Understanding Edmonton Drainage Pipe Systems In Your Home

An underground Edmonton drainage pipe visible in a trench that has been dug around the pipe.

Edmonton property owners rely heavily on healthy plumbing systems that supply them with clean water and remove waste from their homes to keep them safe. It’s interesting to think about all your home’s drainage pipes because not many come to mind at first, except for the secondary drains that are connected to plumbing fixtures like toilets, sinks, and tubs. Did you know that those are all connected to one sewer line? Every home in Edmonton has one primary drainage pipe that moves all of your wastewater to the city’s treatment plant.

People forget about exterior drainage systems like storm drainage, cleanouts, and vent pipes. Any problems that involve drainage backups aren’t always easy to detect without a professional’s diagnosis. This is where your Edmonton plumber comes in with specialist tools and expertise. Functioning pipes are an important part of your home. The experts at Mr. Rooter Plumbing of Edmonton aim to ensure yours are in working order so that you are in a safe, comfortable, and secure environment.

If you want to avoid serious consequences, you must take the necessary measures to keep your Edmonton drainage pipe systems in working condition. This guide will help you learn more about how proper plumbing systems are designed to keep your home safe from waterborne waste and other toxic elements, and how to know if you need repairs.

Edmonton Drainage Pipes in Local Homes

Sewer Lines

Your sewer line is the main line that connects to the municipal sewer in Edmonton. Other terms for this line include main drain or main line. It is four to six inches in diameter and connects with all your secondary drainage pipes (i.e., toilets, sinks, tubs). It’s typically located in basements, garages, or crawl spaces. If you’re unsure about where yours is, your plumber will be happy to help you locate it.

This is probably the most important drainage pipe. Edmonton AB homeowners need this line to facilitate all the wastewater treatment and drainage handled by EPCOR water services, such as sanitary sewer water and stormwater treatment. Without a fully functioning main line, you wouldn’t be able to effectively get rid of any wastewater.

Instead of a mainline, some homes have a septic tank, which gives you the independence to manage your water and wastewater on your own without relying on city services. We will get to that soon.

Secondary Drainage Lines

When you flush the toilet, wash your hands, or do the dishes—the result you seek is cleanliness. Secondary lines are all those smaller drains that help you accomplish that by connecting to your fixtures and carrying away waste. Common types of secondary lines include:

Toilet, Sink, and Tub Drains

The most obvious Edmonton drainage pipe is the toilet, which is larger than the lines of other fixtures and connects directly to the sewer where waste goes straight down the lateral. While some homes have individually installed plumbing fixtures with their own drain line, many others are simply connected to the toilet’s drain line.

Washing Machine Drain Pipe

Many people often forget to include their washing machine’s drain pipe when talking about important drainage pipes. Edmonton AB homes rely on that line to keep their washer working properly.

Most washers come with a preinstalled drain hose (typically gray-colored), which must be securely hooked to a standpipe’s lip while leaving an air gap to stop water from being siphoned out of the machine. The standpipe is a vertical pipe with an open end so the washing machine drain can be inserted. There should also be a P-trap closer to the floor level to protect your home from sewer gasses.

Drain Traps

Also called p-traps, these are a part of your drainage pipes that you will find under sinks. Their primary purpose is to control sewer gas smells and other unpleasant odors by retaining or trapping water at the bottom of the U-shaped curve. It’s incredible how that small amount of water can keep you safe and spare your nose from nasty smells! You will also find a trap on the side of your toilet bowl, in your washer standpipe, and, you guessed right—your shower or tub has one too!

Exterior Drainage

There are also Edmonton drainage pipes and other systems that are responsible for controlling the flow of wastewater near the exterior of your property, including stormwater and other runoff. It’s important to know about those exterior systems too.

Sewer Cleanouts

The sewer cleanout is an important part of your sewer line, usually located in your basement, or it could be outside your home. It might not always be easy to locate or detect, but they are often within the basement floor under a metal access plate, or on a drain stack. Cleanouts give your plumber easy access to your main line for inspection or repairs.

Storm Drainage Systems

There are several ways to divert stormwater, depending on your preference. Some Edmonton homeowners connect their downspout to an underground drainage pipe, whereas others allow rooftop rainwater to drain out onto their lawns. Groundwater that reaches your home’s weeping tile is usually pumped back outside with a sump pump. Some eco-friendly methods of harnessing this water include creating a landscaped plant bed that filters stormwater and thus manages its rapid flow. Also called a rain garden, those systems reduce stormwater runoff, enabling you to make use of it rather than having it flow down drainage pipes and into Edmonton’s public lines. Rainwater barrels and cisterns also help you catch rainwater that you can use to water your greenhouse plants. Nitrogen-rich rainwater is healthier for them than our tap water.

Septic Tanks

The purpose of a septic tank is to store wastewater that has been removed from your home and not carried into a public sewer system. A septic tank requires a high level of responsibility and commitment. As long as they’re properly maintained and regularly serviced, they’re an effective alternative to public sewer systems. There are very few septic tanks within the city, but they are common in the suburbs and outlying areas.

While there are different types of septic tanks, you will still always rely on a drainage pipe from your home to carry waste to the septic tank, which is just like having your own sewage system. There’s also an inspection pipe (or two) outside with the same function as a standard cleanout. Another drainage pipe transfers the wastewater to the applicable drain field.

