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As a homeowner, dealing with a sewage line blockage or leak can be aggravating. Along with the unpleasant odor and laborious cleanup of a clogged sewer line, determining the core cause of your sewage problem can be tough.
It is critical to understand the major causes of sewage line damage to assist avoid or alleviate an issue when it occurs. Here are the most typical reasons for a broken sewage line, as well as warning signals to watch for and how to repair or replace your sewer system.
Sewer Line Damage Causes
Here are a few reasons for sewage line damage, ranging from blocked pipes to typical wear and tear.
Roots of trees
Tree roots are one of the most prevalent sources of sewage line damage. As a tree grows, it’s roots follow water sources. Because sewage lines transport liquid waste, roots are naturally drawn to the source—especially if there is already a tiny breach in the pipe.
When tree roots come into touch with a sewage pipe, they begin to wrap around and break through it, obstructing, weakening, and even damaging the structure. Clay sewage pipes, which are commonly found in older homes, are the most vulnerable to tree root damage.
Although steel and cast-iron pipes are galvanized to prevent rusting, they are prone to corrosion owing to calcium and magnesium build-up from normal wear and use. If corrosion is not addressed, it can lead to leaks and cracks in the pipe.
Pipe Blockages Caused by Debris and Foreign Objects
The sewage lines in your home are solely designed to handle human waste and toilet paper. Avoid flushing rubbish such as wrappers and paper towels since they are unable to decompose properly and might generate clogs that drain cleaning solutions cannot resolve. Cooking oil and grease may also clog pipes in the kitchen if dumped into the sink.
Temperatures at Extremes
Frozen pipes can burst as a result of growing ice during severe temperatures and cold weather. However, it is not only cold weather that can cause pipes to break; excessive heat, while unusual, can also cause pipes to burst.
Sewer Line Damage Symptoms
To avoid more damage, it’s critical to recognize the indicators of a faulty sewer system so that you can act quickly and contact an expert repair specialist.
A flooded yard may indicate a damaged sewer line. Sewer lines can be buried anywhere from a few feet to six feet below ground, with colder areas necessitating deeper pipes. A damaged sewage line near the surface can rapidly begin to pool water, which seeps through the grass and becomes apparent on the surface. Because sewage gas may infiltrate through your yard’s soil, you may be able to smell it before it appears.
Difficulties with Draining
While some blockages are caused by a pipe that leads straight from a faucet or shower, a blockage in the main sewage system can be detected if many draining sites in the property are clogged. Toilets may detect severe obstructions by making unusual gurgling sounds as air is forced back up the pipe.
Water Damage in the Residence
Water damage can occur in the home if a drain pipe leaks or breaks. Mold developing on the floors or walls is one of the first indicators. This might indicate a damaged sewage line within your property, in which case you should contact a plumbing professional right once.
Sewer Line Repair and Replacement
If your sewage line bursts or leaks and has to be fixed, you have two choices: Construct a trench around the sewer pipe or employ trenchless sewer line repairs. Trenchless sewer repair saves time and money by needing little to no digging. To begin, professionals use a video camera to enter the sewage pipe and offer repairs.
Then, one of two plumbing repairs is typically suggested:
Pipelining—If your sewage pipe has only minor damage, pipe lining can be utilized to introduce an inflated tube coated in epoxy into your sewer system. The tube is then inflated, pushing against the existing line. The epoxy dries and hardens while it is pressed against the existing sewer line, fixing the leak. After that, the inflated tube may be removed and the sewage line fixed.
Pipe bursting—When a sewage line is sufficiently damaged to be repaired using pipe lining, a more invasive trenchless repair method might be used. Technicians insert a cone-shaped bit into your old line, destroying it and quickly replacing it with a new one. This method is more expensive and time-consuming, but it does not need substantial excavation.
How to Protect Your Sewer Lines
Receive sewer line inspections at least once a year— To ensure that your sewage system is in good operating order, employ a professional to examine it at least once a year.
Remove trees that are causing sewage line damage— Although a root invasion in your sewer line is frequently caused by an already-existing fracture or leak in the pipe, we nevertheless recommend removing the tree from the area after repairing or replacing the pipe to guarantee the problem does not reoccur.
FAQs Related to Sewer Line Repair
How long can a sewage pipe be expected to last?
The composition of your sewage line determines its lifespan. Cast iron pipes have a lifespan of 75-100 years, clay and cement pipes have a lifespan of up to 100 years, Orangeburg pipes have a lifespan of 50 years, and PVC pipes have a lifespan of more than 100 years.
Is sewage line damage covered by homeowner’s insurance?
Unless your sewage line was damaged by another party, your homeowner’s insurance is unlikely to pay the costs. Fortunately, many home warranty providers offer septic system coverage, which allows you to safeguard your sewage systems.