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You don’t think much about sewer line replacement and repair until your toilet begins to spew raw sewage on your floor.

It’s not as much fun to spend a lot of money updating your bathroom as it is to repair your sewer line. You’re not going to throw a party and invite your friends to come see your new sewer. Ignoring your sewer system can cause major problems in the future, including costly repairs or even a replacement.

Let’s find out about sewer pipes and the causes, types, and fixes for broken sewers. We will also learn how to avoid getting screwed up when it is time to do repairs.

Sewer line problems are more likely to occur in homes with higher risk.

Some types of houses are more susceptible to having a broken sewer line. Sewer problems can occur in any home, but some homes are more susceptible than others.

An older home with a side drain made of clay or concrete sections that are connected together. These joints make it easy for the pipe sections to separate, and for roots to enter the sewer system.

Modern sewer pipes are made of PVC with no joints. There are many old houses with old sewer lines that still work today. If it’s not broken, don’t change it.

There are many trees and shrubs on the property, especially if they line the route from the house to the street

A home is located on a sloped lot and the sewer pipe runs down that slope. As the slope increases, the more likely it is for the sewer pipe to separate or rupture.

It is possible to double the amount of waste that goes through your pipe if it shares the same section with your neighbor. This can increase the risk of a backup or failure.

It’s important to note that even a newly built home may have sewer problems if the pipes were not installed correctly or if it was a home that was replaced by an older home but did not update the system.

Sewer pipe signs that you may need to repair your pipes

You may have a problem with your sewer line if you experience any of these problems.

Your drains are making gurgling sounds.

Sewer odors can be found in your home.

Slow drains from your toilets, sinks and tubs. This can be a sign of a problem if one or more drains drain more slowly than normal. It is more likely the sewer line has a problem if multiple drains are affected simultaneously. When water backs up into the drain or toilet when you use another drain, this could indicate a blockage.

Your lawn could be greener than usual if your sewer line runs beneath your yard. This is because a leaky sewer has fertilized your grass. Your yard may also smell like sewer.

With the exception of this last symptom, the symptoms are not indicative of a blockage. The main floor and basement are closest to the main line of sewerage, so they are most likely to experience a backup first.

What types of repairs are needed for side sewers?

Sewer problems can be of many different types. Some sewer problems need to be addressed immediately, while others can be “band-aided” or tolerated to extend the pipe.

Plumbing companies will run a camera down your sewer pipe and make a video to show you the problem.

Tree roots

This is a common problem, especially in areas such as Seattle that have many large trees. The tree problem is more common in older systems that are made of segmented clay or concrete pipes.

The roots of trees are constantly searching for water and nutrients. They squeeze between the gaps in the pipes and end up cracking and blocking the pipe. It is fine to have some roots, but if they start blocking more than 50% of the pipe you will likely experience a major back-up in your home.

If you are aware that roots may be a problem in your line, it is recommended to have your sewer pipes jet cleaned every two years. This involves using a high pressure water hose and a blade.

Cracks, fractures and holes

These may not be enough to render the sewer pipe inoperable, but if the size of the cracks is large enough they could indicate that it will collapse within a relatively short time.

Offset joints:

These joints can start to separate and become misaligned in homes that have clay or cement pipes.

There may be a space between pipes if the offset joints have been exposed and the soil surrounding the pipe washed away. This space may be unstable and lead to sinkholes. These gaps can also become clogged with debris, which will block the pipe.

Sewer line collapse:

This one is fairly obvious. This is a pretty obvious one. This is an urgent repair that must be done immediately.

Repair and replacement of sewer lines.

(… when it’s not just a simple obstruction)

Most intrusive.

Replacement of sewer lines: A trench is dug down the length of the pipe to be repaired, the old pipe removed, and the new pipe installed.

This method has a major disadvantage in that it involves a great deal more digging, which can be expensive if you have to remove a slab of concrete from your driveway or basement.

Less intrusive methods: pipe lining, pipe bursting.

Two less invasive methods that require only one or two small access points have become very popular in recent years. This allows the contractor to replace a section of the line or the entire line if necessary. This method is called trenchless sewer repair.

Pipe Lining Method: In the case of relatively minor damage, an epoxy-coated inflatable tube is inserted in the pipe. The tube is pushed up against the side of the pipe, and left there until the epoxy has hardened. The tube is removed.

Method of pipe bursting: When the damage is too large for a pipe lining system to be used, another trenchless technique called pipe bursting can be used. The plumber pulls through the pipe with a cone-shaped tool, destroying the existing pipe and laying the new pipe behind it.

If your side sewer is damaged beyond repair and cannot be repaired, you may have to use the traditional method of digging an even larger trench to replace the damaged sections.

It’s important to note that the term “trenchless”, although it sounds good, is actually a little misleading. Your favorite rose bed, or the basement slab floor may have to be dug up by the contractor.

Factors affecting sewer repair costs

A number of factors can influence your final bill. It is important to shop around for at least three different quotes. The different companies will have different solutions, probably because of their own preferences and methods.

  • The longer the section, the higher the price.
  • How deep is it? The more digging you do, the more money you will pay.
  • Where is the brake? The location of the brake can make a big difference in the cost. The ideal situation is to locate the problem in a place that’s easily accessible and just covered by soil.
  • The repair will incur extra costs if it is under your concrete slab. This includes digging out the old concrete, pouring in new concrete and completing the work. If the break is under your driveway’s concrete, you may have to pay extra for the repair of the driveway once the line has been repaired.
  • Most expensive are repairs that require digging up the street in order to access the broken pipe. These repairs can be expensive.
  • Price will vary depending on the type of repairs you’ve done. You can compare trenchless pipe repair with digging a large trench to replace the broken section.

Contact Trenchless Pipe Repair to learn more.