Signs You Need Edmonton Drainage Pipe Repair

Seeing plumbing warning signs can be a daunting experience for Edmonton homeowners, as many people tend to think about the worst-case scenarios involving contamination or costly repairs. Do you have a cracked pipe or a severe backup? You can find out exactly what’s behind those warning signs with Edmonton plumbing diagnosis and inspection services.

Visible Damage

The number of possibilities for this kind of damage is high, from a leak to a burst pipe to a collapse. It’s crucial to pay attention to your secondary drain lines because issues there could indicate an underlying problem that you need to investigate. Perhaps your plumbing system is old and corroded and suffered a collapse, or it has damaged joints and seals that need repair. Unnoticed damage could compromise your family’s safety and your home’s structural health.

Clogged Plumbing Fixtures

Clogged drains are inevitable in every home and commonly come with a wide range of additional warning signs, such as unpleasant smells, gurgling sounds, and other unusual problems with your toilet, sink, or other waste lines.

Leaking Cleanout

If your cleanout (whether in the basement or outside your home) is leaking, you likely have a main line clog that needs a certified plumber to help fix. If you’re looking for an immediate solution while you wait for service, you could try unscrewing the cap to release some pressure, but if you’re unfamiliar with it, give Mr. Rooter Plumbing of Edmonton a call, and we will take care of it.

Sewage around Floor Drains

This is one of the unpleasant signs of a main drain clog—a blockage in the most crucial Edmonton drainage pipe in your home. During that kind of clog, waste has nowhere to go and will force itself into your secondary lines. Since sewer gas contains harmful bacteria and other chemicals, it poses a health hazard to humans. Call a licensed Edmonton plumber right away if you encounter sewage around your floor drain in the basement.


There are some common signs that aren’t easily detectable without a plumber’s tools. You could have a sewer line belly or a tree root intrusion that’s damaging the drainage pipe. If you’re experiencing any unusual issues, consider calling a professional for help.

Edmonton Drainage Pipe Preventative Maintenance Services

Plumbing repairs around the city are a specialty of your Edmonton plumber, but did you know that they can also provide you with preventative plumbing solutions to help you maintain a healthy drainage pipe? Edmonton homeowners can rest assured and steer clear from irksome signs and causes of damage with thorough inspections and routine maintenance from their reliable plumbers.

Drain Cleaning

Our preventative solutions include Edmonton drain cleaning services designed to give you extra protection and help your plumbing system stay on track. While your main drain and secondary drain lines are responsible for removing liquid waste from your home, debris and other dirt still create blockages that affect your drainage pipes' overall functionality. Recurring toilet backups, gurgling sinks, and sewer smells are all warning signs that could indicate you’ll suffer from serious problems in the future.

Plumbing maintenance services like drain cleaning are necessary prevention methods to keep plumbing systems healthy. With regular service from a local plumber, you won’t have to worry about blockages in your main line or any other waste line. Our reliable HydroScrub® Jetting system clears your drainage pipes like no other, leaving everything spotless.

Drainage Pipe, Edmonton AB — Your Frequently Asked Questions

The drainage pipe system requires lots of maintenance to remain intact, but certain situations are beyond our control. That’s when many people in Edmonton want to know more about repairs and additional preventative measures. Your Edmonton plumber has already answered the most relevant questions.

What Material Is Best For Drainage Pipes in Edmonton?

PVC is widely used today, as is ABS. Many older homes might still have clay or cast iron pipes in place. While those older materials were regarded as highly robust during their installations because they have a high life expectancy, many are nearing, or are long past, their life expectancy and may be due for replacement. PVC is a lightweight, cost-effective material with an easy installation process and easy repair options, which is why it’s quite common for sewer mains, while ABS is very common in newer Edmonton homes.

How Much Does It Cost To Replace a Sewer Line In Edmonton?

The cost of replacing a drainage pipe varies considerably based on many factors, such as the line being replaced and the techniques being used. There are many cost-effective options for sewer line replacements, but it’s difficult to provide an estimate without first inspecting your system and determining the best solution. During an inspection, your Edmonton plumber will look at the damaged pipe in greater detail, using a sewer inspection camera to determine its exact condition.

One of the most popular pipe rehabilitation methods involves pipe lining and trenchless pipe bursting technology. These methods reduce costs by allowing repairs or replacements to be completed without creating large amounts of surface damage.

In more severe cases, where the damaged sewer line has to be entirely removed and replaced, you will need to include additional excavation services. But don’t despair. Call our experts at Mr. Rooter Plumber of Edmonton for a thorough inspection. We offer transparent pricing with no overtime charges, ensuring that you only get the most cost-effective solution that suits your needs.

Who Is Responsible For Residential Drainage Pipes in Edmonton?

Drain lines are part of your home’s plumbing system, which means that Edmonton homeowners are responsible for any repair or replacement services. This includes your main line up to the point where it connects with the municipal sewer.

Call Our Team for Edmonton Drainage Pipe Inspections and Repairs!

We hope you managed to gain a deeper insight into your Edmonton drainage pipes and your overall plumbing system. If you notice any inconsistencies or haven’t had drain cleaning services in a while, then it's time to call the pros at Mr. Rooter Plumbing of Edmonton for help.

Our team of experts will use the most cutting-edge technology to establish if you have a leak or a crack and find out how severe it may be. Each of our professional plumbers has years of experience, in-depth training, and access to the best tools to quickly and efficiently solve your plumbing problems. In fact, we've helped numerous homeowners across Edmonton, from St. Albert to Pleasantview and beyond.

We invite you to give our friendly customer service staff a call at.