There’s nothing quite as distressing as a sewer line leak or a backed-up sewer system. When you’ve got a nasty mess oozing from your bathtub drains or swirling around in your yard you want plumbers who are going to get there right away, at any time of day or night. Nothing damages a home quite like raw sewage.
There’s no denying any sewer line problem is a threat to your family’s health and safety, so we get there promptly. In fact, we believe your sewer line is the most important component of your home or business plumbing system. That main line takes all the debris and waste water from your drains and carries it either to the city lines or to your own septic tank. Either way it’s responsible for keeping the sewage away from kids, pets, and anyone else who might get sick from it.
How Sewer Lines Go Bad
Believe it or not sewer line problems don’t happen very often. Tree roots are the biggest culprit, actively breaking through your lines as they attempt to grow. You can also cause problems yourself by putting things down the drain which don’t belong there. While the biggest culprit is grease there are plenty of other things which might be flushed down a toilet but which do not belong there. Sanitary napkins are a culprit, for example. And if you have children…well, it’s not unheard of for an action figure or another toy to wind up getting flushed down the commode.
We’ve even heard of people flushing food down the toilet. Toilets aren’t designed to handle food (or any other type of garbage). If you’re in the habit of doing this, we suggest you stop ASAP. You should also avoid putting cigarette butts, dental floss, or any wet wipes not specifically marked as “flushable” in your toilet at any time, for any reason. Ignore this warning at your own risk.
Sewer lines can also freeze, though this is less common here in Tucson than it is in northern climates.
Sometimes the ground simply shifts, and a section of the sewer line shifts with it, creating hills and valleys in your system. When this happens, it becomes very difficult for the sewer line to move toilet paper, in particular, through the system. We call this a “bellied pipe,” and in this case the system needs to be leveled out again.
Sewer lines do age like anything else does, however. Homes built before the 1970s are particularly vulnerable to sewer line breakages, both because the materials used to build them were inferior to the ones used today and because they’re simply older than other sewer lines in the area. Unless something has gone wrong in the past it’s unlikely those lines have been replaced yet. You might be unlucky enough to have a system that’s corroded entirely, or you might be looking at joint leaks.
Your Sewer Lines Give Warnings…Here’s How to Read Them
Sewer lines don’t always break without warning. You might well start to experience a variety of signs and signals well before things get truly distressing. If you are experiencing any of these issues, please call us right away. You might prevent an expensive and upsetting mess. The following are all indications that you may have a deteriorating or cracked sewer line.
Gurgling sounds from drains and toilets.
Toilet has no water, and won’t fill.
Sewer gas odors. This is an indication of an immediate problem.
Mold growth on your walls or ceilings. This could also be an indication of a leaking water pipe, but it’s tough to tell until we get into the walls.
Slow-draining bathtubs, sinks, or toilets.
An area of your lawn that’s suddenly green, lush, and more beautiful than ever. This isn’t a fun little boon…it’s the result of, uh…fertilizer.
Indentations in your lawn or landscape.
Cracks in your wall or ceiling indicative of foundation cracks.
A sudden rat problem or insect infestation.
Of course, if you see a big pool of waste in your back yard or have sewage actively coming into your home the sewer line has broken and it’s time to take immediate action.
Keep in mind homeowner’s insurance will not cover most sewer backup problems. You typically need to purchase separate coverage for that. You want to get in and out with as little damage and trouble as possible. Though we would have to look at your home specifically to give you a quote, we can tell you on average a sewer line repair job tends to cost around $2000, but if we are alerted quickly we’ve been in and out for less than $200. Bottom line? You’re not going to save any money by waiting.
Diagnosing the Problem
When we come to repair your sewer lines we don’t just charge in without a care. We use a small video camera attached to a long, flexible rod. We move the camera through the line to have a look at the problem personally. This tells us what’s gone wrong and what will be required to fix the problem. It will also tell us whether we need to repair a single line (as in the case of a tree root) or whether the entire system is just too old to continue, and needs to be replaced.
Either way, this additional step helps us address your problem in the least invasive and least expensive way we possibly can. It also helps us address the problem faster, so you pay a lot less than you would if we weren’t putting this technology to work.
New Sewer Line Installation
Building a home from the ground up? Ask us about installing a brand-new sewer line system for your home. It pays to put dedicated sewer line experts on your side so you get the right sewer lines at the right price. We install reliable lines that should last for many decades, barring any special circumstances.
“On The Way Plumbing has done several different jobs for me. My water heater broke down on a Sunday, Sergio from on the way plumbing came out and gave me a very competitive quote, I referenced it with my neighbor who had theirs replaced a while back. It was not only more affordable but came with a better warranty. I was most impressed with their cleanliness and good customer service. I will recommend them to my friends and family.”
“We used this plumber for our home inspection when purchasing our home. We also used the realtors recommended plumber. On The Way Plumbing services were much more thorough than the other plumbers inspection. Sergio took the time to explain everything and give us quotes for work that needed to be done. He responded quickly and efficiently to each question we had. Sergio was on time too!!!! We have never gotten that from other plumbers. We will definately use this plumber for all of our future plumbing needs.”