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How To Repair Clay Sewer Pipe in Cumbria

If you reside in Cumbria and you have an old clay sewer pipe that is cracked, broken or has been invaded by tree roots, it can be difficult and frustrating to deal with. Clay pipes were commonly used in the past, but over time, they can develop cracks, leaks, or other issues. Sewer lines can become completely clogged or even collapse. When you are facing such a situation, it is important to act quickly and seek professional help.

Drainage Cumbria are a sewer repairs company in Cumbria, specialising in the repair and replacement of sewer pipes in the North West England. Our team of experts can help you fix the issue and restore your sewer line to its original function. In this guide, we will provide you with the information you need to know about clay sewer pipes, how to identify issues, and how to repair them to prevent further damage.

Clay Sewer Pipes

Clay pipes have been in use for over a hundred years, and they were the primary material used for sewer lines in the past. Clay sewer pipes have excellent resistance to chemicals and are not affected by rust or corrosion. They are also fire-resistant and do not require any special coatings or linings. Clay pipes are relatively easy to install, and they have a long life span compared to other materials.

Old clay sewer lines can deteriorate over time due to ageing, ground movement, root invasion, or even human activity such as digging. Clay sewer pipes can crack, split, and separate at the joints. This can lead to blockages, leaks, and further damage to your sewer line. The most common causes of damage to clay pipes are tree roots, cracks, and separation.

Signs of Damage

If you suspect that you have a problem with your sewer line, you should look out for the following signs:

  • Slow draining or standing water in sinks, toilets, or bathtubs.
  • Unpleasant odours coming from the drains.
  • Gurgling or bubbling sounds when the toilet is flushed or the sink is drained.
  • Wet patches on your lawn or driveway.
  • Cracks in your pavement or walls.
  • Increased water bills.

If you notice any of these signs, it is important to seek professional help immediately.

Repairing Clay Sewer Pipes

Repairing a clay sewer pipe can be a difficult task, which requires expertise and skill. In most cases, simple repairs can be made to the pipe, and the section of the damaged pipe can be replaced with a new section. However, if the damage is too severe or the entire pipe is old and deteriorated, it may be necessary to replace the pipe altogether.

Allow Roots to Penetrate Sewer Pipes

Tree roots can invade clay sewer pipes and cause them to crack and separate. If you have a tree in your yard, it is essential to keep an eye out for the following signs:

  • Trees or plants growing near the sewer line.
  • Wet soil around the area of the sewer line.
  • Cracks in the pavement near the sewer line.
  • Foul odours coming from the drains.

If you notice any of these signs, you should consider calling a professional to deal with the issue.

Repairing a Crack or Hole in a Clay Sewer Pipe

If you have a crack or hole in your clay sewer pipe, it is important to repair it as soon as possible to prevent further damage. The following steps can be taken to repair the crack or hole:

  • Clean the area around the crack or hole.
  • Apply a pipe repair clamp over the crack or hole.
  • Tighten the clamp using a wrench until the clamp is completely closed.
  • Check the area for leaks.

Repairing a Crack Separation in a Clay Sewer Pipe

If there is a separation in the clay sewer pipe due to the ground shifting, you should take the following steps:

  • Dig a trench to access the damaged section of the sewer line.
  • Using your hands or a trowel, remove any roots growing around the damaged pipe.
  • Clean the damaged section of the pipe.
  • Apply a flexible repair coupling over the damaged section.
  • Tighten the coupling until the two ends of the pipe are securely connected.
  • Fill the trench with the removed soil.

Prevention Tips

Prevention is always better than cure. Here are some tips to prevent damage to your clay sewer pipe:

  • Do not pour grease down your kitchen sink.
  • Avoid flushing human hair or toilet paper down the toilet.
  • Do not plant trees or shrubs near the sewer line.
  • Try to avoid digging near the sewer line.
  • Regularly clean and maintain your sewer line.


If you have an old clay sewer line in Cumbria, it is crucial to be aware of the signs of damage, and to take immediate action if any issues arise. Drainage Cumbria are the experts in the repair and replacement of sewer pipes in North West England, and we can provide you with the professional help you need. Our team of experts will diagnose the issue and provide the right solution, ensuring that your sewer line is restored to its full function. Call us on 01228 734162 or email us at [email protected] to get started.

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