Sewer Line Replacement: Frequently Asked Questions

Under Slab and Yard Sewer Line Services in Pearland

What Causes Sewer Line Failure?

  • Tree Roots and Ground Shifting: If you have trees on your property, your sewer line may be at risk of being infiltrated by the roots. Tree roots can grow out several feet in all directions in search of a source of water, and your sewer line can provide the water. If tree roots grow into your sewer line they can block it and cause leaks and stoppages; either one of those things can cause a failure. Excessive rain or drought can cause lines to have backfall, break or separate.
  • Foundation Settling or Movement: If your home needs foundation repairs, this could cause pipes to break or separate depending on how much the foundation must be lifted.
  • Obstructions: Anything you put down your drains can eventually cause an obstruction in your sewer line. Excessive food, grease, and paper products, not meant to be flushed, can all get lodged in your line and create an obstruction over time that will cause your sewer line to fail.
  • Age of System:Sewer lines can fail simply because of advanced age. After decades of being exposed to harsh conditions both inside the pipe and out, the line can simply crack or break and cause significant problems in your home. A camera inspection can tell you the condition of your sewer line.

How Does AQP Determine To Repair or Replace Sewer Lines?

There are many factors that go into making that determination and most are listed in the "What Causes Sewer Line Failures". One of the main factors is the condition of the existing line, which would include age, type of lines, and ground conditions. The first thing we do is to talk with the homeowner to get as much historical information about the house as possible. Then we inspect the sewer system, locate where and the extent of damage there is through a camera inspection and/or a hydrostatic test. Next, we explain our findings and offer the best possible plan of action whether it be a repair or replacement of the sewer line.

Signs of Failure

If you have gurgling noises in your toilet, water that drains very slowly, a sewer smell in or around your house, or if you see patches of your lawn that seem to be moving or sinking, it could be a sign that your sewer line is failing. If you see those signs, you should have the line inspected.

How Long Can My Sewer Line Last?

The time that a sewer line will last depends on several factors such as the closeness of trees and the material used in making the pipe. However, the pipe material is the primary determinant. Two materials are mostly used to make sewer pipes: Clay and polyvinyl chloride (PVC) pipes. The use of clay pipes in sewers dates back before the 1980's. They were economical, and thus, builders preferred them to PVC. At the time, PVC was not used at all. Clay pipes can last between 50 to 60 years. PVC pipes have been designed to last longer, for more than 100 years. PVC pipes have been in use since 1980. Despite the durability, sewer pipes are bound to wear out with time. Even though they have been designed to be used for a particular time frame, it does not necessarily mean that they will. Thus, it is vital to look out for warning signs of a broken-down sewer. Such signs include foul smell and strange gurgling sounds. When you notice such signs, contact the sewer line experts at Affordable Quality Plumbing immediately.

Isn't the City Responsible for My Sewer Lines?

Homeowners are fully responsible for the maintenance and repair of all home plumbing, including the lateral lines that travel from residential structures out to the sewer main. This includes all blockages that occur in any public utility easements and public right-of-way that are defined in the property title. Public utility easements generally refer to the portion of the lateral line that exists in areas between the street and the official property line. Problems originating in the sewer main, however, are the responsibility of the city and should be reported right away. Any issues that are determined to be city responsibility will be repaired or paid for in full by the related municipality, as with any resulting property damages. Local municipalities are not legally allowed to be in direct competition with local plumbers. Thus, not only are they not responsible for repairing any portion of the plumbing that leads up to the sewer main, including the lateral line, but they are not legally allowed to accept repair requests concerning these areas.

How Often Should I Have My Sewer Line Inspected?

Most experts will recommend having sewer lines inspected prior to purchasing or renting a new home to be sure that there are no issues for the potential buyer or renter. Periodic cleaning of sewer lines can also help prevent clogs and backups in the sewer drains- a headache no one wants to deal with. If the home has a history of lines draining slowly, it's a good idea to have them inspected and cleaned before a major clog happens. In addition, homes that are more than forty years old are probably due for a cleaning even if the drains appear to be functioning normally. Other environmental factors can affect the sewer lines as well, such as penetration by tree roots underneath the property. Grease, hair, food, and other blockages can also gradually build up over time and cause a major sewer clog. Signs of trouble include slow drains, foul smells, gurgling pipes, or water pooling around toilets and bathtub drains. Because these things happen beneath the ground, it's difficult to monitor or even know that there could be an issue without having the line inspected periodically.

Do Most Insurance Policies Cove Sewer Line Repair or Replacement?

When your sewer line backs up and causes damage to your home, you want to be sure that your insurance will cover the damage, as well as the repair or replacement of the sewer line. Homeowner's insurance alone does not usually cover this type of damage, even if the sewer line was properly maintained. A separate policy or add-on is needed to specifically cover the sewer line on your property. Unfortunately, normal wear and tear would still be excluded. Sewer line replacement can include the costs associated with cleanup after the sewer line is repaired or replaced. This is important because a backed-up system can create a huge expense in repairing damage to flooring, walls, furniture, carpeting, and could affect your health. If your sewer line connects to the city's line, only the portion that is proven to be on your property will be covered. Don't wait until you have a sewer problem to check your coverage; be sure you are protected.

Do You Offer Financing?

Yes. AQP offers in-house financing for qualified customers. Call our office for details.

AQP's plumbing services are 100% GUARANTEED and backed with a written guarantee.
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