Repairing or replacing sewer lines requires extreme care and experience. If you find that your sewer lines are in frequent need of snaking, you might have a collapsed sewer line or potential separation in the line. A1 excavating offers quick sewer line repair and sewer line replacements services at affordable prices.
Not only will our experienced team repair or replace your broken sewer line, but we will also identify the root of the problem and address it accordingly to avoid repeat remediation and potential health issues.
What is a sewer line?
A sewer line is a large drain pipe that funnels water from your home into the city’s main sewer line. Your sewer line is usually located at the lowest point of your home. All the water that enters drainage pipes in your home ends up in your sewer line.
If your sewer line becomes blocked, develops a leak, or bursts, it can lead to complications, some of which can be serious. For example, water drainage issues, flooding, mold growth, health issues, and even cracks in your home’s foundation.
What are sewer lines made out of?
The type of sewer pipe that your home uses is very much dependent on when it was built. As a general rule, older sewer lines were made of clay or cast iron pipes. Clay pipes are still in use today and offer some advantages. For instance, clay pipes are resistant to degradation from chemicals. But clay is not as strong as some other pipe materials and tree roots are often attracted to its porous surface.
Cast iron pipes are also still used today. They are strong and tend to have a long lifespan. But cast iron pipes are generally not cost-effective and they are very heavy, making them difficult to work with. PVC or ABS sewer pipes have become increasingly common. The plastic material is smooth which makes it more efficient for transporting waste. They are also strong and more cost-effective than other pipe materials.
When is it time for a sewer line replacement?
Sewer lines are prone to wear and tear. The use of chemicals to break down waste also leads to the degradation of sewer lines over time. The lifespan of a sewer pipe varies and depends on several factors, including:
- Pipe material. Depending on what your sewer pipes are constructed out of, your sewer may have a longer or shorter lifespan. Clay pipes tend to last between 50 and 60 years. Cast iron pipes last between 75 and 100 years. Plastic pipes last even longer but since they have not been in use for a long time it is difficult to know their approximate lifespan.
- Installation. The initial installation of your sewer line plays a role in determining its lifespan. Pipes that are not installed correctly are more likely to encounter issues that will negatively affect their service life.
- Proximity to trees. Tree or large shrub roots can damage your sewer line over time. This is especially true of clay sewer lines since they are porous and tree roots are more likely to infiltrate the pipe.
- Soil conditions. Depending on the PH levels of your soil a sewer pipe may experience increased corrosion rates.
- The extent of damage. The extent of damage done to your lines will determine whether you need a sewer line repair or a complete sewer line replacement.
Common signs that there is an issue with your sewer line
While some homeowners choose a sewer line replacement when pipes are near the end of their lifespans, others choose to repair or replace the line when something goes wrong. The following are some common warning signs that there may be an issue with your sewer pipe:
- Frequently clogged drains or multiple clogged drains at once
- Smelling sewage inside or outside of your home
- Sewage backups into your home
- Wet spots or puddles in your yard
- Spots of overgrown grass or shrubs in your yard
- Strange water patterns such as drainage issues in your sink when your washing machine is running
If you notice any of the following, it is important to contact a sewer line repair company to properly diagnose and treat the issue.
Who replaces sewer lines?
The process to replace sewer lines can be highly complex and should only be handled by a licensed plumbing contractor that is qualified for the job. The sewer line repair company may need to excavate the old line to diagnose and fix the issue. Excavation sewer line repair or replacement must be done carefully to avoid further damage to the pipe or surrounding pipes such as your water main line.
What causes damage to sewer lines?
Just like every other part of your home, sewer lines will eventually deteriorate due to normal wear and tear. However, there are some common causes that can damage your sewer pipe and require a sewer line repair or sewer line replacement before it has reached the end of its normal lifespan.
- Grease and oily products. These products can commonly clog sewer lines. Even though they may be poured down the drain as liquids, they harden and solidify in cooler temperatures. Accumulated grease can inhibit the flow of waste through your sewer line.
- Tree roots. Tree roots are a common cause of sewer line damage. They are drawn to water and can break sewer lines. Thus, it is not advisable to plant trees or large shrubs near any water pipes.
- Corrosion. Rust and corrosion can prevent water from draining from pipes and can also cause the pipe to leak or crack. An annual sewer line inspection can help identify rust and take corrective action before the issue becomes serious.
- Cold weather. Like any other pipes in your home, sewer lines can potentially freeze and cause the pipe bursting. It is important to ensure that water is always flowing through your pipes in cold weather.
How to prevent sewer line backups or damage
While damage to your sewer line is unpredictable, there are several preventative measures that you can take to avoid backups and costly damages. These include:
- Properly disposing of grease. Pour grease into a heat-resistant container and dispose of it after it cools and solidifies.
- Properly dispose of paper products. Paper towels, diapers, feminine products, and wipes are resistant to breaking down. Dispose of them in the trash.
- Cut tree roots. If your sewer line is located near trees or large shrubs, you may need a professional to routinely trim the roots.
- Replace your line with a plastic pipe. Plastic pipe is resistant to tree roots and damage and likely has a lifespan that is longer than other materials.
- Install a backwater prevention valve. This is a valve that prevents backflows into your home.
- Correct illegal or faulty plumbing connections. Ensure that sump pumps and other flood control systems are not connected to your sanitary sewer line.
How do you replace a sewer line?
Repairing or replacing a sewer line is a major project that should only be handled by an experienced excavator and plumber. The sewer line repair company will first attempt to locate and diagnose the issue that you are experiencing. This can involve digging a hole to access your sewer line. The plumber may be able to simply unclog the pipe, or he may need to patch or replace a section of the sewer line pipe.
For more serious issues or for pipes that have outlived their lifespan, it will likely be necessary for a sewer line replacement. This involves digging a trench to access your sewer line. Most sewer lines are located underneath the lawn. Others may run underneath the driveway or structures such as raised flower beds, which can require more extensive excavation work. The old sewer line will be removed and a new sewer line will be installed that runs from the city’s sewer line to your home.
Home sewer line replacement cost?
Many factors can influence home sewer line replacement cost or repair costs. For instance, does the sewer line need to be replaced or can it be repaired? What is the cause and extent of the damage? What are your pipes made out of? And where do you live? While sewer line replacement Jersey City costs about the same as the national average, it is not as cheap as in some rural areas or as expensive as it is in higher-cost areas like New York City.
While an experienced professional can give you an exact estimate of the costs to repair or replace your sewer line, as a general rule:
- It costs between $50 and $250 per foot to repair your sewer line which usually involves placing new material. Most homeowners, however, pay between $50 and $125 per foot.
- Sewer line replacement cost is between $1,000 and $4,000. The materials and location of the sewer pipe can greatly impact the costs.
Who do I call for sewer line replacement Jersey City?
If you are experiencing any of the warning signs discussed above or think that it may be time for a sewer line replacement, contact A1 Excavating & Contracting LLC. Our experienced and dedicated team has proudly served the tri-state area for more than 30 years. We are experts in all aspects of sewer line repair and sewer line replacement. Every member of our team stands behind the work that we do. If you are looking for sewer line repair or sewer line replacement Jersey City contact us today to receive immediate and professional assistance.