SEWER LINE: What it is and why it is important
Once wastewater goes down the drain from your sink, tub, or toilet, it is carried to a connecting pipe called a sewer line. The sewer line carries wastewater from your home to the municipal sewer system or septic tank. It is vital that the sewer line is correctly installed and well-maintained, because otherwise, there is a very high risk that the sewer line will become backed up, which will prevent it from draining properly and disposing of your wastewater. In some cases, the blockage may even cause raw sewage to back up inside your home, causing significant damage. Another potential problem is that dangerous sewer gases may leak into your home, which is a serious problem because they are toxic, (possibly causing fatal asphyxiation) and explosive. Therefore, your sewer line should be examined ASAP by a certified Toronto plumber and, if necessary, fixed immediately. Because your home’s sewer line is buried on yoiur property, it is considered part of your home. As a result, it is your responsibility as a homeowner to keep your property’s sewer line in good working order. The sewer pipe, which is part of the sewer line, is not something most people think about on a daily basis, even though it plays a huge role in transporting waste out of your home. It is generally “out of sight, out of mind”… until something goes wrong…
Flushing certain items, such as paper towels, feminine hygiene products and some types of tissue, can lead to a clog in the sewer line, either in one of the branch pipes or the main sewer pipe. You need to be careful about what you flush, c but sometimes the source of the clog is beyond your control. For example, tree roots are a major source of SEWER PIPE BLOCKAGE.
If your MAIN SEWER LINE is clogged, cleaning and repairing it yourself is incredibly challenging if you don’t have the proper training or equipment, and not to mention, it is a massive, unsanitary mess. That’s where Mister Plumber’s team of qualified and highly trained technicians comes in, equipped to handle any SEWER LINE and DRAIN REPAIR.
In the past, finding the source of a SEWER LINE PROBLEM involved guesswork and lots of digging. Today, OUR PLUMBERS use state-of-the art video equipment to find the source of the problem, without disturbing your yard. We thread a waterproof video camera into the sewer line, which is able to see where roots have invaded the pipe or if it has collapsed – all without any digging.
SEWER LINE PROBLEMS: How Do You Know If You Have Any?
The difficult thing about keeping your SEWER LINE in good condition is that you can’t see it, so you don’t know right away when there’s a problem. When there’s a problem with your SEWER LINE, your house will tell you.
Common Warning Signs Include:
- One or more drains are draining slower than usual.
This can be a very early sign of a drainage problem. If multiple drains are affected, it is likely that the problem is in the SEWER LINE.
- Water backs up into one or more drains, or intop the toilet, when another drain is used.
If the problem is restricted to one drain, the main sewer line may not be affected. If multiple drains are affected, it is more likely that the MAIN SEWER LINE could have an issue.
- Drains and toilets make unusual gurgling sounds when being when flushed.
- Sewage odors can be detected.
Sometimes water or sewage starts backing up in the drains without any of the above warning signs. It is vital to call a plumber immediately. In the meantime, it’s best to avoid using any water in order to reduce the risk of the drains backing up and flooding your home.
Sewer Pipe Repair and Replacement
If your SEWER PIPE is damaged, it needs to be repaired or replaced immediately. One or two damaged spots can be repaired without having to replace the entire line. If the SEWER PIPE is badly damaged, then SEWER LINE REPLACEMENT is the less disruptive and best choice. REPAIRING OR REPLACING A SEWER LINE in Etobicoke, Toronto, Mississauga can take anywhere from one day to several days to complete. Traditional SEWER PIPE REPAIR uses a backhoe or a crew to dig up the area around the sewer line to make it accessible for repairs or replacement. For repairs, only the damaged section of pipe is exposed so it can be patched. If the pipe needs to be replaced, the entire length of the pipe is exposed. This can be somewhat disruptive to the yard but it is the best choice in order to have a permanent solution to the problem and prevent future backups. A newly installed SEWER PIPE has a long lifespan as long as it’s well-maintained. PVC pipes have a lifespan of up to 100 years or more, provided they’re protected from tree root damage, corrosive drain cleaners, and other things that cause blockage or damage. Whatever it takes to fix the problem, Mister Plumber makes every effort to minimize the disruption to your home. The amount of disruption that’s necessary often depends on where a SEWER LINE is laid and what’s around it.
The Common Causes of Sewer Line Problems?
There are several situations that can lead to SEWER LINE PROBLEMS.
