Sewer Main Installation

Without a sewer main, your toilets, sinks, bathtubs and showers would flood every time you turned them on. Thus, the sewer main is one of the most important parts of your home, but it is often also one of the most neglected.

Because the sewer main is built underground and away from the home, it’s very difficult to inspect for any problems. Oftentimes a minor clog or small crack can lead to significant damage if untreated. To help prevent damage to your sewer main, schedule annual inspections to find problems before they cause any serious damage.

Sewer Main Installation – from  your home to your sewage flow meter

In some cases, a sewer main will travel directly from the home to the municipal sewage line buried beneath the street. However, in many other cases, there will often be a sewage flow meter installed between your sewer main and the municipal sewage line. Determining when you need a sewage flow meter and how to install one is a task best left to the professionals.

When You Need a Sewage Flow Meter

Having a sewer meter installed will allow utility companies to accurately determine how much water is leaving your home. Without one, the utility company will assume that the amount of water exiting your home is the same as the amount entering through the water meter.

While this makes sense theoretically, there are appliances which use evaporation or other methods of removing water. This water that enters your house, thus, does not leave through the sewage main. As a result, less water leaves your home than enters it.

The sewage flow meter ensures that the water leaving your home is accurately recorded so that you are not overcharged on your sewage bill.

Click or Call 317-870-7773 to Schedule A Sewer Main Inspection

How to Install a Sewer Main from your home to your meter

Installing a sewer main from your home to your sewage flow meter can be done in four simple steps:

1. Determine Elevation Levels

In order to ensure that the sewage flows through the sewer main without backups or clogs, the sewer main will need to be constructed at a slight angle from the home to the meter meter. Additionally, it will need to run at a typically steeper angle from your meter to the municipal sewer line.

Thus, there are three elevation levels that must be determined before a sewer main can be installed:

  1. The point where the sewer main begins in the home
  2. The point where the sewage flow meter is installed to the sewer main
  3. The point where the sewer main drains into the municipal sewer line

Without determining these points ahead of time, you could find yourself running into problems during the actual installation phase.

2. Calculate the Slope of the Sewer Main

Next, calculate the slope between the starting point in your house and the meter. Calculating slope requires a simple formula that you may have learned in high school algebra class. If you don’t remember the formula or how to use it, don’t worry. A professional plumber can do the math for you.

3. Connecting Drain Pipes to the Sewage Main

All of the drainage lines in your home connect into the sewer main. Determining how to construct the pipes to ensure proper water drainage into the sewer main is a task best performed by a professional plumber. They will begin by assessing the condition of the existing pipes and their overall drainage capacity. 

Older pipes may need to be repaired or replaced as part of this phase of the sewer main installation.

4. Installing the sewer main to the sewage flow meter

After the drain pipes are connected to the sewer main, the sewage flow meter is installed. The meter may be installed inside or outside the house. For meters that must be read directly by the utility company, an exterior sewage flow meter is optimal because those reading the meter won’t have to enter your home to do so.

However, many meters can now be read by wireless devices used by the utility company. If this is the case, installing the meter indoors is wise as it will help protect it from environmental damage. To ensure the sewage flow meter can be read properly, the meter must be placed above ground and along the wall facing the street or sidewalk. 

Sewer Main Repair

There are several common problems that a sewer main is likely to experience during its life cycle. Some of these include:

  • Sewer Main Clogs: Because the sewer main drains everything from your house, any solid waste that is flushed down the toilet or washed down the sink collects within the sewer main over time and can cause a clog without regular drain cleanings.
  • Frozen Sewer Main: If the sewer main is not constructed below the frost line or at a proper slope to ensure running water flows easily, the sewer main can freeze. This is likely to create clogs and increase the chance of a broken pipe.
  • Broken Sewer Main: Untreated cracks in a pipe will eventually lead to a break while frozen water can cause an immediate burst. A broken sewer main is likely to cause flooding within your home and require immediate replacement.

Even with proper maintenance of your plumbing system, a sewer main may face unexpected problems. Signs that you may need to repair your sewer main include: plumbing appliances draining more slowly, foul smells rising throughout your home, interior or exterior flooding when it’s not raining, or water damage on the walls, floor, or ceilings of your home.

If you notice any of these problems, contact a plumber immediately. Clogs and breaks can allow sewage to seep into your home, creating dangerous fumes which could cause respiratory illness or even neurological damage.

To protect your sewer main from common problems, schedule yearly drain inspections with a professional plumber.

Click or Call 317-870-7773 to schedule a drain inspection