A Guide to Sewer and Drain Lines in Minneapolis – St. Paul
Minnesota is rich with history, in school you learn how much this state has grown but a topic that isn’t covered is infrastructure, specifically, Minneapolis sewer lines and how they can affect your day-to-day life. If you own a home in Minneapolis/St. Paul or really anywhere around the Twin Cities, you may have thought:
- Where does the waste in my home go after it leaves my sink, toilet, or shower?
- What happens if my home’s mainline gets clogged or breaks?
- Who’s responsible to fix a broken sewer line?
Who Fixes Minneapolis Sewer Lines?
What is a house’s main line?
Before leaving your home, all of your drains dump into your mainline.
A home’s mainline is where waste from the drains and toilets in your home meets and exits the house to the city sewer line.
It’s usually inside your home in the lowest portion of the home or outside of your house. When you are having an issue with your mainline, you may also be experiencing other plumbing issues in your home. When you see a backup in the lowest part of your home that usually includes sewage, then you can safely guess that you are having an issue with your mainline.
Who Maintains My Main Sewer line?
Pipes in your home are called “Branch lines”, these connect to your home’s mainline which then connects to the city sewer and takes it to a place nobody really wants to visit. Minneapolis/St. Paul and most other Minnesota cities are responsible for the city sewer line located in the street, you’re responsible for the sewer line on your property.
Signs that the sewer in your home is damaged?
· Slow pipe drains
· Clogs or backups
· Foul smells from sewer gases
· Pest infestation
· Rotted flooring
· Warped or separated wood floors
· Tinted (raised) floor tiles
· Loose or broken floor tiles
· Water logged flooring
· Water-stained floor tiles &grout
· Water-stained/discolored carpet or rug/mat
How long do home sewer lines last?
The infrastructure of the Minneapolis/St. Paul can actually be an interesting topic if you’re living in a home built before 1980, there were a variety of different types of pipes used to carry waste from your home to the mainline. Spoiler! They won’t last forever, especially if you have an older home.
Materials Used For Pipes in the Twin Cities
Lead Sewer Pipes: Lead sewer pipes can last 100 years, but they are not without their dangers. Lead pipes are gray in color and can be easily scratched with a knife. If you have lead pipes, you will want to replace them immediately, as they can leach lead into the water supply.
Clay Sewer Pipes: Clay pipes typically last between 50-60 years. They have been in use since about 4000 BC in the widely agreed upon the birthplace of city plumbing: Babylonia. While you are not likely to find any Babylonian-age clay pipes, it’s not uncommon to find these in homes built prior to the 50’s and occasionally in homes as late as the 70’s.
Cast Iron Sewer Pipes: These were installed most often between the 50’s and 70’s and will last 75-100 years in most residential applications, so you can expect your 1950 Cast Iron Pipe to fail as early as the year 2025.
Orangeburg Sewer Pipes: These pipes begin to deform after 30 years and tend to fail after 50. Orangeburg pipe was used from 1860 until the 1972. If you have an orangeburg pipe, just know that you’re gonna need to call us BECAUSE THEY WERE CONSTRUCTED USING WOOD PULP AND TAR. The reason for them is pretty clear, they became popular because iron was in high demand during World War II, and Orangeburg was a great replacement.
Replace Your Damaged Sewer Mainline with PVC
Dean’s Drain and Sewer Service is able to help with all drain issues including our mainline sewer service with camera inspection which will give you a better idea of just what’s going on and help you be better prepared. If there is damage due to tree roots or shifting in the ground, our Plumbing and Drains department will provide you with Mainline sewer replacement options that will last a lifetime.