Many people experience problems with the sewer system at the homes or buildings they own. The sewer pipes, which are buried underground, are typically the main cause for these issues. There are several solutions available on the market today to correct these situations.
During our inspections, we find pipeline breaks, cracks, pipe offsets or sections of pipe that are collapsing or have collapsed completely. The issues are caused by bad installation, soil shifting under the sewer line or the wear of time. This can cause the pipes to crack, then break, allowing waste to leak out of the pipe or cause back up issues.
Although sewer pipes are manufactured to have a long life, they certainly don’t last forever. If your home or building was constructed many years ago, there is a high probability that the pipes are either in the early stages of deterioration or on their way to complete failure. Proper maintenance of drains by cleaning can slow this process. Much like our dental care, if we don’t brush, floss and have check ups, plaque can cause cavities. The same is true with older drain pipes. Removing debris and waste that build up over time will lengthen the life of your drain pipe.
A bellied pipe means a section of the sewer line has sunk into a bowl shape and lost its downward slope due to improper compaction of the dirt under the pipe and/or soil settling. This creates a pool of standing water in the sewer line that collects waste and toilet paper. Given there is no longer a consistent grade in the sewer line, a blockage forms and the line does not drain properly. Grease and other debris in the standing water, will adhere to the top of the pipe and add to a complete blockage.
Leaking joints are another problem. In years of traditional excavation of sewer lines, we have found a lot of clay and cement sewer pipe where the joints weren’t sealed with grout correctly. When clay and cement sewer pipes are used, the bell and spigot of the pipe are laid inside each other and the joint packed with mortar to seal the pipe joint shut. We find that some contractors only laid mortar on the top, giving it the appearance of being done correctly, when in fact it wasn’t. This causes the joints to shift as the ground settles. When the seal between each section of sewer pipe is broken, it allows water to escape out of the pipe and enter into the soil that surrounds it, causing settling and breakage or root infiltration from surrounding trees and shrubs. The leaking sewage fertilizes the roots, causing them to grow at rapid rate. It doesn’t take long for the roots to grow into a tangled mess that can cause significant damage to the pipes. The roots clog the sewer line, which leads to back ups in the system.