Difference Between Main Line vs Drain Line

Difference Between Main Line vs Drain Line?

Have you ever wondered about the difference between your mainline and your drain line? Now is a great time to learn — that way, when something goes wrong, you’ll be able to identify the source and find a solution. Whether that’s a DIY fix or a call to a plumbing company in Calgary, quick action can prevent expensive damage down the line. 

What Is a Mainline? 

The mainline is the pipe that transports wastewater out of your house — it’s also called a sewer line or a sewer lateral. If you live in the city, the mainline runs from your house to the city’s sewer main under the street. In homes with a septic system, it connects to the septic tank.  

The mainline is usually located underneath the lowest level of your home. It slopes down toward the septic tank or sewer main so waste can flow freely. 

As a homeowner, you’re responsible for the mainline. When something happens — a clog, crack, or leak — it can affect the plumbing throughout the house. You might notice persistent problems, often with no apparent cause. Other signs of mainline damage include pests, odours, lawn problems, and cracks in the foundation. These issues almost always require the help of a professional plumber

What are Drain Lines? 

Drain lines are the pipes that connect your fixtures to the mainline. There are different drain lines for every toilet, sink, and shower in the house. In a single-story home, these pipes might run directly from the fixtures to the mainline. In a multi-story home, the fixture pipes usually connect to two or more primary drain lines, which in turn empty into the mainline. 

A problem in an individual drain line usually impacts a single fixture. Hair clogs can cause water backup in the shower, but they probably won’t affect the kitchen sink. If a primary drain line is clogged, you’ll experience issues with every upstream fixture. 

The drain lines and main lines are two of the most important components in your sewer system. If you know the difference, it’s easier to find and fix problems. When you’re dealing with stubborn clogs or a cracked mainline, our plumbing company in Calgary can help. Call our team at Westhills Plumbing and Heating to schedule an inspection and evaluation today. 

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