One of the first signs of a failed sewer main in your home can be sewage backing into your home's basement or lowest level through a floor drain. Other signs of sewer line damage can include gurgling noises in your plumbing and a toilet that becomes frequently clogged. And beyond those signs of failure, there are many other factors that can affect how long your home's sewer line will ultimately last, such as the type of sewer line installed in your home and if you have trees in your front yard. But if your line is at least 40 years old it may be time to replace it. Here are some tips to help you determine the extent of your sewer line problems and your options for replacing it.
Determine the Blockage Problem
If you are experiencing sewage backing up through a bathtub drain or laundry room floor drain, you will need to determine what is causing the blockage. Your sewer line may be clogged with tree roots, a sewage debris clog, or a collapsed pipe. It is important to hire a plumbing professional at the first sign of a sewage blockage to determine what is blocking the line and what repairs are necessary. You can hire a plumber to snake the sewer line to clean out and remove any debris clogging the line.
Then, while the plumber is at your home, it is also helpful to have them run a camera down your sewer line to visually inspect its condition and discover any pipe damage. Simply cleaning out your sewer line is sometimes only a temporary solution and your line will need to be cleaned out again in the next few weeks or months. For example, if your sewer main is crumbling or collapsing and tree roots are growing into the line, they will continue to grow into and clog the line until the sewer line is replaced. As your plumber inspects the line, they will determine if your sewer line is still intact but is blocked by sewage debris and is not in need of repairs, or if it needs to be replaced due to line failure.
Hire the Right Repair
After determining your sewer line has collapsed and failed, you will need to talk to a plumber about replacement options. There are several different ways you can have your sewer line replaced. You can hire a plumbing company to excavate your yard to remove and replace the line from your home to the city connection, or you can have a new line inserted through the old line by digging access holes on one or both sides of the sewer line. The costs associated with each repair can help you decide on a replacement method.
Replacing your sewer line with an excavation trench-method can cost $50 to $250 per sewer line foot. As a homeowner, you are responsible for maintaining and replacing the sewer line up to its connection to the city's sewer line. So, if your portion of the sewer line goes out into the street, you may have to pay for excavating and replacing the road and paying for traffic control around the repair work in the city street. Then, you will need to calculate any costs associated with repairing your landscaping and replacing your home's driveway and sidewalk.
If you choose to use a trenchless method, a new sewer line is inserted through the old collapsed pipe, saving much of your home's landscaping and pavement. One to two access holes are dug in your yard, instead of an entire trench, and you will only need to pay for repairing landscaping removed at the access holes. You can hire one type of trenchless repair method, where a machine breaks and removes the old pipe and replaces it with a new pipe, which can cost anywhere from $60 to $200 per foot of repair. Another trenchless method involves relining the old pipe by slipping a new one within the old pipe, which can cost $80 to $250 for each foot of repair.
Talk to your local plumbing professionals, such as those at Backlund Plumbing, to find out what options are available to repair your sewer line and the extent of any landscaping and pavement disruption in your yard. Then use these tips to help you determine the extent of your sewer line damage and to hire the right repairs.Share