No two houses have the exact same sewer issue, not even next-door neighbors. Therefore, the solutions for each is also unique. One sewer line might be in great condition. One might only need a minor repair. Another might need 15′ of pipe replaced. Some sewer lines are candidates for a “LINER”, others are not.
An average of 5% of all sewer line issues are UNDER the house
Issues with clay pipe such as roots and cracks / breaks are roughly 95% of the problems we find. The other 5% of all drain line issues are under the house.
Old, corroded cast iron pipe is more prevelant that you think. Take this into consideration, the food that is put down the kitchen sink never really makes it to the sewer line. You’ll never see food in a sewer line. It gets stuck in the 2″ kitchen drain line and then over the years it decomposes into black sludge. The longer the line, the more likely the pipe is rotting(more sludge).
What can you do about pipe that is rotten out? At this point, nothing. It’s nobodies fault. It’s one of those unavoidable evils with plumbing. Out of sight, out of mind.
Rotten Branch Lines
Although It’s not as common as sewer line repair, corroded or rotten branch lines (kitchen, floor drains) are still issues we regularly see. Unfortunatley a video camera will not be able to detect a break or crack in a 2″ line full of sludge. In most cases the only way you realize that your kitchen line or floor drain line is rotton is when it finally backs-up. Someone attempts to clean the line but instead pulls out mud on thier cable. At that point it’s too late for any maintenance.
Bad Floor Drains
A clear, functioning floor drain is essential to avoiding property damage. Old cast iron floor drains will accumulate build-up in the p-trap. Unfortunately there aren’t very many warning signs when a floor drain is clogged. If water doesn’t drain down it regularly, how would you know it’s full of gunk and clogged? Unfortunatley you only find out when you have an emergency water line break and the water has nowhere to go. Get those floor drains checked.
Rarely used basement toilets
We’ve seen it too many times. Basement toilets or drain lines that are rarely used will sometimes accumulate build-up that petrifies over time. Once it finally backs up it’s very difficult to remove the petrified build-up. Again, this situation is unforeseeable. It doesn’t happen to every basement drain but when it does, we’re not surprised. To be fair, it’s nobodies fault.