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Do I Need to Replace My Sewer Line?


Sewer line problems can be a big mess. Not only do they disrupt your normal day-to-day routines, but they can also put your entire plumbing system out of commission until you get them fixed. Because your sewer line is responsible for removing all your wastewater, problems like clogs are not uncommon. However, when a larger issue strikes, it needs to be dealt with by a professional right away.

Symptoms of a sewer line problem include:

  • Chronic clogs and backups
  • Foul odors coming from your drains that don’t go away
  • Wet spots or pooling water in your yard
  • Water pressure and drainage issues
  • Chronic burst pipes and leaks
  • Signs of water damage around your home

If you notice any of the above problems, you should have your sewer line inspected by one of our professional plumbers right away. A professional inspection will tell us the extent of the damage to your sewer line and whether you need repairs or full sewer replacement.

Common Culprits of Sewer Line Damage

Your sewer line is generally out of sight, out of mind. Sewer lines are usually buried 8-15 feet underground to keep them below the frost line. They run from your home to your municipal sewer connection in the street. However, just because they are buried does not mean they are not susceptible to damage. A variety of external and internal issues can damage them.

Your sewer line may be damaged by:

  • Age, normal wear and tear over time
  • The type of materials used, such as clay tile, Orangeburg piping, or galvanized piping
  • Improper installation
  • Extreme temperatures, such as freezing
  • Root intrusion from nearby trees or plants
  • Damage done during yard work, landscaping projects, or construction
  • Erosion from rust and corrosive materials
  • Clogs and blockages

Sewer lines that are in disrepair or not well-maintained are also more prone to damage. Failure to perform regular sewer line cleaning can leave your sewer line more susceptible to damage. As grease, oils, and other substances begin to coat the inside of your sewer line, they corrode the pipe itself. Buildup also narrows the opening in the pipe, making clogs more likely.

Review our website to learn more about drain cleaning.

My Plumber Said I Need a Sewer Replacement; What Does This Mean?

Not all sewer problems can be solved with drain cleaning. Severely damaged sewer lines that cannot be repaired require replacement. If left unchecked, a broken sewer line can cause a whole host of problems and can even create a health hazard in your home. At American Rooter Plumbing, we take sewer line replacements seriously and only recommend them when they are truly needed.

Replacing your sewer line is a big job. Depending on the nature of your problem and the setup of your property, there are a couple of different methods for replacing a sewer line.

Conventional Sewer Replacement

The standard way to approach replacing a sewer line involves digging a trench around your sewer pipe. This method of sewer replacement is often called open-trench excavation. Excavating a trench allows our plumbers greater access to the damaged line, enabling them to remove and replace it with a new one. When performing this type of sewer replacement, our professional plumbers are careful to disturb as little of your landscaping as possible. We also place plywood around the trench to further protect your yard.

Conventional sewer replacements that utilize a trench are used in difficult situations where a trenchless method cannot be employed. For example, if your sewer line is suffering from bellying, we will need to utilize the conventional trench method. Similarly, if there are significant issues with roots from nearby trees, digging a trench may be necessary to resolve the problem fully.

Trenchless Sewer Replacement

As its name implies, trenchless sewer replacements do not require digging a trench around your entire sewer line. Trenchless sewer line replacements require only two small access holes at both ends of your line for access. Because pipe lining is illegal in Omaha, we utilize the pipe-bursting method for trenchless sewer replacements. With this method, a new pipe is pulled through your old pipe. The old, damaged pipe is “burst” outwards, and the new pipe is left in its place.

Not all sewer problems can be addressed with a trenchless sewer replacement. You must work with a professional plumber, like ours at American Rooter Plumbing, to ensure that you select the best method for your situation.

The Importance of Working with an Experienced Professional

As we mentioned before, sewer line problems have the potential to create a health hazard in your home. The last thing you want is contaminated wastewater backing up into your home or leaking into your yard. This is why it is so important that you work with a professional, licensed plumber experienced in sewer replacements.

At American Rooter Plumbing, we take our jobs seriously. As the top plumbing company in Omaha, we are known for our high level of service and expertise. When it comes to sewer replacements, we replace the entire line, not just up to your curb. Though this requires extra licenses, bonds, and permits, we believe in doing things right the first time. We never do things halfway. We also only use our own trustworthy employees; we never subcontract out sewer replacements.

To discuss your sewer replacement with a professional plumber and learn about our financing options, reach out to American Rooter Plumbing today.

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