Is It A Good Idea To Undertake A DIY Sewer Line Repair?

by Nina Smith

Your sewer line runs from your property to the main sewer line. Al the appliances in your home connect to the sewer line, in the majority of cases, this is via smaller pipes although toilet waste tends to be the same size as your sewer line. The sewer line is your responsibility until it reaches the main sewer pipe, this is usually at the edge of your property.

There are a number of things that can go wrong with the sewer line, when you realize there is an issue you’ll need to decide whether to attempt the repair yourself or to leave it to the professionals.

Signs Your Sewer Line Needs Repairing

As mentioned, the sewer line connects to all your appliances and removes the wastewater and other products. It usually works efficiently. However, if it has become damaged then waste is likely to clog inside the pipe. Over time the clog will build. As it does so you will notice that your appliances are draining slower than usual. This is a warning sign and should be taken seriously.

Other signs that you have a problem with your sewer pipe is when you have rich green grass greener than the rest of your garden, and it is along the path of the sewer pipe. This suggests the pipe is leaking and the grass is benefiting from the nutrients in your waste.

You may also notice the distinctive aroma of sewage in your yard, another sign the pipe has a leak.

Assessing the Sewer Pipe

Source: milltownplumbing.com

Before you can decide whether to undertake the repair yourself or not you will need to see how bad the damage is. The best thing to do is find a good sewer camera for sale and invest in it like austeck.com. This can be slid into your sewer pipe and generates an image that you can watch as the camera moves through your pipe.

If you find a blockage you’ll need to use drain rods to eliminate the issue before re-inserting the camera. It is important to take it slow and study the walls. Small cracks are difficult to find while a damaged pipe is easy to spot.

Cracks can be the result of aging pipes or too much pressure from above, especially if you regularly rollover your sewer pipe in a vehicle.

More serious damage is either the result of an untreated crack or it is because the pipe has been damaged. This is commonly done by tree roots.

Identifying the issue is essential to deciding whether you will attempt a repair yourself or get the professionals involved.

Types Of Repair

There are two main types of repair that you are likely to face:

1. Cracks and minor damage – Lining the Pipe

Source: theplumbersplumber.com

There are many reasons why you may have a cracked pipe and you should assess why it has happened. A simple accident that has ruptured the wall is repairable with a liner. But, if you have cracks due to pipe aging this is not an advisable option as an aging pipe is likely to develop more cracks and cause further issues.

If you feel the crack is a one-of then you should have a liner inserted into the pipe and position it over the crack. This will prevent it from leaking and still allow the sewer pipe to do its job smoothly and efficiently.

However, this can be a complex procedure, in most cases, you’ll need specialist tools and this will need to be done by the experts.

It does make a lot less mess and is generally faster, making it potentially a more cost-effective solution.

2. Broken Pipes – Replacing It

Source: thisoldhouse.com

If the crack is bad or the pipe is broken you’ll need to replace the damaged section or even the entire pipe. This means digging the pipe up. You’ll need to mark the line of the pipe and dig down to it. Even though you are replacing it you should be careful when you reach the pipe, you don’t want to rupture it further.

Digging it out means digging under the pipe as well. This gives you the best possible access and ensures you can fairly easily remove and replace the damaged section.

You’ll need to cut the pipe on each side of the damaged piece. You can then insert a new section of pipe with specially designed joiners at each end. These must be glued in place with pipe glue to ensure there are no leaks.

It is important to know what type of pipe you are dealing with first as this will help to ensure you get the right connections and, if necessary, the right pipe.

You should also note that it can be difficult to insert the pipe as there will be little room to move it. If you don’t have experience with this you’ll find it can be frustrating.

Should You Repair The Sewer Pipe Yourself?

Source: thearchitecturedesigns.com

This is a personal decision. If you have experience with plumbing and are comfortable working around sewage then you can save a significant sum by digging up the damaged section of pipe and purchasing a replacement section yourself.

There is little doubt it is much cheaper as you won’t be paying someone else to labour for you. However, it can also be time-consuming and more complex than you think. Digging down to the pipe can be hard work and you’ll need to weigh up the time it takes with what this will cost you in lost earnings or other activities.

The bottom line is that it is possible and legal to repair the sewer line yourself, you simply need to decide whether you want to or not.

Before you make your final decision, you should check your insurance policy. Many policies provide coverage for sewer line damage although there will be conditions attached. If you have coverage then it could be a good idea to let the professionals do it and the insurance company pay for it.

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