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The sewer lines in your home are designed to carry waste away so you can flush and forget it, but if you end up with sewage on your floor, it quickly becomes unforgettable.
Sewage is more than a smelly mess; it also contains harmful gases that can be dangerous to children and pets. The first signs of a water or sewer line problem are pretty obvious, but chances are the problem began long before you noticed a major problem in your home or front yard.
These pipes are an intricate network of waterworks that connect your home to the waste center in your area. If this waste highway is disrupted, clogged, and pressurized, pipes can burst without warning creating a plumbing nightmare.
To keep lines functioning, as they should, our Louisville, KY area plumbers are trained in both cleaning and maintaining sewer lines and performing a sewer line repair to keep sewage from seeping back into your home.
What Causes a Sewer Repair
The sewer line is perhaps the most important part of every household. It is also the least maintained. This isn’t because homeowners are lazy, but because maintenance, let alone a sewer line repair, can only be handled by professionals.
Problems often go undiagnosed or completely unnoticed until all of a sudden there is a lake of sewage on the front lawn. There are several causes that call for a sewer line repair including:
- Shifting Soil– Shifting soil can create a negative slope in the ground. This slope can put undue pressure on pipes and cause them to crack and then burst.
- Freezing Ground– As the ground freezes, it can put extra pressure on pipes and cause cracks.
- Waste or Objects– Waste or foreign objects can build up over time and cause pipes to crack, break, or burst.
- Root Infiltration– As tree roots grow, they can inject themselves into pipe joints. This happens more often with clay pipes because it has weaker connections. Even if the roots grow into the pipes, they continue to grow. Eventually they outgrow the width and strength of the pipe.
- Time– Over time, pipes become more susceptible to any of these known issues. Time underground leads to corrosion in even the strongest pipes.
Signs of a Clogged or Broken Sewer Line
There are several signs that point to you needing a sewer line repair. Many of these are very obvious issues, but others may be more subtle.
- Toilet bowl water level is inconsistent – First it’s full then it’s barely there. Toilet water levels should be consistent from flush to flush. If you notice yours is not, it could be a serious clog in your waste line system.
- Animals are attracted to your yard – Have you noticed more rodents, insects, or other animals in your yard? Some animals are attracted to the odor put off by sewage that is just beneath the surface.
- Nasty smells – Anytime you smell sewage, call a plumber.
- Water pooling – A soggy yard is a tall-tale sign you need a plumber, especially if that water has a foul odor. Take note of the location and call your plumber immediately.
- Slow drains – If your drains are taking a long time to empty, it might be time to call a plumber. Chemical products may be a short-term fix but can also do more harm than good.
- Gurgling noises– When you flush your toilet or drain the tub and hear gurgling from your pipes, that’s not normal and usually requires more than a plunger to fix the problem. Any odd noises need the attention of a professional.
- Plants growing near your sewer line – If you notice an increase of weeds growing near your sewer line, it could be due to an increase of moisture in that area. Best to have it checked on as soon as possible.
- Increased water bill – An unexpected increase in your water bill usually means you’re leaking or wasting water somewhere on your property. Even if no visible leak exists, it’s best to call a plumber to get your system checked.
Sewer Cleaning and Maintenance
If you are noticing any of the previously mentioned signs, the best plan of action is to call a plumbing professional. Do not try cleaning or performing a sewer line repair yourself. It could be a hazardous situation and you could end up hurting yourself or causing further damage to the pipes. These are some of the common methods we use to clean and inspect sewer lines.
- Water Jetting: This uses extremely high water pressure in a directed jet stream to break up and clear away debris like plant and tree roots, dirt, and anything else that could have found its way into the pipes.
- Drain Snake: This is a long cord-like device fed through the sewer line with the help of different attachments. It can reach and break apart the blockage. Power-assisted snakes, called augers, can also be effective at reaching difficult spots to break apart blockages.
- Sewer Line Inspection: This can be done both before and after the sewer line repair with a sewer camera inspection. A miniature camera can reveal cracks and breaks in the pipe, as well as problems in the line that may require your local sanitation department’s attention.
- Maintenance: Establishing a maintenance plan with an experienced plumber for your sewer lines is the best way to keep your sewage out of sight for the long term. Regular preventative maintenance ensures your lines remain clean and free from damage over time. Annual maintenance also prevents future sewer line repairs that could be very costly. In addition to regular cleanings, our plumbing maintenance programs include a visual and interior camera inspection of all pipes to locate and remedy potential issues before they develop into serious problems.
Trenchless Sewer Repair and Replacement
Typically, a sewer line repair requires extensive excavation in order to access the pipes under the surface. Trenchless methods allow us to repair or even replace a sewer pipe without trenching. It is less invasive and reduces the need to tear up your entire yard.
A trenchless sewer line repair is less intrusive, more affordable, and faster than a traditional sewer line repair. There different methods for this type of sewer line repair:
- Pipe Bursting: Pipe bursting is essentially placing a new pipe through an old one. As the new pipe is installed, the old one is intentionally broken to reveal the new pipe already in place.
- Slip Lining: Slip lining uses an epoxy liner into an existing sewer lateral. This essentially creates a “pipe within a pipe” This can’t be used in all areas, but is very effective at reinforcing fragile pipes.
- Cured in Place Pipe (CIPP): This is the same process of Slip Lining, but uses a resin-saturated liner rather than epoxy. It is inserted, expanded and cured into place by heating the liner.
We can determine which trenchless repair method is right for your property, and complete the job within a day with minimal excavation. With special sewer cameras to go directly into the drain line and find the exact location of the problem, we can replace and repair sewer and water lines without destroying your landscaping and much quicker than traditional methods.
Sewer Line Replacement Cost
The price you pay for a sewer line repair or an entire sewer line depends on the material of your pipes, the length of the line and its location on your property. Generally, the cost to replace a sewer line ranges from $50 to $250 per foot. Most homeowners pay about $100 per foot. This may not include the upfront expense of diagnosing the problem or the use of in-pipe camera services.
Since repairing almost always involves putting in new equipment, we will offer our expert advice about doing a full replacement.
Trust the Sewer Repair Experts
Attempting to clean your own sewer pipes or a sewer line repair could lead to a bigger problem than you started with. At Tom Sondergeld Plumbing, we provide experienced and trained Louisville plumbers to get you back on track quickly and easily. We maintain a reputation for quality work and exceptional customer service. When we show up to your home, we come ready with all the materials necessary to complete the job on the spot. Our skilled technicians and state-of-the-art equipment get the results you need and the quality you expect from TSP.
If you have a current problem, you need a sewer line repair, or your sewer line is due for an annual cleanup, give us a call to set up an appointment. As the premier source for plumbing services in the Louisville, KY area, we are dedicated to keeping things moving smoothly.