To replace a main sewer line that runs from the house to the street on a municipal sewer system, it takes several things to do the job well. First, it really starts with knowing where the sewer line is. Because it’s underground, we don’t want to assume anything about its layout. It could cross under a tree, driveway, or buried utility. If we don’t know that upfront, it could be very challenging to be productive with getting it replaced.
At Wisler Plumbing, we have cameras with transmitters in them that we can use to locate a main sewer line (as long as we can get our camera down the line). If the sewer goes over 5 feet deep, it becomes more complicated because it’s necessary to protect the lives of people that will be in the trench. OSHA standards say that if it goes deeper than 5 feet, you have to have trench protection to prevent a cave-in. That’s why it’s important that we make sure to understand exactly how deep the sewer line is.
From there, once we’ve established a plan and we know what’s necessary to get it done, we’ll pull a permit with the county or city official that governs the area. We also call in to have the Miss Utility mark the underground lines for utilities that may be on the property. We definitely wouldn’t want to hit a main electrical power that goes to someone’s house. That’s why it’s important to make contact with the municipal sewer company or whoever is in charge. There could be problems as you uncover their system, and if you don’t have direct contact with them, it can become a very complicated process.
When it comes to actually doing the job, it’s very important that there is a great machine operator. Since they are doing excavation, they need to be able to safely operate the equipment in an efficient and clean manner. The expertise of the plumber is also crucial, because they are going to be putting in the sewer pipe. Some sewer lines are 9 feet deep in the ground, and you wouldn’t want to have to dig it up again because something was done incorrectly. It would be extremely unfortunate to have to scar up the yard again just because the plumber was incompetent. That’s why it’s very important to have a great tradesman and machine operator to get the job done. From there, once the trench is backfilled, everything must be cleaned up properly in a day’s window so that the homeowner is not without sewer.