As you may or may not know from experience, a problem with a sewer line system can develop into a major emergency in seconds, with water or worse raw sewage suddenly pumping into areas where it shouldn’t be due to damaged sewer pipes, problems with sewer drains, or some other issue.
The sewers in your home need care just like the other parts of your home. However, many homeowners don’t know much about their sewers and the consequences of ignoring any sewer problems or signs of problems which can be messy and foul. Regular sewer line inspections and sewer pipe maintenance is a necessary part of owning a home. It can make a difference between a simple sewer line repair versus an entire sewer line replacement.
Inspecting a sewer line is a vital step in learning whether your pipes have a clog. The checkup could also show you if there’s a more severe issue that needs repair.
How Do Sewer Problems Start?
A sewer line problem can start for many reasons, but often it starts with tree roots. Over time, tree roots can invade your sewer system and clog the sewer line.
Sometimes, tree roots work into cracks and joints in older main sewer lines made using clay tile or cast iron. Pipes made using orangeburg pipe are also subject to invasion by tree roots. In either case, tree roots are hungry for the nutrient-rich waste that flows through your sewer drains to your septic tank.
As a result, they naturally gravitate toward and into your pipes, but there are many other potential problems with home sewer lines.
Signs to Recognize Sewer Concerns
Slow Moving Drains
Keep an eye on the drains when washing dishes, showering, or washing your hands. Slow-flowing water is an indication that your main sewer line may have become clogged. If you experience a slow drain in multiple areas of your home, is gurgling, these are signs of a clogged sewer line.
A constant need to plunge. An occasional clog is normal, but if a clogged toilet occurs regularly you should think about scheduling an appointment and getting your drains checked. A blocked pipe can cause serious damage but can also be easily fixed with regular maintenance. If our licensed technicians encounter a serious blockage, they can handle the situation.
If you notice a foul odor of smell sewage coming from your sink, tub, or drains, it’s very possible that your sewage pipe has sprung a leak. Leaks can quickly become serious messy problems and should be corrected as soon as possible. Raw sewage can pose health risks, particularly if leaks are left ignored for extended periods of time.
Greener Grass than Usual
Surprisingly, plush green grass can be a side effect of a sewer leak especially if you haven’t watered it in a while. Like manure and fertilizer, sewage encourages plants and trees to grow. If you have shrubs or trees near your sewer line, it is very important to have regular inspections to make sure the roots have not infiltrated your sewer system.
The Sewer Line Inspection Process
A sewer line inspection is an important part of maintaining your sewer system. A professional plumber can help you to resolve any problems or concerns.
A sewer line inspection is a routine maintenance check of the sewer lines that connect your home’s plumbing to the city sewer lines. During the sewer inspection, our licensed technicians will use a long, flexible cable known as a snake line to analyze the inside of your pipes. This inspection will reveal any cracks, tree roots, collapsed lines, clogs, and any other concerns within the sewer lines and your plumbing systems.
A sewer scope inspection enables plumbers to diagnose a range of plumbing issues. These problems might include broken pipes, clogs, cracks and leaks, grease buildup, obstructions, or even a tree root invasion.
Sewer Scope Inspection Process
During the sewer scope inspection, a technician will use a specially designed camera on a long cable to view the inside of your drains. Your plumber or sewer scope inspector will likely do the following:
- Open the drain to run the sewer camera through the line
- Use a camera to do a visual check of the plumbing for any possible problems
- Create a detailed report with the results of the sewer scope inspection
- In many cases, your pro will provide a DVD or digital file of the recording
- Discuss costs and next steps
Sewer inspections generally takes about 30 minutes and the entire inspection is typically recorded on the camera. Then, technicians usually report the findings after sewer inspections. However, the client should await the final report for pictures and the technician’s conclusive findings in order to make decisions on what to do next.
Why are Sewer Scope Inspections Needed?
Replacing or repairing a damaged sewer line can be one of the most costliest plumbing jobs for homeowners, because insurance often does not cover general sewer wear and tear. Aside costly repair, sewer issues can be both messy and dangerous.
If your sewer line were to backup or leak, this can cause many health issues. Listed below are some of the health hazards that live in your sewers.
- Bacteria Infections
- Fungal Infections
- Harmful Gases
Health effects can occur if your sewer were to back up or leak under your home. Preventing an unwanted back-up, stoppage, or unnecessary leak by regularly inspecting your drains is quick and easy. Sewer problems are not always obvious and sewer inspections can reveal unknown problems in a home’s sewers before they cause big damage or become severe.
When is an Inspection of Sewer Lines Needed?
Sewer inspections are recommended when you are serious about buying a new home. It is also best to have your sewer inspected roughly once every two years, particularly if you have a large family and a well-used sewer system. This routine inspection helps avoid any potential problems down the road. If you are noticing any of the following concerns, be sure to schedule an appointment with a sewer inspector right away.
Sewer Line Inspection Costs
The cost of a sewer scope inspection will vary based on a variety of factors such as geographic location and age of the home. On average, a stand-alone sewer scope inspection can cost between $150 and $300.
A homeowner having to pay between $150 and $300 for the sewer line inspection costs is far less then to pay the possible tens of thousands cost of a sewer line replacement.
Why Conduct Sewer Line Inspections?
There are a few ways sewer inspection services are conducted either through home inspections during a home purchase, video inspection performed by a licensed plumber, a sewer camera inspection, or a visual sewer inspection. A couple main reasons an inspection should be performed are:
Fix Sudden Sewer Problems
Sewer inspections or drainage inspections are required immediately in order to find the cause of the problem and fix it.
Routine sewer line inspection
Routine sewer inspections prevent major repair costs and major plumbing issues. Sewer inspections, whether camera inspections or a visual inspection, identify any maintenance needed before any concerns turn into major headaches.
Get Some Help with Sewer Line Repair
All inspections should only be carried out by certified septic, storm water and sewer inspectors, and luckily for you, Delaware Valley Septic, Sewer & Storm has the experience to make sure your septic, sewer & storm water systems in Chester County, Delaware County, Montgomery County, and all throughout the Delaware Valley area will be completed to the highest standards.
A sewer clog cannot be treated with a plunger or with over-the-counter chemicals. Clearing the sewer line of roots and debris should always be done by a certified licensed professional. At Delaware Valley Septic, Sewer & Storm, we want to provide you the most worthwhile sewer system inspections possible, so expect the process to take a few hours to be completed. If your Gladwyne, Radnor, Newtown Square, West Chester, or Villanova property requires an inspection, you can count on our team to get the job done right!