Sewer Line Replacement Methods
Digging Sewer System:
Does your home sewer line clog every couple of months or at least once a year? Are you tired of dealing with the issue but, you don’t know how to fix it?
Repairing or replacing a sewer system is not an easy thing to do or nor it is cheap, besides, it should be done only by professionals that are licensed, insured and bonded.
But how a sewer plumbing system is fixed? The most common methods used to address a troubled sewer system are: the digging method, perma liner methods and pipe bursting method.
This page will be addressing the digging method, also known as traditional method.
But before moving forward, ask yourself these questions: Is digging a sewer line the best option to solve the problem? If it’s not, why the method is so popular?
Digging, An Easy Project?
Digging sewer line is not an easy project; in fact, it is a very dangerous job especially if done by inexperienced people.
According to annual reports of various governmental safety agencies, it is estimated that in America, approximately 100 people die every year while working in deep trench.
Digging sewer drain line is not always the best option but, sometimes, it can be the only option available to fix the problem.
Why Digging It?
Why digging a sewer system when there’re other options available in the market?
In order to answer the above question, it is important to notice that, before picking and choosing a particular method, the expert will have to diagnose the cause of the blockage and, this is done by performing a video camera inspection.
Actually, it does not matter what causes a sewer to backup, some dig, even if, it is only partially, it will have to take place to repair a sewer problem.
When Digging Is Not An Option?
Cost: Digging a main drain is the most damaging option to a home’s yard and, therefore, it is also very expensive because, the homeowner won’t only invest in the sewer repair but, in the yard also.
So, depending on the severity of the sewer problem and, if alternate methods are an option, it might be cheaper and less abrasive than doing the traditional digging method.
But it will also depend on the location of the problem and what is going to take to fix it, in order to determine the cost to repair the pipe.
Options to fix a damaged pipe: If after the pipe has been inspected and, the expert has determined that there are more than one option to address the problem, compare the digging option Vs pipe bursting and perma lining the line, if digging the sewer line is more expensive, than, it is evident that the digging method is not be the best option.
Safety: Is it safe to dig the damage pipe or, can the pipe be repaired or replaced using pipe bursting or perma liner method? If so, chances are that, digging the sewer line will not only be more expensive but, more unsafe as well.
Damage Pipe Location: Depending where the section of the damaged pipe is located, digging the line might not be an option, unless, otherwise, the pipe is severity damaged and no other option will be able to solve the problem.
When Digging Is The Way To Go?
1 – If the line is completely collapsed, than, the only option to solve the problem is by digging the line.
P.s: If the pipe is collapsed, you won’t be able to perform an accurate inspection the damaged pipe, this is due to the line likely be under water and full of sludge, such condition makes almost impossible to see anything in the pipe.
2 – If after a video inspection has been done and, it has been determined that a considerable length of the pipe is underwater (belly), then, the pipe grading or natural flow of it has been compromised, the pipe has physically been damaged and, the only way fix such a problem is by digging it.
What is a belly? It is a physical damage on the pipe, the belly happens overtime due to defective installation (man-made) and earth movement.
Overtime, the piping system drops in several spots, also known as weak spots. The weak spots are usually lower than the normal grading of the pipe, which is known as bellies.
Bellies permanently hold water in it and, such a problem interrupts the proper drainage flow of waste, which will overtime plug the whole diameter of the pipe.
3 – The sewer line is completely infested with thick tree roots that can’t be cut out with blades, then, the sewer might need to be dug up to be repaired.
4 – If the Nose-on which is the section that connects to the city sewer is damaged, separated or collapsed, the only option is to dig up the sewer line to fix it.
5 – Even if pipe bursting or perma-liner are applicable to your particular circumstance, you will still have to dig one or two holes to have access to the sewer line, in order to use these trenchless technologies.
Fixing Without Digging It?
Repairing underground damaged pipe will always involve digging the ground; however, depending of severity of the damage, the amount of the dig can drastically be reduced.
1 – If the pipe joints has just began shifting but, the pipe grading is still in acceptable condition, which means that the sewage flows normally, then, digging the whole sewer can avoided.
2 – If the pipe has short sections under water and the pipe has not collapsed or it is not completely crushed down, then, another method that requires less digging can be an option.
Cost To Repair Sewer Pipe:
How much does it cost to repair or place a whole sewer system? This is a valid question and, to be honest with you, it is valid to say that will depend on a variety of factors.
A qualified professional that knows what’s involved from start to finish knows that, one should never guess a sewer repair or replacement without completely assessing the problem.
The price to repair a sewer system will depend on: deepness of the line, the length in need of repair, what’s on the way: concrete, asphalt, driveways, sidewalks, underground cables, gas lines, water lines, communication cables in general, city requirements, permits, needed material and so on.
Is the dig being done by hand? If so, how many laborers will be needed and for how many days will take to complete the job? Will it be necessary the usage of a backhoe? If so, how much is it going to cost to lease the equipment? Is traffic control, road closure, shoring and boarding for safety needed?
So, how much does it cost to repair or replace a sewer line? The answer is: It will depend! But, it could easily cost anywhere from a couple of thousands of dollars to tens of thousands of dollars. Yes, it is that expensive.
Who Can Repair A Sewer System?
Just like the majority of plumbing projects, a sewer repair must be done by a certified and licensed journeyman plumber. It is the law!
What Happen If I Repair It?
If you or anyone else is caught by OSHA digging and repair a sewer line without the proper licenses and permits will receive a very steep fine and could easily be more than $20,000 dollars.
So, please, don’t take any chances on this kind of project, let the professionals do the job, it is expensive but, at least, it will be done right and it will in accordance to the law.
Digging sewer lines is not always very popular among homeowners because of the damage that such a project brings to their home landscaping.
So, if your home sewer needs to be repair or replaced, be prepared to hire a landscaping company to re-do the yard, also, be financially ready for this additional project, most plumbing companies will not include landscaping project in the sewer bid.