Sewer Line Repair And Replacement

Most property owners don’t think about their drain lines until they start clogging or running slow. While this can mean you simply need your drain and sewer lines hydro jetted, it can also mean that your sewer line is past its useful life and needs to be replaced.

Common Sewer Line Replacement Questions

Here are a few common questions we receive about sewer line replacement.

When should I start thinking about sewer line replacement?

Clay sewer lines typically last approximately 50 years while PVC can last at least 100 years before needing repaired or replaced.

However, this lifespan can be reduced due to a number of factors, including:

  • Installation errors
  • Soil conditions
  • What you put down your drain lines
  • Trees located near your underground sewer lines

You should start thinking about sewer line replacement when you’ve noticed an increase in clogs and slow drains. This indicates the need for sewer pipe cleanout services.

What are the signs that I may need a sewer line replacement?

Your home or business’ sewer pipe is responsible for funneling the wastewater from your building to the city’s sewer system, and all of the drains in your property are routed to the same sewer line.

If you have a single sink that is slow or a single toilet that gets clogged, you may not need a sewer replacement. You may simply need to have those drain lines cleaned.

However, if you’ve noticed that every drain in your home or business is slow, or you’ve had frequent backups of wastewater, it may be time for sewer line repair.

Can I delay my sewer pipe replacement by cleaning out the pipe myself?

Cleaning out your own sewer line with drain cleaner or a snake or auger may make your sewer line problems worse.

If your sewer line has partially or completely collapsed, pouring drain cleaner down it will not improve the flow of wastewater. Instead, the caustic chemicals will sit in the pipe and dissolve it. This will result in the chemicals penetrating the ground beneath the pipe.

Also, if you turn on the water to flush the pipe after pouring the drain cleaner, the water along with the chemicals can back up, causing the potential for personal injury and additional damage.

If you try to use a commercially available snake or auger that you purchased from your local home improvement store, it may not be long enough to reach the clog. If the clog is being caused by heavy root infiltration or collapsed pipe sections, the auger will not be able to clear the sewer line.

Instead of trying to clear the pipe yourself, it is always best to consult with a professional plumber. Call Polaris Plumbing Solution to see if Hydro Jetting will benefit your issue and provide temporary relief.

Is there a definitive way to determine if my sewer pipe needs replaced?

A camera inspection performed by a professional plumber can determine if you need a sewer line replacement.

Camera inspections involve threading a digital camera through your sewer line in order to view and record the inside of the pipe.

These cameras are capable of detecting the following:

• Cracks

• Holes

• Collapsed pipe sections

• Root infiltrations

If the plumber notices any of these common problems, he or she could recommend a sewer pipe cleanout or a pipe replacement, depending on the severity.

Will my homeowners or property insurance policy cover the cost of my sewer line replacement?

It depends on the insurance policy.
In general, insurance policies only cover sudden, unforeseen events that could not have been avoided via regular maintenance. Clogged, broken and root-infiltrated sewer lines are not typically considered sudden or unforeseen. This is because your insurance company considers it to be a lack of preventative maintenance.

However, there may be some insurance policies that do allow claims to be filed for sewer line replacements.

What is a traditional pipe replacement?

A traditional pipe replacement involves digging a trench along the entire length of the sewer line. If sidewalks, driveways or other structures are over the sewer line, they must also be excavated. Once the trench has been dug, the old sewer line is removed and a new sewer line is inserted into the trench and connected to the system.

The plumbing company will typically fill in the trench after the work is complete, but the homeowner or business owner is responsible for replacing any sidewalks, driveways and additional structures.

What is a traditional pipe replacement?

It can take several days to perform a traditional sewer pipe replacement. This is because the plumber must use heavy machinery to first dig the trench and reveal the sewer line before replacing it.

Understanding Common Sewer Line Repair Issues

When you have a plumbing problem related to sewer line replacement and repair, you likely have many questions, like those discussed here.

Reaching out to a trusted, local plumbing service provider is a great way to know exactly what type of plumbing repair you are up against and understand your sewer line repair options. You’ll also get a sense for the cost and length of time required to complete the repair.