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Plumbers: Back Then, Today, and Tomorrow

When talking about any profession, most people tend to focus on the here and now. That's understandable. it's really important to know what's going on in the present tense. But you are missing out on some vital information if you never read and learn about the history of a profession. This applies to plumbing, in particular. You can really further your understanding of the profession by knowing how it began and what changes have been made over the years. That's why we sometimes reference the history of plumbing on this blog. We'll also dive into the future of the profession from time to time because, after all, you have to know where you're headed.




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Plumbers: Back Then, Today, and Tomorrow

Is Your Home's Sewer Line Already Beyond Saving?

by Madison Dean

Sewer line issues are rarely minor problems. While a failing sewer line may initially seem like an annoyance, problems will inevitably escalate. Once your sewer line begins to truly break down, you will likely experience major clogs, sewer backups, and other significant issues. Unfortunately, these problems can often result in more serious damage to your home.

Since typical residential sewer lines are buried beneath yards or major hardscaping features, such as driveways, repairing damage to a sewer line is often challenging. In many cases, replacement is the best option to ensure your home's sewage can continue to flow freely. These three warning signs will help you know that your sewer may be beyond saving and require a replacement.

1. Major Root Intrusion

Significant root intrusion can indicate that your sewer line is already beyond saving. Roots enter sewer lines through existing cracks or damage. These cracks are often small and may not be an immediate cause for concern. However, the relatively small root systems that enter through them also tend to go unnoticed.

Given enough time, these roots will grow large enough to form major obstructions. Even worse, the roots will expand and cause further damage to your sewer lines. When you discover the problem, the roots may have already turned those relatively minor cracks into larger leaks. Although you can clear out the roots, the damage to your sewer line may already be substantial enough to require replacement.

2. Collapsed Lines

Sewer line collapses often occur when minor damage goes unnoticed for many years. Since sewer lines have significant soil above them, weakened structures can lead to full or partial collapses. Corrosion, cracks, and root damage can all weaken your sewer pipes, causing the structure to buckle, deform, and collapse.

Surprisingly, a collapsed sewer line may continue to work. Although you will have a major sewer leak, the damage may not be sufficient to obstruct the line fully. Instead, it will serve as an area for clogs to form, leading to frequent backups and other problems. Trenchless sewer liners often cannot pass through collapsed pipes, so replacement is usually the only option. 

3. Outdated, Failing Materials

Like any other part of your home's plumbing, your sewer lines have an expiration date. While modern sewer lines are often much more durable, older ones may use less-durable materials. These materials can corrode and break down given enough time, leading inevitably to collapse and failure.

If you're experiencing frequent problems with your sewer lines, the underlying materials may simply be approaching the end of their life span. Replacing or repairing one section of an old sewer line may initially seem cheaper, but other areas will inevitably fail soon. In most cases, replacing the whole line will provide a more cost-effective and permanent solution.

Contact a local plumbing service, such as Ericson's Plumbing LLC, to learn more.