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- By James Wisler
- Residential Plumbing
A sewage backup is one of the worst things that could happen to someone’s plumbing system, short of a huge water rupture that just floods the entire home. What makes sewage worse than a water rupture is all the nasty stuff in it. It’s very likely disease-ridden and full of bacteria and viruses. Plumbing systems are designed around making sure sewage is safely contained and ensuring there’s no crossover into the drinking water or living space. If you’ve ever heard the saying, “Plumbers protect the health of the nation,” that’s why.
First, take it seriously.
If you have a sewage backup, do not procrastinate. It is a serious issue that should not be taken lightly. It can become a very expensive issue to resolve if it gets worse. For instance, if you saw a small amount of water around the basement’s floor drain, you’d need to get it checked out before it became 10” of water.
Next, decide whether to repair or replace.
Sometimes a backup isn’t fixed by running a snake or cable down the line to get it clear. You’ll find yourself in the situation where you have to decide whether to repair or replace the sewer line. It might seem like a no-brainer to repair, but what if it backs up again in a year? Then you’ve wasted money. Fortunately, there are several options when it comes to repair and replacement.
We can do a pipe lining in the basement or front yard in some situations, preventing us from having to bust up the floor or ground. If someone has a finished basement and a pipe underneath is causing the problem, sometimes we can do a pipe lining without having to bust up all the concrete. The other possible solution might be pipe bursting, where we dig holes at either end of the pipe. Then we put in a cable and pull a new sewer line through. This is really advantageous because we don’t have to dig up all the dirt and damage the landscaping or sidewalk.
Of course, then there are the traditional ways of excavating or busting up someone’s floor, which we’ve done for many years. This is one of the more invasive ways to deal with the issue, but sometimes you don’t have another choice. The cost might make this a no-brainer, especially if we don’t have to dig very deep.
Regardless of what decision you make, these are all very complex, difficult jobs. You need to make sure to hire someone skilled, experienced, and competent. That’s the best way to give you peace of mind that the job is done correctly. While house shopping, you might want to ask whether the sewer line has been replaced. You’ll generally be able to see the condition of the HVAC system, roof, water heater, etc. But because the sewer line is out of sight and out of mind, it’s easily skipped over. I’ve actually seen homes put on the market solely because the sewer line needed to be replaced. If that information isn’t disclosed, it’s definitely something you want to find out before buying a home.
If you want an inspection, we’ll find out pretty quick whether there’s a problem by running a camera down the sewer line. To learn more, reach out to Wisler Plumbing & Air by contacting us online or giving us a call at 540-483-9382.