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Common Sewer Repair Mistakes and How to Avoid Them


common sewer repair mistakes

Modern plumbing is one of man’s greatest achievements in modern times. When you look at the history of sewage removal or visit a country that doesn’t have modern sewage, you immediately appreciate the wonders of modern sewage.

So what do you do when you attempt to repair a malfunctioning sewer and your repair job goes south? First, you can plan on spending some big bucks. Experts estimate that sewage line repair currently will cost between $4,000 and $6,000.

You can avoid these ginormous costs by avoiding sewer repair mistakes. By the time you’ve finished reading this article, you’ll understand common sewer issues and the basic sewer repair mistakes a homeowner makes and know how to avoid them.

Getting One Quote

Homeowners make their biggest sewer repair mistake for their residential sewer system when they seek out and accept just one quote for their problem. To have adequate and cost-effective sewer repair done, homeowners should look for at least three different quotes.

Additionally, many times a homeowner doesn’t know to get a quote for all the potential contingencies of what the plumbing job may require. If a plumber gives you a low-cost quote, beware. Ask what this quote includes and if anything else could go wrong in the process.

After you have a large hole and excavation site in front of your house, you’re stuck with paying whatever the plumber asks for. So make sure the quote includes contingencies.

Repairing the Unrepairable

Some pipes simply cannot be repaired. Beware of the plumber that attempts to always spot repair a section of sewer pipe. If the pipe is back-pitched, it will not turn out well.

Worst of all, you will spend thousands of dollars for a repair that will not last long if you simply spot repair.

You can also not spot repair a sewer line or drain that has roots infesting it, one of the bigger sewer repair mistakes. If a tree root has infiltrated a drain line, you need a new drain line. New growth will simply continue to infiltrate the line if you attempt to repair just a portion of the line.

In those cases, you need a completely new sewer line.

Sewer Repairs on Illegal Lines

Not all sewage lines are legal. Many years ago, for example, plumbers used Orangeburg pipe. This is a type of pipe made of bonded wood pulp.

Orangeburg pipe was not designed for drainage because it gradually disintegrates when wastewater contacts it. Furthermore, repairing an Orangeburg drain line system takes extensive time and effort.

Sometimes you’ll discover a crushed or worn vitrified clay pipe or cast iron pipe. If a plumber attempts to connect to these pipes that are in poor condition, you will have sewer problems again in the near future.

These are cases where you should replace the sewer line.

Blindly Digging For Sewer Repairs

Sewer excavation is a big process that leads to a big hole. So your excavator and you need to be absolutely certain that they’ve found the sewer problem if they’re going to dig the hole. The most common mistake a homeowner makes is having the excavator dig in the wrong spot.

This happens when an excavator and sewer expert doesn’t use proper materials like sewer sonde. This device helps the technician see where the line runs. This also happens when the excavator digs in the right area but misses the point of the problem.

To avoid this second scenario, the technician should insert a video camera into the line to see where the problem is. This will help them determine the point of the problem and also if a repair or replacement is necessary.

Ignoring Trenchless Sewer Repair

The final mistake you can make when repairing sewer damage goes in ignoring some of the newer methods of sewer repair such as trenchless sewer repair. Trenchless plumbing repair allows a technician to replace pipes without digging a large, invasive trench.

With trenchless sewer repair, your yard can remain intact. The technician will begin by locating the problem using a special camera. They then will repair the line without damaging your landscape.

Trenchless technology uses the most modern of equipment and techniques to replace or install underground pipes. Technicians will do this one of two ways. They will either line the pipes or bust the pipes as they replace them.

Pipe Lining

In this case, the technician will install a new pipe inside the interior of your existing sewer line. They insert an epoxy-coated sleeve into your sewer drain. They then inflate this sleeve, wait for it to cure, and create a new pipe within the old one.

Pipe Bursting

To conduct a pipe bursting technique, the technician will insert a device into one end of your sewer line. This device will break the old pipe as it moves forward. The device will have a new, flexible sewer line attached to its back, and the new line will then take the space of the old line.

When you go with a trenchless method, you retain your yard. You do not have to replace lawns, landscaping, sidewalks, patios, or driveways. Your plumber will work completely underground. There are a few other benefits to trenchless sewer line repair.

  • Faster than traditional excavation
  • Lines last longer
  • Safer methods
  • Environmentally friendly method
  • Preserved landscaping and outdoor spaces
  • Less expensive than excavation

Don’t ignore the positive side of modern sewer repair such as trenchless repair. You will save money and time.

Avoid Sewer Repair Mistakes

To avoid sewer repair mistakes, choose an experienced plumbing technician. You want a technician with training and experience in sewer line repair. Look for a technician open to more modern techniques such as a trenchless sewer line repair.

Are you experiencing sewer damage? Do you need a technician who can meet your sewer repair budget? If so, contact us.

Our technicians are ready to help you find a solution for all your sewer needs.

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