How do I know if I need to replace my sewer line?
Sewer lines are not something that most people think about, until the time something goes wrong. When that happens, you can have a real mess on your hands. Some of the early signs of sewer line problems include gurgling
noises coming from the toilet, water that drains slower than normal, or a smelly sinkhole that suddenly appears in your yard. If you begin to smell sewage, notice that patches of your yard are always wet regardless of the weather, or if you see a wet sinkhole in yard, then you probably need to have your sewer line replaced.
At some point all sewer lines need to be repaired or replaced
, particularly in homes built during the 1970’s or earlier. The fact is, the older your pipes are, the more likely it is that you will have trouble with them. Sewer pipes in older homes are usually made of clay tiles that can crack or break apart, allowing tree roots to infiltrate the pipe and create clogs. Problems can also result from pipe sections that have settled or collapsed. When properly installed, PVC pipes that are used today should have a lifespan of over 100 years.
Sometimes homeowners wonder if they can simply patch their existing pipes instead of opting for replacing them. If the sewer line is old then there will most likely be other bad spots that will give you problems in the near future. The cost of a series of patch jobs can add up quickly and in the long run it makes more sense to replace the entire line. That way you can save money over time
and have the peace of mind that comes with knowing your sewer line will remain in good repair for years to come.
If you want to check out the condition of your sewer line before you have a crisis on your hands, you can pay to have a camera run through the line to check it out. That way you will know if you have any impending problems.
Tree roots cause some of the most common problems that lead people to have to replace their sewer lines. Since they love the constant source of moisture, tree roots will often invade broken sewer pipes and then continue to grow until they completely clog the broken sewer lines. Even though copper sulfate can repel roots as a temporary fix, it can also damage, or even kill, the tree. If the copper sulfate does not work, then you still have the underlying problem of growing roots waiting to invade your sewer lines.
Sewer pipes can also become clogged from an accumulation of muck, grease, and other material that gets washed down your drains day after day. Sometimes sewer lines will collapse, break, or simply rot away. Tree roots can do a lot to exacerbate this process. Running a snake through your pipes
to clear out the tree roots can do even more damage to your sewer line.
Here are some tips to help keep your sewer line in good shape:
- Find out where your sewer line is located. This can help you make decisions about landscaping and parking.
- Don’t plant trees or shrubs near your sewer line because the roots will eventually seek out the moisture in the line.
- Don’t park a vehicle directly over your sewer line because the weight and pressure of the vehicle could weaken the pipe below and eventually crush it.
- Don’t flush anything down the toilet that is not toilet paper or human waste. Use the trash can instead of the toilet for disposing of any other items in your bathroom.
- Never pour grease down a drain because it can clog pipes. Pour it into a can to let it cool and then dispose of it in the trash.
Most often the responsibility to pay for sewer line repair or replacement falls on homeowners and it can be costly. However, replacing or repairing sewer lines is definitely not a do-it-yourself home repair. Not only is it very labor intensive, but if you don’t know really what you are doing you can do some serious damage. Don’t trust your home’s sewer line to just anyone. Hire a plumbing company
you can depend on to get the job done right. At Leone Plumbing and Heating
we have made it our mission to provide excellent service that leads to the highest levels of customer satisfaction.