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How To Repair Your Own Sewer Line

utah sewer line repair

One of the worst experiences that you can have as a homeowner is waking up only to realize that you are dealing with a cracked sewer line. Whether this is evidencing itself in a spouting geyser of horrors in your backyard or through a slow-moving stain of sludge somewhere in your home, the consensus is that no one wants to deal with sewer line repair.

But what is a sewer line?

What is it connected to?

Can your toilet water get mixed into your toothbrush water and if so, is that such a bad thing?

When should you call a Utah sewer line service repair?

For so many homeowners, these are questions they’re asking later rather than sooner, so if you’ve come to this blog because you just need the bare necessities, here are a few quick tips you need to know before we dive into more details.

You can tell that it’s a cracked sewer line because of the way it is.

And the way it is usually follows these signs:

Flooded, disgusting, sewer-filled yard. If your yard starts to smell like an unregulated porta potty, chances are you have a burst pipe.
Training difficulties. Yes, we’re answering that question now. Your toilet and your toothpaste water are connected and if there is blockage somewhere, the two can interact in ways that will not make you happy in the long run.
Mold. If the broken pipe is actually in your home, there’s likely going to be massive mold growth near the spot because the pipe will be releasing constant moisture, which is what mold needs to grow. So if you’ve noticed an increase in humidity in your home or an increase in mold, you likely have a broken line in your home that needs to be repaired immediately.

Once you’ve identified the sewer line, you need to decide whether or not you’re going to deal with it yourself or call a Utah sewer line service.

Here are a few hard-and-fast rules.

Immediately call a sewer line service (read: a plumber) if the leak is inside your home. If you found mold and you’re relatively sure that the leak is in your walls or something of that nature, call a sewer line service right now. The water damage that will occur in your house is so much worse than any sewer line service bill you’ll have to pay, and the time it will take you to figure out how to repair it yourself is not worth it when compared to the ease with which a sewer line service professional will be able to handle the situation. Call the sewer line service if the leak is in your home.
Repairing a line yourself will always take more work. Generally, sewer line services have ways to handle broken pipes that involve excavation-less solutions. We’ll be talking about those more below, but for this quick summary, just note that you will have to dig up most of your yard to fix 99% of broken sewer pipes. A sewer line service will not have to dig up any of your yard to fix 99% of broken sewer pipes. So – choose your battles. 

Most sewer line damage is caused by a natural outside force interacting with your line.

This can be anything from tree roots to water damage to extreme heat waves, but usually it takes something out of the ordinary to break your sewer line. Well some sewer lines corrode with time, most of the materials used nowadays are pretty adorable and up to snuff. The sewer lines that are unable to deal with sudden temperature changes or are corrupting at a faster rate than usual generally are on the older side of things and can’t keep up because they’re made of a weaker material.

If this is the case, while repair is probably possible, the better solution would be to replace your pipes with a better material that is from our modern era. Unfortunately, many homeowners buying older homes might not know what sort of sewer line there is since it’s not one of those questions that you were generally prompted to ask of a real estate agent. So if you’ve bought a home with older sewer repair lines, it’s probably best just to get rid of them now.

If you’re operating without a sewer line service, sewer repair can be a hassle.

And by a hassle, I mean it can be a trench. And by a trench, I mean you literally have to dig a giant trench around the league to excavate the pipe and patch or align the pipe depending on the amount of damage. Sewer line services, on the other hand, can do a painless scoping out of your sewer line with cameras that snake through the line without needing an excavation process.

These cameras will isolate the issue and, at that point, sewer line services will offer to either patch or repair the damaged area. Many homeowners use a brand called SharkBite to fix any problematic plumbing conditions that they face. SharkBite attachments, although they can be useful and are easy to apply for the homeowner, generally turn around to bite the homeowner back in a few years or even a few months. SharkBites are not very durable, and using them to fix your home is not going to last very long.

Patching the existing pipe, if the damage is minimal enough, can be done by applying epoxy and allowing it to harden over the cracked area, so the damage is contained for the moment. Although this isn’t a permanent solution, for minimal damage, it’s usually not too bad of a solution. Professional sewer line services will use inflatable tubes to apply the epoxy so that it is pressed evenly around the pipe, allowing for the same level of water flow that you had previously and allowing for a uniform application that will not affect your pipes in any way other than plugging the leak.

If the damage is too great, a sewer line service will generally choose to replace the pipe entirely.

This is where working with a sewer line service who can do trenchless replacement will really save you both big bucks in a nice or landscape because if you’re doing it yourself, you’re going to have to dig up your whole yard. But experienced sewer line services have tools to actually replace the pipe without digging it up again, destroying the existing line and replacing it instantly with new pipe. It’s a complex process that your local sewer line service will be happy to explain to you in detail if you would just call him, but if you want to do it yourself, you might as well go and invest in a good shovel.