If the sewer pipes in your property have not been repaired or replaced in recent years and your house was built over 50 years ago, you will likely need sewer repair or replacement now or soon. The common material used for sewers back then is terracotta clay pipes. Unfortunately, they only hold up well for the first twenty to thirty years.
Why Clay Sewer Pipes Typically Need Repair After 50 Years
Over time, as the ground shifts and settles, clay sewer drain pipes slip or develop cracks or breakages causing the pipeline to not be completely closed. As the clay sewer pipes age, they become degraded by waste flowing through it and other reasons.
In addition, one of the most frequent problems that we find with clogged or broken sewer drains has to do with roots from tree or large shrubs. Very small, thin tree root tendrils of trees or large shrubs find their way in through tiny openings. Over many years, those roots grow longer and thicker and branch out inside your pipes. They eventually cause clogged drains or breaks and blockages.
The combination of the above is exactly what typically happens on typical sewer repair jobs I get in Redwood City, Menlo Park and surrounding areas. A toilet that keeps overflowing is one common sign of a sewer problem. In such cases, I find sewer line to be backed up throughout the house. Using video inspection of the sewer line, I very often find that not only are pipes offset, but also tree roots have penetrated the clay pipes.
What You Need To Do If You Have Clay Sewer Pipes That Will Need to Be Replaced
The bad news is one of the most unpleasant and costly thing that could happen to your house is a clogged or broken sewer line. It could be very messy and awfully smelly. You could face a big clean up job. The interior of your house and/or your landscape may get damaged, thus causing additional expense and inconvenience
The good news is there are 3 things you could do. Follow my 3 P’s for sewer line peace of mind, prevent, prepare and pre-select.
- Prevent – To prevent damage to the interior of your house or your landscape, find out the condition of your sewer line by getting a video inspection. If a problem is identified, you can plan and schedule the repair or sewer replacement at your convenience.
- Pre-select – If you don’t already have one, pick a plumbing professional now. Knowing who to call will save you time from calling around or searching online in an emergency situation.Make sure you choose one that is not only licensed but also specializes in sewer and drain repair. In over 20 years in this business, I can tell you some terrible things that could happen from inadequate experience and unskillful plumbers. The sewer specialist will take care of the necessary permits for the job. A plumber who does not know what he is doing might accidentally hit gas and other pipelines, which could result in a disaster. He may also start cutting down tree roots that are in the way that would cause the tree to be unstable and would need to be cut down. This would result in not only in loss of a tree but an unexpected expense.
- Prepare – Be mindful of how well the drains in your house are working. If more than one drain (sink, tub, toilet, etc) is slow, get it checked. If a sewer problem occurs and you receive a repair estimate without a video inspection, don’t accept it. The only accurate way to know the condition of your sewer line is through video inspection.
I highly recommend that you follow these 3P’s.
If you need sewer repair, I also recommend that you consider trenchless sewer repair.
Why Choose Trenchless Sewer Repair
No Trench No Mess
Many sewer lines are underneath landscaping. Traditional sewer repair requires digging up sewer lines, which will require redoing portions of the landscape. Thus, once the sewer line has been repaired, the property owner will need to incur the cost of fixing the landscape. On the other hand, only one or two small holes are dug up on trenchless sewer repair, usually at the beginning and end of the pipes. This means the portion of the landscape that needs to be redone is a lot smaller.
Less digging means the repair job can be done faster. Trenchless pipe repairs could take just a few days.
Better Quality & Function
Trenchless sewer full replacements or cure-in-place liners that uses seamless Polyethylene piping are better quality sewer pipe materials. This new technology provides joint-free piping unlike clay, the old piping material. This means prevention of tree root evasions, cracks and off-set pipes. Prevention of these problems means less repairs in the future. Pipe liners increase flow capacity and new trenchless piping can be larger than the old pipes, adding more flow capacity.
With less time needed to do the repair, there’s less labor, thus less cost to you. You’ll also save with less future repairs due to better quality of materials and prevention of common problems of clay pipes.
Clearly trenchless sewer repair is the best option.
If you need sewer repair or inspection now, call me at (650) 298-9322. My company is here to serve you, whether you are having a plumbing or sewer problem now, or you want to be proactive. We can schedule a video inspection, or help you with an emergency situation, such as the following case of a homeowner in Menlo Park.
I had no prior experience with Sanctified Plumbing, but when our toilet kept overflowing and emptying all over our bathroom on a Sunday evening, we looked up a local plumbing company on the internet. Other companies along with Sanctified Plumbing came up, but Sanctified was the ONLY company that answered our call immediately… Charles is professional, honest, competent…”
– Adrienne, homeowner in Menlo Park, CA
If you have any questions about sewer lines or other plumbing issues, please don’t hesitate to call me.
At your service,