Sewer problems are often an afterthought to many homeowners. Ironically, sewer line issues are one of the most expensive and disruptive troubles you will face as a homeowner.
While sewer lines naturally degrade over time, monitoring your drainage system is essential. Otherwise, paying no attention to your plumbing and drainage can result in costly repairs or replacements.
But how do you know whether a sewer backup calls for a simple repair or budget-blowing replacement? This article aims to provide clarity on this issue.
Keep reading to make a well-informed choice between a sewer line repair or replacement.
When Do You Need to Repair or Replace Your Sewer Line?
Pipe leaks, sewer backups and slow drains happen for many reasons. Resorting to a complete sewer line overhaul is not always the solution. Sometimes, less costly repairs or DIY drain solutions are enough to restore your drains.
Sewer line experts can give you professional recommendations on the appropriate actions. But if you want to know for yourself, here are things to know before replacing or repairing a sewer line.
9 Important Things to Consider Before Replacing a Sewer Line
Know the common sewer line warning signs.
Warning signs are good indicators that your sewer needs some repair or replacement. It’s best to assess the situation once you notice the telltale signs of sewer line problems.
Here are some signs to look out for:
- Spike in your water bill
- Gurgling sound in pipes
- Slow drain
- Soggy lawn
- Smelling sewage
- Sewer backup
- Foundation problems
When you start noticing these signs, proceed to step #2.
Understand what causes sewer line damage.
Sewer line problems can happen for many reasons. Knowing the root causes behind the symptoms can help you determine if a replacement is necessary.
Here are a few examples of causes behind sewer line damage:
- Tree roots penetrating through pipes
- Corroded cast-iron pipes for homes built before the ’60s
- Foreign objects causing a blockage
- Heavy soil damaging pipes
Pipe obstructions, especially near drains, can often be resolved using DIY methods. However, for problems beyond your reach, calling in the experts is the best possible option.
Consider sewer line inspection first.
To many homeowners, sewer line problems can often be a source of panic. However, people tend to make the worst decisions during delirious situations. Before calling for a full-blown replacement, compose yourself first and seek a second opinion from experts.
Unlike homeowners, professionals understand sewer lines better. Plus, they have the equipment to determine whether or not an underground sewer line is beyond repair.
The type of pipe needed for the job
Compared to the ’60s, people have more options today regarding the choice of pipe. The type of pipe you choose will affect the overall cost of the repair or replacement. Today, plastic or concrete are the most popular choices for sewer line repair or replacement.
For example, plastic pipes are cheaper than concrete pipes but less durable. Meanwhile, for industrial-grade replacements, concrete pipes are the better options. You can also use concrete to coat other types of pipes.
The different sewer line replacement methods
Aside from enjoying a plethora of pipe classifications, modern technology also introduced a new method for sewer line repairs. Today, there are two frontrunners in this industry:
- Traditional method
- Trenchless method
The traditional method involves the conventional process of fixing pipes and sewer lines. This includes digging a yard to locate the damage and manually reaching the pipes that need repair or replacement. Aside from being invasive and destructive, this process may take several days to complete.
The Trenchless method, as the name suggests, does not require trenches. In other words, you keep your yard pristine before and after the service.
Trenchless professionals use remote robotics and modern materials to access the damage and conduct repairs from an access point. Unlike traditional methods, trenchless repairs typically take only a day to complete.
The cost of the replacement
Every sewer line repair company charges its services differently. The technique used, the length of the pipe and the complexities surrounding the repair will come into play.
If the experts you contact require excavation, expect the cost of repair or replacement to skyrocket. Aside from the plumbing problem, you have landscaping and hardscaping fees to worry about. But if you choose trenchless repair, you can save more money in the long run.
The access to the sewer line
The farther the damage, the harder it is for traditional plumbers and sewer line contractors to reach it. Determining the exact location entails a more giant, gnarly hole in your yard.
Meanwhile, trenchless repair experts can locate the problem without any damage whatsoever. They use specialized tools and infrared camera-equipped robots to navigate your sewer line through a small access point.
The potential for future repairs
Whether you choose traditional or trenchless methods, sewer line repairs and replacement are generally similar. After all, both involve locating the problem and fixing the damaged pipes. It is only the process of repair or replacement that varies.
Nonetheless, repairing or replacing your damaged sewer line will take a long time before you require another service.
Still, trenchless sewer line repair or replacement offers significantly less headache than traditional methods. Despite a slightly higher upfront cost, choosing a trenchless method helps you save more money.
If you need a service, Drain Magic can help. To reach us, call 717-736-9444 or book an appointment here.