How To Replace The Sewer Line Under The House

By |Published On: August 26th, 2021|Categories: Residential Plumbing, Sewer Systems|

Do you know how to replace the sewer line under the house? The sewer line is a crucial part of your home’s functionality. It’s essential to keep it maintained and repair it when it needs to be. Do you know the signs of when your sewer line is damaged? All that and more will be explained in this article! Follow along and check out the best solutions for sewer line replacement and repair.

How To Replace The Sewer Line Under The House

How To Spot Sewer Line Problems

Take a look at each of these and see if you notice similar traits in your home.

  • Constant Backups – Your sewer line is connected to all of your toilets, sinks, showers, and bathtubs. If you notice clogs and backups in all of your fixtures, the main culprit will likely be your sewer line. An overflowing toilet is not something you want in your house!

  • Sewer Odor – Smell that? Does that smell get worse near your walls or bathrooms? If you smell sewage in your home and ruled out your trash can, you can be confident that your sewer pipe is damaged. Don’t let that smell linger long!
  • Slow Drains – Do you notice water takes its time going down your drains? Is your shower filling up with water or your sink pooling up? If all of your drains are slow, it’s the sewer line again!

  • Unnatural Yard Growth – What is going on with your grass? Do you have spots of crazy growth? When your underground sewer line collapses, or leaks, or anything, grass loves the “fresh fertilizer” that your pipe is feeding it. You will notice specific areas of growth, almost like a trail of breadcrumbs leading to your home. Say no to extra lawn cutting!

  • Foundation Issues – Believe it or not, a collapsed sewer line can affect your home’s foundation in ways you would never have thought. When a drain pipe leaks sewage, the excess water will cause the soil to expand and shrink (if the foundation was built on top of expansive soil), causing your foundation to shift.
  • Insects or Rodents – Rats, mice, sewer flies, or cockroaches can enter your home if a drain pipe is damaged. Calling pest control may eliminate the current invaders, but the pipe is still cracked and will come back.

a clogged toilet is cleaned. with yellow latex gloves.
rat in drain pipe

Reasons Why Sewer Lines Break

Below are some common reasons why sewer lines collapse or break.

  • Tree Roots – Older trees on your property are bound to have long, invasive roots. They seek out nutrients, sensing pipes flowing with waste or water. The roots attack the joints where the lines are their weakest, such as cracks. Once they’re inside, they drink and drink until the roots clog up your pipes.

  • Old Pipes – Old sewer lines made from cast iron or terracotta are more likely to fall apart or leak. Metals corrode and rust over time, while terracotta pipes are very susceptible to roots and leaks. Modern pipes are made with PVC, but the pipes used in homes built before the 70s are usually made from an outdated material.

  • Soil Failure – Soil shifts around your property can cause pressure on the sewer lateral, causing them to crack, leak, and collapse. Soil can shift due to rain, floods, drought, freezing temperatures, and more.

  • Clogs – Oil, grease, and fats tend to build up inside your pipes, shrinking the area waste can flow through. Things like “flushable” wipes, paper towels, too much toilet paper can build up at these sections where there is no room to escape. Only flush toilet paper and bodily waste down your toilets, and don’t dump grease down your sink.

These are not things that you want to live with long. Don’t wait to react to any of these clear signs of a collapsed sewer line.

Read also – Signs and symptoms of a broken sewer line.

How To Replace The Sewer Line Under The House

Unless you want to chip away your concrete slab, rip up flooring, crack tile, or destroy carpet, you might want to check out two of the best solutions. Trenchless pipe lining and trenchless pipe bursting.

Pipe Lining (Trenchless)

A unique, epoxy-impregnated liner is inserted into the old pipe and inflated. This creates a new pipe inside the old one. Pipe lining can be considered replacement or repair depending on whether the whole pipe length will be lined or just a section.

If only a section of pipe (a spot repair) is lined, it is considered a repair. If you line the whole pipe from start to finish, it is like getting a brand new pipe installed (aka replacement).

A unique, epoxy-impregnated liner is inserted into the old pipe, inflates, and creates a new pipe structure directly inside the old one.
Pipe bursting is where a new HDPE (high-density polyethylene) pipe is attached to a winch with a cone-shaped bursting head and pulled through the damaged line. The damaged pipe breaks apart as the new one takes its place.

Pipe Bursting (Trenchless)

Pipe bursting is where a new HDPE (high-density polyethylene) pipe is attached to a winch with a cone-shaped bursting head and pulled through the damaged line. The damaged pipe breaks apart as the new one takes its place.

Note: Sometimes, a drain pipe is so severely damaged that no trenchless method is viable. Plumbers cannot use trenchless technology on pipes that are back-pitched, which means that the original contractors failed to use the proper slope for your sewer line to your city connection. Also, if the pipe has collapsed onto itself, you will have to go the conventional trenching route.

Learn more about – The best way to replace a sewer line from house to the street

How Much Does It Cost?

Trenchless sewer repair can cost anywhere between $4,000-$15,000 for the average single-family home. Jobs range from a few feet of repair to hundreds of feet, changing the pricing per amount of needed work. There will always be a base cost starting at permits, contractor mobilization, project minimums, and prices moving on from there.

Conventional sewer repair, on average, costs $50 to $450 per linear foot. The price to install brand new pipes throughout your home or yard could run to $15,000 because of all the extensive work, such as trenching and excavation. Conventional sewer repair quotes will be lower than trenchless, but they don’t include the cost to clean up the mess and repair the property damage.

Who Can Fix The Sewer Line Under The House?

It’s time that New Flow Plumbing comes in to save the day. We’ll get you started with a CCTV sewer camera inspection to determine where your problems come from. Then, we give you a free repair estimate, followed by available repair options. Whatever the issue, New Flow Plumbing will have your plumbing running perfectly again.

About the Author: New Flow Plumbing Inc.

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