Your sewer lines are critical to the proper functioning of the plumbing in your home or business. When you are experiencing plumbing issues, it is important to complete the appropriate sewer line repair as quickly as possible to prevent damage to your property. The longer you let any problems go unchecked, the more it is likely to cost to repair as the damage will have had more time to spread and increase in severity. Here’s what you need to know to get the job done right.
Common Reasons You’ll Need Sewer Line Repair
There are numerous problems that require sewer line repair. Let’s take a look at some of the most common.
- Broken or Cracked Pipe – Even the highest-quality pipes won’t last forever, and they get progressively weaker over time. This can lead to cracks in the pipes or even full breaks. In addition to the age and quality of your pipes, the ground around them also plays a role in how long your pipes remain in good condition. Soil can shift and resettle over time, putting added strain on particular areas of your pipes, causing them to crack or break. Finally, pipe cracks and breaks are common in areas where the ground freezes and thaws repeatedly, as the frequent contraction and expansion weaken the structure of the pipes.
- Bellied Pipe – A bellied pipe occurs when the ground surrounding the pipe sinks. This causes that particular section of the pipe to sink as well, creating a low point where debris can accumulate. Over time, this debris can build up and lead to a blockage.
- Blockage – Blocked pipes are incredibly common in both homes and businesses. Oil, grease, hair and other debris can all build up in your pipes. If the buildup becomes severe enough, it can eventually block off the entire pipe, preventing your sinks, toilets and other plumbing fixtures from draining properly. This can lead to mold development, water damage and other complications, so it is best to remove the clog as soon as you notice a drain slowing.
- Root Damage – Many people don’t realize that the roots of trees extend as far out from the trunk as the branches do. If you have trees too close to your property, their root structure can grow and expand over the years, possibly growing around or even through your pipes. This can cause pipes to bend, crack or break. When planting trees, take care to place them far enough away from your sewer lines and other piping, taking into account future growth as well.
- Corrosion – Over time, the minerals in the soil and any chemicals you pour down the drain can cause corrosion of your pipes. This corrosion then weakens the pipes themselves, leading them to collapse, crack or break. Some materials resist corrosion better than others, so take care in choosing high-quality piping that is built to last.
- Low-Quality Piping – Although less expensive piping may save you a bit of money during the initial installation, it will likely end up costing you a lot more in repairs in the long run. Poor-quality piping corrodes much faster than pipes made from higher-quality materials, and it is also more prone to cracks and breakage.
- Leaky Joints – In order to function properly, the seal between your pipes needs to be airtight. Over time, these seals can weaken or break, allowing water to seep out. This can lead to water damage and mold on your property so you should aim to have this problem fixed at the first sign of a leak.
Sewer Line Repair Techniques
Depending on the particular problem and the extent of the damage, you have a number of sewer line repair options at your disposal. Here’s an overview of some of the most common:
Traditional Sewer Line Repair
This is the most common method of sewer line repair and has been in use since the advent of modern plumbing. For this type of repair, your plumber or sewer line repair expert will dig a trench in order to access the pipe in question. This provides access to both the pipe and the ground surrounding it, enabling your sewer repair professional to see the bigger picture in terms of what caused the damage in the first place.
Although this method is still popular today, it can create major disruptions in and around your property. Depending on the location of the broken or damaged pipe, you may need to dig underneath your lawn, driveway, parking lot or even under your home or office itself. This can add serious costs to your final bill, so you may prefer to choose a sewer line repair company that offers alternative methods.
Your sewer line repair company should refill the trench after they have completed the work, but many will not be able to restore your landscaping, paving or other aspects that may have been damaged in the process. You’ll need to repair these areas on your own or hire another company that is specialized in that area.
Trenchless Sewer Line Repair
Trenchless sewer line repair methods can often fix your pipes without having to dig a trench on your property. This can save you a lot of money on additional maintenance and repairs after the pipes have been fixed and will also minimize the impact on your family or business. Trenchless methods also have less impact on the environment than traditional methods do. It is important to note, though, that trenchless methods are not suitable for all types of sewer line repairs so be sure to ask your sewer line repair company whether or not you are a candidate.
Within this category, you have two primary options:
Burst Pipe Repair
For this method, your repair technician will make small access holes at either end of the damaged pipe. Next, they’ll use a state-of-the-art hydraulic machine to pull a new pipe into place, using the path of the old pipe as a guide. This also helps to break up what remains of the damaged pipe in the process.
Now that you know this particular area is a trouble spot for your piping, it would be wise to choose new piping that is more resilient than your old piping to prevent future damage. Your sewer repair company can inform you of the options you have available to you and advise you on which makes the most sense for your needs.
This method is suitable for instances where your pipes are severely damaged and no longer functional. The ground surrounding the pipes must be intact, though, in order to provide the pathway for the new pipe, so if the area is sunken and muddy, this method may not be feasible.
This innovative method of repairing damaged pipes involves fixing the pipes from the inside. It is somewhat akin to creating a new pipe within the existing pipe. Your sewer repair technician will pump epoxy materials through the damaged pipe, creating a new interior wall. This method seals off any cracks or leaks in your pipes and can extend their life, giving you more time until the pipes will ultimately need to be replaced.
Typically, this process can be completed from the clean-out access points in your plumbing system so it rarely requires any digging. If digging is required, it is usually minimal when compared with the prospect of digging an entire trench.
This versatile sewer repair method can be used to treat a variety of common piping problems, including root damage, cracks, small holes and leaking seals. It can be used for both underground and above-ground piping and can even be used to fix roof drain pipes and gutters. All of the materials used in the process are non-hazardous so you can rest assured that there is no risk to your family, employees or the environment.
For Your San Diego Sewer Line Repair Needs
Here at San Diego Plumbing and Pipelining, we offer all of the above services and more. We would be happy to assist you with all your piping needs for your home or business. From new sewer line installations to blockage removal to pipe repair, we offer a complete selection of services to keep your pipes flowing smoothly at all times.
We are experts at what we do and make a point of staying at the forefront of the latest developments in the plumbing industry so we can continue to offer our clients the best possible services at affordable prices. We approach each case on an individual basis, giving you the confidence that you are getting maintenance and repairs that are uniquely tailored to your specific needs.
We will gladly send a sewer line repair technician out to your location to examine your piping and determine what your next steps should be. We will always take the time to answer all of your questions to ensure that you fully understand our process. Get in touch with us today to schedule an appointment for a consultation with one of our expert sewer repair technicians.