe up all have costs.

The total cost does vary a bit but it falls anywhere from about 3000 to 25000 dollars. The reason that it varies so much is because of the amount of work that could be done and how much a contractor is going to charge for things like labor. Doing a search, for example, for “sewer line repair Chicago heights il” could help with looking at options.


A sewer main line is very important to a home. It let’s sewer water get out, and hopefully, stay out. A homeowner’s house will let them know when something is wrong, so it’s best to listen. Using the “sewer line repair Chicago heights il” example to search for contractors is a good idea. When a toilet or drain isn’t working right then take it seriously. Following these tips can help a homeowner prevent a small problem from becoming a big one.

By Cole Harris

Sawyer Cole Harris: Sawyer, a DIY enthusiast, shares home project tutorials, woodworking tips, and creative ways to personalize your space.