What You Should Know About Sewer Line Repairs
By Juanita Swindell
Problems with drains in the home or sudden stains appearing on and around the foundation can all be signs of potential sewer line repairs in the offing. These can quickly turn into an expensive undertaking and unless something is done as soon as possible, it has the potential for seriously undermining the ability of the home to function. Whether there is an existing septic system or whether the home is hooked up to the municipal sewer system, reporting signs of trouble to professional plumbers can avert a major home repair disaster in the future.
What Causes Sewer Line Damage?
Most sewer line repairs will have their root cause in blockage of the lines themselves. The first instinct of homeowners when they come across a slow moving drain is to pour a lot of harsh chemicals into the lines to open up or remove the clog. While that might be a temporary fix, at the same time they could be causing more damage with the chemicals themselves. In older homes especially, older pipes made of clay or porous materials can be eaten away by the chemicals within drain cleaners and cause the pipes to break down.
Tree roots are attracted to sources of water and when trees are planted too close to a home's foundation, they can find their way into the sewer pipes. The roots grow into the pipes and ball up, completely blocking the pipe. In these cases, the pipes will have to be removed and replaced. At other times, the cause of sewer line problems may be that the ground itself has shifted around the pipes and have bent them at an angle that does not promote drainage and the water begins to collect within the pipes and potentially leak out into the foundation.
What to Do When You Notice Signs of Problems
The first thing that any homeowner should do when problems with drains or seepage occurs is to not run immediately for the drain cleaner but instead call on the professionals to come out and inspect the pipes for cleaning and repair. A plumber can quickly determine where the problem is and take measures to get it repaired, usually within the same day. When they are installed in a home, sewer pipes usually have clean out plugs that can be immediately checked for clogs, without having to dig up the ground around a home.
Alternatively, if it is determined that pipes will have to be replaced due to a faulty septic system, it may entail more digging and reconstruction that could have been prevented if it had been better maintained in the past.
Types of Repairs
For minor repairs to pipes, as is the case for a pipe that has cracked due to shifting or pressure, a plumber can make the repair quickly by simply recoating the interior of the pipe with epoxy, as long as the crack is not beyond repair. Replacement of short lengths of pipes can be done efficiently by expert plumbers and should not take more than a day to complete. For simple clogs and blockage, power rodders could be used to remove the foreign material blocking the pipe.
When it comes to sewer line repairs involving septic tanks, it may be a more intensive repair situation than normal. Most septic tanks are buried in backyards, so the yard may have to be dug up from the point where the pipe enters the home, to where it connects with the septic tank.
On the brighter side, having it all in one place will make it easier to perform the repairs, in spite of all the mess made by the digging. This may take a few days but it will be worth it in the long run, especially if you arrange to have regular maintenance done on it in the future, on a regular basis to prevent more problems.
Want to know more about sewer line repairs, and how you can avoid them in the future? The professionals at Liberty Plumbing and Septic have years of experience in dealing with just this type of problem, so call them today for an immediate inspection. Also check our our new page on Sewer Line Repairs.