Sewer pipes in home basement. System of gray sanitary pipes when building a house. Sewer installation for sewage disposal

The sewer stack is a vital component in your plumbing system. So, what exactly is a sewer stack you ask?

The sewer stack – also known as the soil or waste stack – serves two important roles in your home. First, it removes sewage from your house. Second, it releases sewer gas through your roof. 

Fixtures, such as sinks, toilets, and tubs, drain toward the vertical sewer stack. The sewer stack leads down to your home’s main sewer line that ties into your city sewer connection. It also leads up to what is called the vent pipe.

Older homes are often cherished for their charm and character. The sewer stack inside of these valued homes may be as old as the structure itself, and can lead to plenty of problems and unanticipated costs, especially if the plumbing wasn’t taken care of through the years. 

One of the most efficient ways to avoid catastrophic plumbing problems and the high costs associated with them is understanding the condition of your home’s sewer stack and sewer line.

These are a few problems that may occur and things you should be on the lookout for, especially if you are living in one of the older homes in our area:

Aging pipes

Old sewer lines made from cast iron or terracotta are more likely to fall apart or leak. Metals corrode and rust over time, and terracotta pipes are very susceptible to roots and leaks. Modern pipes are made with PVC, but the pipes used in homes built before the ‘70s are usually made from outdated materials.

Constant backups

Clogs and backups in all of your fixtures suggest the main culprit is your sewer stack or sewer line.


Oil, grease, and fats tend to build up inside your pipes, reducing the amount of space waste can flow through. Things like “flushable” wipes, paper towels, and excessive toilet paper can build up at these sections where there is no room to escape. 

Remember to only flush bodily waste and minimum amounts of toilet paper down your toilets. And, avoid dumping grease into your kitchen sink.

Sewer odor

If you smell sewage in your home and have ruled out your trashcan and litter box as the source, you can be confident a crack or leak is releasing that stench. The odor may be stronger near your walls or bathrooms.

Slow drains

Is your shower filling up with water or your sink pooling up? If all of your drains are slowing down, it is likely the sewer line and not an isolated clog.


You may notice tiny rust spots appearing on your pipes. These weaken the metal and lead to leaks or even total collapses. Call a licensed plumber right away if you start seeing rust spots.

Insects or rodents

If a drainpipe is damaged, rats, mice, sewer flies, or cockroaches can enter your home. Pest control may be able to eliminate the current invaders, but the pipe is still cracked and these unwanted visitors will return until the issue is resolved.

Unusual yard growth

When your underground sewer line collapses or leaks, grass loves what your pipe is feeding it. You will notice specific areas of growth from the sewer line to your house.

Foundation issues

When a drainpipe leaks sewage, the excess water will cause the soil to expand and shrink, particularly if the foundation was built on top of expansive soil. This causes your foundation to shift.

Tree roots

Older trees on your property are bound to have long, invasive roots. They seek out nutrients and sense pipes flowing with waste or water. The roots attack the joints where the lines are their weakest, such as cracks. 

If you notice any of these signs, now is the time to deal with your sewer stack and/or sewer line. Contact a reputable plumber for a solution that is right for your home and your budget. 

Licensed technicians will inspect your plumbing and identify any concerns, and they will inform you about various remedies and proactive steps to avert potentially serious and expensive future problems.

We Help Homeowners

Flader Plumbing and Heating is uniquely suited to assist you in determining the solution that best fits your home and family’s needs. We’ve been serving your neighbors and our community for over 100 years and 4 generations. 

The Flader Difference

Only Flader Plumbing and Heating delivers:

  • The most responsive service. We’re here for you 24/7.
  • Personal attention from certified and licensed technicians.
  • The most dependable equipment and parts.
  • Money-saving maintenance agreements.
  • 100% satisfaction guaranteed.


Flader Plumbing and Heating recommends equipment, models, and brands proven to have the fewest problems and service calls. We specialize in:

Comprehensive Services

Whether you’re looking for advice on your sewer stack, need a new water heater, or want your sump pump checked out, we are knowledgeable and provide expert service. Our professional technicians arrive on time, listen to your concerns, and answer your questions. They will recommend the right solution and deliver as promised.

Flader technicians average 15 years of experience and are EPA certified.

Expert service, quality parts, and satisfaction guaranteed. There is no reason to compromise. Call us at 847-491-6980. 

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Flader thrives on exceeding expectations of our residential and commercial customers.  We deliver cost effective solutions for homeowners and businesses.  Our Service Centers in Evanston and Libertyville are ready to serve.  Call us today at 847-491-6980.

Flader Goes Skyward

A long-term commercial customer needed an upgrade on their air quality system.It required two 20-ton and two 10-ton Carrier units mounted on the rooftop, plus piping and custom sheet metal inside their manufacturing center. The Flader Team went skyward with a huge crane to land the units on the rooftop.In just 2½ days, the transformation was completed.Click “See our Work” to view more success stories.

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Flader continues supporting local youth programs. We proudly sponsor EBSA and events at Robert Crown Community Center. It teaches teamwork, builds confidence, and strengthens our community.

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Evanston Service Center: 3004 Central, Evanston, Il 60201
Libertyville Service Center: 523 3rd Street, Libertyville, Il 60048