Many older homes (originally built before and including the 1930's) in the Atlanta area were built with clay sewer pipes. This was not unusual at the time but since then, we have developed newer and better types of pipes that can last longer - but be aware that there are pros and cons to clay pipes.

But, what if there is a crack (or you suspect that there is one) in a clay pipe in your home - can it be patched or fixed? - The answer is yes. A sewer camera inspection would be the best method to find out where the source of the problem is. The results of the inspection will determine whether we can fix the issue with a trenchless repair process or a more traditional method.

Note that depending on the amount of damage in your sewer pipe system - it may end up costing you less to re-pipe your entire system. There are multiple other types of piping material these days that can serve your home better than the old clay pipes.

How Long Do Clay Sewer Pipes Normally Last?

On average, clay sewer pipes have a lifespan of anywhere from 50 to 60 years.

When you compare that to other types of pipes - clay falls somewhere in the middle as far as lifespans of pipes go.

Here is a list of the normal lifespan of other types of pipes for comparison.

  • Clay - 50 to 60 years
  • Polybutylene - 10 to 15 years
  • Galvanized Steel - 20 to 50 years
  • Pex - 40 years
  • Brass - 40 to 70 years
  • Copper - 50 to 70 years
  • PVC - 75 years
  • Cast Iron - 75 to 100 years
  • Lead - 100 years

If you do end up deciding to re-pipe your home, your plumber can discuss with you the pros and cons of each of these different types of materials and of course, the cost difference.

What Are The Signs Of A Broken Sewer Pipe?

So, how can you tell if you are having problems with your clay sewer pipes? Well - one of the best clues are those of a sewage backup.

There are some very specific tell-tale signs that your home is experiencing a sewage backup.

  • Gurgling sounds from your drains or toilets.
  • Water backing up out of drains or toilets.
  • Water pooling around drains or toilets.
  • Smell of raw sewage coming from your drains.

Other signs you can look for include...

  • Foul sewer gas odor
  • Detection of a mold problem
  • Your drains are running slow
  • Patches of very lush grass in your lawn
  • Cracks in your foundation

Any of these signs may be indicators that your sewer pipes are suffering some form of damage.

How Much Does It Cost To Repair A Sewer Pipe?

The cost, of course, depends on the severity of the damage, the type of material the pipes are made of and the solution that is needed to fix the problem. The range can be anywhere from $3,000 to $25,000 dollars. But don't panic yet - call in a plumber to get an assessment of what the problem is first.

If you have any questions about clay pipes or are having some problems with it, call Atlantis Plumbing today at 770-443-8229. We are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.