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Sewer Line Repair And Replacement - Everything You Need to Know

April 15, 2022

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A damaged sewer line is more than just an inconvenience. If it is not effectively repaired, it can pose severe health risks to you and your family members. Unfortunately, many homeowners usually don’t take much notice of their sewage systems until significant issues begin to occur. 

Broken pipes leak harmful chemicals and substances into the ground. These dangerous spills turn your home into an unsafe environment. It’s highly recommended to enlist professional help for sewer line repair. Expert plumbers will know how to properly replace the main sewer pipe and ensure your home’s safety.

Sewer Repair Methods

There are two main sewer line repair and replacement options available to homeowners:

  1. Traditional or open-trench sewer repair
  2. Trenchless sewer repair

With the open trench method, sewer repair contractors will have to dig up the ground to access a home’s sewer line. Then, after the pipes have been fixed or replaced, the trench will be backfilled. This method is time-intensive and entails more disruption to your home and routine. 

The trenchless method is often the most preferred of the sewer line repair options, if it can be done in your home. Plumbers will use advanced techniques to expand and break existing pipes. At the same time, new high-density polyethylene (HDPE) pipes will be installed.

Trenchless sewer repair is less intrusive, and it can be done much faster. However, it may not be a viable option for every home. Make sure to consult plumbing experts to see if they can implement this method for your home plumbing repairs.

sewer line repair and replacement

Types of Sewer Line Replacement

Professional plumbers will present you with the options for sewer line replacement services before conducting any repairs. The replacement service will vary depending on the job type, labor requirements and equipment needed to fix the lines.

Basic Sewer Line Repair

Basic sewer line repair involves replacing only a section of the pipe. It usually includes the installation of new lines and other related hardware.

Entire Sewer Line Replacement

Replacing the entire sewer line is a labor-intensive process. Most plumbers will recommend using PVC pipes for the new installation as these are readily available. They will discuss these options with you and determine which option is best suited for your home.

Cracked Sewer Pipe Repair

Sometimes you won’t need to replace the entire pipe. If the damage isn’t too extensive, plumbers can repair the section of cracked pipe,  instead of replacing the entire sewer line.  It's important to remember that this will not guarantee the health of the remaining sewer that was not replaced.

Sewer Trap Removal

Sewer traps keep unpleasant odors out of your home.  In the days before these were located beneath each fixture, there was a single trap placed at the beginning of the sewer line.  If the "house trap" is the source of the issue, it can be removed entirely to prevent further clogs in the future.

Sewer Line Replacement In The Basement

Replacing the sewer line in the basement may require trenching under the slab, which is often an intrusive process. If the source of the issue is located within pipes not under the ground, trenching will likely not be required.

Lateral Replacement

The main sewer line under the street, connecting your house to the municipal branch is called a lateral line. In some cases, the lateral line will need to be replaced, requiring the expertise of professional plumbers.

Sewer Line Inspection

Contractor installing house sewer pipe in the ground trench

Sewer Line Repair & Replacement Guide

Below, we cover the steps carried out by plumbers in the sewer line repair and replacement process.

  1. Local Plumbing Codes

Before plumbing crews conduct any services, they will check local plumbing codes to ensure that the services they’ll render follow regulations. 

These codes include the following:

  • The required depth of the sewer line
  • All the necessary permits that should be secured before beginning any repairs
  • The pitch of the pipe
  • Identification of underground utilities in your area 

Digging trenches requires careful planning. Your plumber will perform onsite inspections and survey the area to ensure everything is up to standard.

  1. Digging Trenches

Digging trenches involves digging out the broken sewage pipe and removing the soil, rocks and other covering materials. In some cases, plumbing crews only need to dig a specific section if that’s all that needs replacing. However, they may have to remove and replace the entire pipe, digging through its full length.

  1. Pipe Removal

Following the previous step, plumbers will cut out the damaged pipe piece, remove it and handle its disposal.

  1. New Pipe Installation

The plumbing team will ensure that the ground is pitched correctly, following the requirements of local authorities. These requirements include minimum pitch, cleanout access, and fitting requirements to maximize flow. Following these requirements will help pass inspections and ensure that waste gets effectively carried out of your home.

  1. Replacement Sewage Pipe Inspection

A plumbing inspector will evaluate the work before covering the new pipe with soil and other material. If it passes inspection, the process is completed with the covering of the new pipe.

Enlist The Help Of Plumbing Industry Experts

Repairing your home’s sewer line is a complex procedure best left to seasoned experts. At Alliance Service Pros, we have highly-trained plumbing professionals who can offer expert advice and work within your budget to help you reduce costs. If you have problems with your sewer line, call today, and we’ll walk you through the various repair and replacement options available to you.

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