If you suddenly have no water in your toilet or the drains in your home are running very slowly, it might be due to a problem with the main sewer lines, instead of your indoor plumbing fixtures and pipes. Sewer lines can become deformed, collapse, break or crack over time, which leads to many plumbing issues. Here are some tips for repairing the broken sewer lines.
How do you know the sewer line is broken?
It can be difficult to know that your sewer line is behind the problems, but there are a few signs to signal to the main sewer line. The first sign is that you are having plumbing problems indoors, but the fixtures and drains seem to be working just fine. There may also be a lack of water in the toilet or gurgling sounds coming from the toilet. You may also have very slow drains or backing up in your toilet, sinks, or bathtub, even though the drains seem to be clear.
What are the causes of cracking sewer lines?
It can also help to know the causes of broken sewer lines so you can prevent this from happening in the future. One of the most common causes of broken or cracked sewer lines is lack of maintenance. When they get clogged, have oil or grease build-up, or have a lot of hair and food debris, they can start breaking due to the added pressure. Other potential causes include:
- Cold temperatures
- Tree rot
- Natural disasters, especially earthquakes
- Old age
- Improper installation or layout of pipes
- Backup from the main city sewer line
How can you repair a broken sewer line?
You have a few different options for repairing the broken sewer lines. The options are as follows:
Bursting and hydraulics – This method is often done by professional plumbers, but if you have plumbing experience, you might be able to do it on your own. What you are doing here is actually pulling a brand new sewer pipe through the old, cracked one, by using a hydraulic method. This allows the new sewer line to be installed, while also breaking apart and removing the old sewer line.
Relining the pipe – You may also want to reline the pipe, as a way to repair the sewer pipes from the inside. It is very difficult to go underground and remove broken sewer lines or repair them. Instead of doing that, you can get new pipes from the inside out. You will clean the current pipes, then apply a pipe lining material, and allow it to harden.
Contact a professional, such as Building Inspectors and Contractors, if you suspect you have broken sewer lines and are not sure how to repair them properly.