If you’ve noticed a sewage smell around your property or if multiple drains are clogging on a regular basis, it’s time to call a professional. Sewer lines should never be ignored, as they can leak a dangerous gas called hydrogen sulfide that can cause headaches and nausea.
Experts at Plumbing Express, Inc. may attempt to fix the problem with repair methods before resorting to sewer replacement. Here are some of the most common options:
Generally, waste leaves your home or business through 2-inch drain lines running from sinks, tubs, and toilets to the 4-inch main sewer line located under your slab. From there, a single lateral line either carries sewage to the septic tank on your property or to the city’s mainline in the street. Your main sewer line also contains at least two cleanouts to give plumbers access in case you experience a clog. When the pipes become cracked, broken, or collapsed, sewage can spill out and create a health hazard.
When you notice a strong, foul odor wafting through your home or business, it could be a sign of a damaged sewer line. The odor is created by hydrogen sulfide, which is toxic in high concentrations and can cause headaches, nausea, and eye irritation. If you notice a sewage smell, contact a professional right away to perform a sewer inspection.
A professional will evaluate your situation and determine if your sewer line requires repair or replacement. In some cases, simple repair methods can prevent major problems. Your plumber will recommend the best solution for your needs, depending on the condition of your pipe and its location.
The most common way to repair a damaged sewer line is by using pipe lining. This process involves inserting an inflatable tube covered in epoxy into your sewer line. Once it’s in place, the technician will inflate it and press it against the existing piping. The epoxy will then harden, forming a durable seal. This method is less invasive than traditional repair methods and can save you thousands of dollars in repairs and replacement costs.
If the underlying problem is more severe, your plumber may opt for the trenchless method of replacing the entire pipe. Rather than digging long trenches in your yard, technicians will use a technique called “pipe bursting.” The cone-shaped head of a new pipe is inserted into the old line and maneuvered into position. The force of the new pipe being pushed into the old one causes it to burst and break apart. The new pipe then takes its place, and you’ll have a brand-new sewer line without the expense and disruption of traditional repair techniques.
If a clog or broken pipe cannot be cleared with relining, the next step is to consider sewer line replacement. Typically, this requires digging and disrupting your yard to replace old pipes. Fortunately, we offer trenchless options that minimize the impact on your property and are less disruptive to landscaping, driveways, and other outdoor fixtures.
Trenchless pipe bursting is one of the most popular methods for replacing underground sewer pipes because it is less invasive and more cost-effective than traditional excavation. It is also safer for your family and crew. This method involves using specialized equipment to pull new pipes into place by creating small access points where the old pipes are located.
First, a licensed plumber will use a camera inspection to locate the problem area and determine the best method for repair. Once the inspection is complete, a small access point will be dug at either end of your existing sewer line. A cable will then be inserted through the hole and attached to a pneumatic jack or static pulling head. The jack or head will be pulled into the damaged underground pipe, breaking up the old pipeline and shifting the pieces of the broken pipes outward into the surrounding soil. The space the broken pipes left behind is then filled with new, high-density polyethylene (HDPE) pipe.
Unlike traditional excavation, which leaves large holes in your yard, the pipe-bursting process uses a much smaller equipment footprint. Only two small entry and exit points need to be dug. An HDPE pipe of the same diameter as your old pipe is then mechanically pulled through the existing pipe by the expander head, which bursts the existing pipes into smaller fragments and drags new pipe behind it to take their place. The new pipe is then heat-welded above ground for a secure, long-lasting connection.
Unlike relining, which can be done in sections of your sewer line, pipe bursting can replace the entire line. In fact, this technique can replace a full sewer line in just a day or two in most cases. In addition, the new pipe is highly durable and will last up to 50 years.
A clogged sewer line can lead to severe sewage backup and other problems in your home, such as a drop in water pressure or even a septic system failure. You can prevent these issues by ensuring your sewer line is in good condition. However, a full line replacement can be expensive and requires extensive excavation. To save money, you can choose a trenchless method such as pipe bursting or spin-casting.
These methods are less expensive and more environmentally friendly than traditional trenching, which can destroy your yard. They are also more durable than traditional pipes, so they will last longer. However, it is still important to hire a professional plumber or contractor for any type of sewer repair or replacement work. These professionals are experienced in navigating the challenges of working with underground pipes and know how to prevent costly mistakes.
The cost of a sewer line repair or replacement depends on several factors, including the length of the line and the pipe material. Plastic pipes like polyvinyl chloride and acrylonitrile butadiene styrene (ABS) are the most affordable options, while cast iron and copper cost more but offer better quality and durability. The length of the line and the number of bends and elbows can also increase the price.
Homeowners insurance typically does not cover damage to a sewer line unless the problem was caused by a natural disaster such as a flood or an earthquake. However, it is possible to get a separate policy for sewer lines.
Mold or mildew can be caused by a number of things, but it is often an indicator of a faulty sewer line. While mold and mildew can be treated with common cleaning products, the root cause must be addressed if you want to avoid future problems. A faulty sewer line can contribute to groundwater infiltration and flooding, which can cause serious damage to property.
It’s important to note that the majority of home owners aren’t aware that their sewer lines aren’t covered by homeowners’ insurance. In addition, most homeowners don’t realize that the cost of a sewer line repair or replacement can be very expensive.
While it may be tempting for homeowners to tackle sewer line replacement as a DIY project, this is one job that should always be left to a professional plumbing service. Without proper training and experience, this is an incredibly dangerous task that could result in serious injury or even costly property damage.
A broken sewer line can allow sewage to leak into homes, causing flooding and water damage. It can also cause sewage backups, which are very messy and expensive to clean up. Homeowners can reduce the risk of a break by having their lines regularly inspected and receiving regular maintenance services.
A professional will use a digital camera to inspect the condition of the pipe and identify any cracks, holes, or collapsed sections. This will help them determine if the problem is repairable or if a replacement is required.
There are a variety of reasons for the damage to sewer lines, including corrosion from water or chemicals that run down drains, physical damages from repaving or construction activities, and tree roots infiltrating and wrapping around pipes. In some cases, a sewer line replacement is the best option for the home.
Traditional sewer pipe replacement involves digging a trench along the entire length of the line to remove and replace it. This process is very disruptive and can destroy years of landscaping, but it is often the only choice when a sewer pipe is completely damaged or collapses.
Trenchless alternatives for replacing sewer lines are more cost-effective and less invasive to the yard. Cured-in-place pipe (CIPP) is one option that uses a resin-coated liner to reinforce existing pipes. This method costs about $80 to $250 per foot of pipe. Another alternative is pipe bursting, which uses a hydraulic machine to break the old, brittle pipe while pulling a new pipe through the middle of it.
Some professional plumbers charge by the hour, while others have flat rates based on their experience level. It’s important to get quotes from multiple professionals before choosing a service for your project. A reputable plumber will be knowledgeable about local codes and requirements for sewer line repairs or replacements. They will also have the appropriate equipment for the job and will be licensed, insured, and bonded.