A sewer line leak or sewage backup can be a homeowner’s worst nightmare. Thinking that something may be wrong with your sewer line is scary, and overwhelming, but a lot of that fear and worry comes from not knowing what to expect.
Your home’s main sewer line is buried beneath the yard, making it more difficult to identify a possible broken sewer line. Let’ review some of the most common issues we’ve encountered over the years that cause sewer line repair or sewer replacement.
Causes of Sewer Problems
From clogged pipes to normal wear and tear, here are a few causes of damaged sewer lines.
Just like everything else in your home, your sewer lines wear over time and can become corroded, causing disintegration.
Plant and Tree Roots
Plant roots will always seek out water, even if it means busting a pipe to find it. Once roots infiltrate your sewer lines, repair becomes complicated.
Extreme changes in temperature can cause ground shifts, which may result in ruptured sewer lines.
Your home’s sewage lines are only equipped to handle human waste and toilet paper. Grease buildup or foreign objects restrict or prohibit proper water flow and sewer line cleaning.
A section of the pipe has sunk due to ground or soil conditions, creating a valley that collects debris and waste.
The seals between pipes have decayed or broken, allowing water to escape into the ground surrounding the pipes.
Indicators of Sewer Line Issues
It is important to recognize a sewer line problem so that you can take immediate action for any possible sewer line repair. Contacting sewer line repair experts to make a sewer line inspection can help identify a current sewer line problem as well as prevent damage to your sewer lines in the future.
Easily Clogged Drain Line
Every now and then, your toilet, kitchen sink or shower may experience a little bit of a plugged drain, in these instances a clog can be a quick fix. While some of these blockages are caused by a pipe leading directly from a faucet or shower, you can detect a blockage in the main sewage line if multiple draining areas in the home are clogging.
Water Damage in the Home
Water damage can occur if a drain line leaks or breaks in the home. One of the first signs is mold spreading on the floors or walls. This could point to a broken sewer line within the home, in which case you should call a plumbing service immediately.
Soggy Spots in the Yard
A flooded yard can be a sign of a broken sewer pipe. A broken pipe can quickly begin to pool water which seeps through the grass and becomes visible on the surface. You may even be able to smell the sewage before it surfaces, as sewage gas seeps through your yard’s soil.
Sewer Line Repair vs Sewer Line Replacement
If your sewer line springs a leak or breaks and needs to be repaired, you have two options: Dig a trench around the sewer pipe or use trenchless sewer line repairs.
Sometimes a complete sewer line replacement isn’t necessary, and a simpler, more cost effective trenchless sewer line repair will remedy the problem. When there’s minimal damage to a pipe, trenchless sewer line repairs are done by inserting an inflatable tube covered in tough, flexible epoxy resin can reliably patch a sewer line section up, also called pipe lining.
When pipes have extensive damage, a full line replacement rather than a repair is the solution. There are two main methods used for this process. Let’s review these two methods.
Traditional Sewer Line Replacement
A traditional sewer line replacement involves digging a large trench in your property to find and replace the entire piping length. This is quite the process and could involve excavating sidewalks, driveways, patios, lawns, and more. It can also take several days to complete.
Trenchless Sewer Line Replacement
Trenchless sewer line replacement is much less invasive than the traditional methods and is now the preferred method for many professionals. No trenches are required, and you won’t have any major damage to your lawn. Instead, “pipe bursting” involves destroying the existing line and immediately replacing it with a new one by digging only strategic access points.
Although it can be a slightly more expensive technique, it saves a lot of disruption, is much faster, and you won’t have the costs associated with repairing the damage done by digging the trenches.
How Do I Protect My Sewer Lines
Not all sewer line damage is preventable, but here are some tips you can take to care for your sewage and plumbing system.
Schedule Sewer Inspections
Have a sewer inspection to ensure that your sewer system is in good working condition, hire a professional to conduct an inspection at least once a year.
Remove Trees that are Damaging Sewer Lines
Tree roots invasion in your sewer line is often caused by an already-existing crack or leak in the pipe, but we still recommend removing the tree and the tree roots from the area after repairing or replacing the pipe to ensure the problem doesn’t happen again.
Avoid Causing Sewer Blockages
Only dispose of human waste and toilet paper in the sewer lines; any other materials that enter the system can cause blockages.
Find the Right Sewer Lines Replacement Expert
Intact sewer and sewer pipe lines are essential to a clean and comfortable home. Sewer line replacements can be complex, invasive, and costly jobs. It’s important to have your sewer systems looked at immediately if you notice any symptoms. Allowing them to slowly get worse can cause the problems to multiply, increasing the complexity and cost of repairs.
At Intown Plumbing, we specialize in total sewer line replacements. We understand the scariest part of getting a difficult repair like a sewer line repair done is the fear of the unknown. We can help alleviate that fear, to speak with a sewer line replacement specialist about your sewer line project, contact us today.