Insight for Keeping Your Sewer Line in Good Repair After It Encounters a Clog or Failure

Posted on: 5 October 2020

Your sewer lines within your home get used quite a bit, and you rely on them for maintaining a clean living environment on your property and in your home. So, when your sewer lines begin to age or have problems with a blockage, it can put a hold on or make your drainage too slow. Here are some common sewer line problems and solutions to help you repair and get your sewer line back up and running.

Improper Line Slope

Your home's lateral sewer line that extends from your home to deliver sewer to the city sewer line is set on a slight slope to allow sewage to naturally flow out of your home. When this downward slope is lost, the sewer will start to build up in the line and won't continually flow through it. When the sewage begins to collect in an area of the line, the line can begin to sag, causing a sewer belly. This can cause problems in your sewer drainage.

The lateral sewer line can lose its slight slope if the soil below it and above it settles for one or more reasons. Soil settlement can occur when the soil goes through natural freeze-thaw cycles or water flows through the area and erodes an area of soil supporting the line. It can also happen if the soil was not properly compacted around the line when it was installed. Other natural occurrences, such as tree root growth or an earthquake can cause the line to lose its slope. 

Line Damage

Another reason your sewer line can become damaged and cause backups is that the sewer line becomes broken or collapsed. This often happens when the sewer line is way past its expected lifetime and it has failed. Failure of a sewer line can be when the pipe collapses with the top compacting onto the bottom because the line is made of an inferior material, such as a tar paper line. You may also have a pipe made out of cast iron, which can corrode on the inside due to the reaction it has when it is exposed to sewage and gases for many decades.

If you have trees growing in your yard, these can be the cause of your broken sewer line. Tree's roots will seek out any moisture within the soil, and when this comes from a small crack in your aging sewer line, the tree roots will have explosive growth inside, clogging and filling the line.

Your plumbing professional can inspect your line to determine the problem, using their video camera to view the interior of the line. When a line replacement is recommended, your plumber can replace it in full or only the portion that is damaged, depending on the pipe's age, condition, and material. PVC is a great sewer line option that is going to last you for many decades.

For more information about sewer repair, contact a local plumber.