A sewer line is the pipe that connects your house to your city's main sewer system. All of your home's waste water drains into the sewer line, so if you have a problem with your sewer line, you won't be able to use any of your sinks, toilets, or water-dependent appliances. Sometimes, the sewer line can be repaired, but this isn't always possible. Here's what you need to know about sewer line replacement.
Why do sewer lines need to be replaced?
You may think that clogs are the biggest problem with sewer lines, but that isn't actually the case. Surprisingly, tree roots are usually the culprit. Tree roots can grow right into your sewer line, or even crush the line completely. This destroys the line, so it will need to be replaced.
What are the signs of sewer line problems?
Sewer line problems are easy to detect since they affect every sink, toilet, tub, or water-dependent appliance in your home. Your waste water needs to travel down the sewer line to leave your home, but if the line is blocked by a tree root, your waste water will only have one place to go: back into your house. You may notice that waste water comes up the drain in your basement when you flush the toilet, or your tub may fill with water after you run your washing machine.
How do plumbers replace a sewer line?
There are two ways that plumbers replace sewer lines: the trench method and the trenchless method. The trench method is the traditional method that you've probably seen being performed before. A trench will be dug in your front lawn to expose the line, then the pipe will be replaced, and the trench will be filled in.
The trenchless method is newer, and makes less of a mess of your front yard. The plumber will dig a hole at either end of the pipe so that it can be accessed. Next, a replacement pipe will be pulled through the hole with an installation tool. The old, broken pipe is used as a placement guide to make sure that the new pipe is in the right spot, and then it will be pulled out through one of the holes.
How much does it cost to replace a sewer line?
The cost to replace your sewer line can vary quite a bit depending on how deep your line is buried, how accessible the line is, how long the line is, and even where you live. You will need to talk to plumbers in your area to find out exactly how much the project will cost.
In general, you can expect to pay somewhere between $50 and $250 per foot to have a plumber replace your line using the traditional trench method. If your situation is more complicated, you will pay more. If a garage or other addition has been built on top of the sewer line, or access to the line is blocked by trees or other landscaping, the cost can increase dramatically.
The cost for trenchless line replacement is usually between $60 and $250 per foot. While the price per foot is similar to the trench method, it can work out to be less expensive in the long run. This is because you don't need to pay to replace your lawn or other landscaping, which can add thousands of dollars to your bill.
A broken or crushed sewer line is a plumbing emergency and needs to be dealt with right away. If you think your sewer line needs to be replaced, call a plumber right away.
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