- Trees - One of the most common issues is a tree planted too close to a sewer line. Its roots may grow and twist around the sewer line, and over time the roots may crush the line or even penetrate it. This is particularly common in older homes with trees that are mature enough to have extensive root growth.
- Old pipes – Another potential issue in older homes is simply that pipes become corroded and worn as they age and may break or leak. Cast iron lines, which are common to this area, age and become rusty and bridle. Corrosion of cast iron sewer lines will over time eat through the bottom of the pipe and allow sewage to pour out under your Toronto
- Items down the drain – In newer homes, a more likely cause of sewer line problems is the disposal down the drain of items such as paper towels and feminine hygiene products. These may be small enough to flush in the toilet, but they’re also bulky enough to clog the drain or sewer line.
Do You Need Sewer Pipe Repair or Replacement?
Depending on the nature of your problem, Mister Plumber may be able to perform spot-repairs on damaged sections of pipe. If the damage is too extensive, we will recommend that the sewer line be completely replaced.
How Can You Prevent Sewer Line Problems?
There are several things you can do to keep you sewer line in good working order.
- If you plant trees in your yard, make sure they’re well away from your buried sewer line. If you do have trees that are close enough to become a problem in the future, consider having them removed or moved.
- Don’t put foreign objects (paper towels, cloths, feminine hygiene product, cigarettes,) down the drain or toilet.
- Don’t pour grease down the kitchen sink drain.
- Dispose of problem foods such as bones, stringy vegetables, and rice in the trash rather than in the garbage disposal.
- Don’t pour harsh chemical drain cleaners down your drains. They can cause corrosion of pipes.
Sewer Line Repair Options
Repairing side sewer lines is done using a variety of methods. The goal of any sewer line repair project is to cause as little disruption to the landscaping, sidewalks, yards, and patios as possible. There are options that require no excavation, like CIPP, pipe bursting and point repair. Unfortunately however, sometimes excavation cannot be avoided.
By using our video inspection and sewer locating technology, we can determine the extent of the damage and asses whether we can use a trenchless repair method, like CIPP, pipe bursting or point repair. If we cannot use a trenchless method, then traditional open trench excavation may be required. Sometimes, if the pipes are too damaged in too many locations, then trenchless technology may not be an option.
Sewer Line Repair Experts
Because our technicians are trained and licensed plumbers, you can be assured that the method we use will be the most cost effective, efficient, and affordable. Our sewer and plumbing experts will assess your sewer line and make a recommendation for repair by using one the following methods:
Open Trench Excavation
This is the most commonly used method of sewer repair and construction. Using a backhoe, we dig up the old pipes and replace them with new ones. Once the old pipe is replaced, the trench is backfilled. This process can be expensive and messy and we will try and avoid it at all costs, especially if we can use more modern techniques like trenchless repair, pipe bursting or CIPP as an alternative.
Trenchless technology to repair a side sewer line allows us to repair your drain and sewer lines without excavating across your property. Additionally, trenchless repairs are more cost effective than excavation. With trenchless repair, our plumbers locate a single access point to the sewer line, and from there we clean the existing pipeline using a hydrojet.
There are a few types of trenchless repair methods:
- Cured in Place Pipelining or CIPP (also Called Sewer Pipe Lining). If we can insert a lining into the existing pipe we pull it through and inflate it into the damaged pipe. The lining is held in place with a epoxy that cures in place.
- Pipe Bursting (Pipebursting). Pipe bursting is a trenchless method of replacing buried pipelines (such as sewer, water, or natural gas pipes) without the need for a traditional construction trench. “Launching and receiving pits” replace the trench needed by conventional pipe-laying.
- Point Repair. A flexible pipe is inserted into the existing damaged pipe. This inserted pipe is installed by just digging one hole and therefore does not require major excavation, or the need to dig a trench. This is why it is also sometimes called point repair because it typically requires the plumber to just create one hole or access point.
Our team at Mister Plumber provides professional repairs and replacements for damaged sewer lines. We are licensed and fully insured. You can rest assured that your sewer line problems will be solved with expert efficiency.
Does your sewer line need to be repaired ASAP?
Call your local Etobicoke, Toronto, Mississauga plumbers at Mister Plumber for help.
You can reach us at 416-939-1530.
Mister Plumber proudly services all of Toronto, NorthYork, Etobicoke, Scarborough, Mississauga.
Toilet flush valve in public washroom – photo by trusted, licensed Toronto Area plumbers