Most owners with older homes have experienced various problems with the drains in their house. The bathtub drains slowly or the kitchen food disposal is constantly backing up. Most times, fixing these problems involves the application of some drain cleaner or the use of a little elbow grease and a drain auger.
Unfortunately, a recurring problem or one that refuses to go away easily may indicate a much more serious issue that can only be fixed by a sewer line replacement. The reasons for this sewer line replacement are varied.
Main sewer lines may get old and eventually degrade but this is rarely the case in a residential home. Instead, movement of the ground caused by cars driving over the main line or tree roots penetrating and blocking the sewer line are far more likely culprits. In rare cases, buried sewer lines not buried sufficiently deep in the earth are subjected to repeated freezing and settling of the surrounding ground causing them to disconnect at the joints or break.
Repairing a break in a main sewer line is a dirty and sometimes complicated job. It certainly requires the correct tools and expertise to properly identify and correct the problem. Even an experienced do-it-yourselfer should probably not perform this repair.
Here is what a professional plumbing company would do to determine what needs to be done to your sewer line replacement.
- The actual repair starts by inserting a camera into the line through the “clean out” to identify the cause and location of the problem. If you are lucky, it is merely a blockage and a relatively inexpensive power auguring will resolve the problem.
- If not, the process of removal and replacement resumes. Earth is excavated from above and around the problem site.
- Then, the damaged pipe is removed and a new section is installed.
- The hole is filled and the process is complete.
It may sound simple but the sewer line replacement involves back breaking labor, unhealthy conditions and a fair degree of expert knowledge. For the vast majority of homeowners, it is a task best left to the professional plumbers.