Rooter-Man Plumbers
100% Satisfaction Guaranteed
(618) 692-9350

Cracked Sewer Pipes: Are Repairs Possible and Worthwhile?

cracked sewer pipe repair

A home’s plumbing system is often taken for granted until something goes wrong. One of the most frustrating problems a homeowner can experience is dealing with cracked sewer pipes. These underground tubes are an essential way of transporting wastewater away from your home, so when they deteriorate or crack, it can lead to serious complications. In this blog, we’ll examine various aspects of dealing with cracked sewer pipes, from understanding their causes and signs to exploring repair options available and deciding whether they’re worth investing in.

Understanding Cracked Sewer Pipes

Causes of Cracks

The integrity of sewer pipes can be compromised by an array of factors, making them susceptible to damage. Understanding these causes is vital in determining preventive measures and appropriate cracked sewer pipe repair solutions.

Environmental Factors

Environmental stressors, such as soil shifting, tree root intrusion, and freeze-thaw cycles, exert significant pressure on underground sewer pipes, leading to cracks and structural damage. Soil movements, whether due to natural geological shifts or construction activities, can cause pipes to buckle, while tree roots seeking water and nutrients infiltrate the pipes, exerting force that can lead to cracks. Additionally, in colder climates, the repetitive cycle of water freezing and thawing in the soil surrounding the pipes can cause ground movement, stressing and potentially cracking the pipes.

Material Degradation

The material composition of sewer pipes, particularly older pipes made of cast iron or clay, contributes to their vulnerability to cracks. While cast iron and clay pipes are durable, they are not immune to the effects of time and usage. Corrosion and rust in cast iron pipes and the inherent brittleness of clay pipes as they age, are two factors that increase their susceptibility to cracking and fractures, ultimately weakening their structural integrity and leading to cracks appearing over time. Over time, this degradation compromises their structural integrity, making them even more prone to damage and cracks appearing over time.

Signs of a Cracked Sewer Pipe

Foul Odors: Unpleasant smells from drains or your yard can indicate a sewer pipe issue.

Slow Draining Fixtures: When multiple fixtures are draining slowly, it could be a signal of a blockage caused by a cracked pipe.

Presence of Mold: Moisture from a cracked pipe can result in mold growth in your home.

Sinkholes or Wet Spots in the Yard: These indicate that sewage is leaking into the ground, which is a serious problem that needs immediate attention.

Types of Cracked Sewer Pipes

Different kinds of pipes can develop cracks, and knowing the type and material of your pipe can influence your choice of repair method.

Cast Iron Cracks

Cast iron pipes, while durable, can eventually develop cracks due to age and corrosion.

Clay Sewer Pipe Cracks

Cracks in clay pipes are common, especially in older homes, as clay pipes are more susceptible to deterioration.

PVC Cracks

PVC pipes can also crack, but they are less prone to this issue than cast iron or clay pipes.

Location-Specific Cracks

The repair approach for a damaged line, like a cracked sewer pipe under the house or in the basement, varies based on its location, as you must consider accessibility and potential damage.

How to Repair Cracked Sewer Pipes

When you discover a cracked sewer pipe, the situation often calls for professional intervention. Hiring sewer repair professionals is highly recommended due to the complexity and potential health hazards associated with sewer pipe repair. Here are some repair options to consider:

Patching Cracks

Can a Cracked Clay Sewer Pipe Be Patched?: In some cases, yes, but it depends on the extent of the damage.

Patching Cast Iron Sewer Pipes: Patching cast iron pipe cracks can be a temporary solution for minor breakages, but it may not be suitable for severe damage.

Pipe Lining

How Pipelining Works: Pipe lining involves inserting a liner into the damaged pipe, which creates a new, durable inner layer.

Suitability for Different Types of Pipes: Pipe lining can work for various pipe materials and is especially useful for repairing minor to moderate cracks.

Pipe Bursting

Process and Suitability: Pipe bursting involves replacing the old pipe with a new one by breaking the old pipe apart while pulling the new one in its place.

Advantages and Disadvantages: While this method is more invasive, it often becomes necessary for pipes with severe damage.

Full Replacement

Considerations for Replacement: Full replacement is often the last resort when other methods are not viable due to extensive damage or the age of the pipes.

Costs and Benefits: While it can be costly, it provides a long-lasting solution and peace of mind.

Factors Influencing Repair Decisions

Several factors should influence your decision on how to repair a cracked sewer pipe:

Severity of the Damage

The extent of the damage plays a significant role in determining the appropriate repair method.

Age and Material of the Pipe

Older pipes made of specific materials are more susceptible to cracks and may require more extensive repairs.

Costs Involved

Consider your budget and the costs associated with different repair options, including short-term and long-term expenses.

Future Prevention and Maintenance

Evaluate how you can prevent future cracks and the maintenance required for your chosen repair method.

Steps to Fix a Cracked Sewer Pipe

If you choose to hire a professional plumbing technician for sewer pipe repair, the following are the typical steps involved:

Inspection and Diagnosis

A thorough inspection is imperative to identify the extent and location of the damage.

Choosing the Right Repair Method

Based on the inspection results, select the most appropriate repair method.

Implementation and Follow-Up

The chosen repair method is implemented, and regular follow-ups ensure its effectiveness.

Last Thoughts on Cracked Sewer Pipe Fixes

Dealing with a cracked sewer pipe can be both stressful and expensive, yet taking prompt and appropriate action to safeguard both your home and health is crucial. By understanding its cause and effects as well as available repair options, you can make an informed decision regarding how best to proceed.

If you opt for patching, pipe lining, pipe bursting, or full replacement, investing in the repair of cracked sewer pipes usually pays off in the long run. Preventing further damage as well as maintaining the integrity of your plumbing system, should be a top priority for any homeowner. Don’t delay; take action as soon as you suspect a cracked sewer pipe to prevent a small problem from becoming a major crisis. Call expert plumbing professionals of Rooter-Man in Southern, IL. We have 40 years of extensive experience in the plumbing industry.

Contact Us

Questions? Want a Quote? Feel free to contact us by filling out the form, giving us a call, or sending an email.


Rooter-Man Plumbers
Serving Southern Illinois

Office Hours

Daily: 8:00am - 5:00pm

Service Hours

24hrs a day, 7 days a week

Send a Message