Protect Your Sewer Line During Utility Work

Your main sewer line may be hidden, but just under the surface of your yard it is performing its duty. Many people may not know exactly where their sewer line is, which can pose problems. If a new phone line or gas pipe needs to be installed to your home, utility workers may need to run a trench through your yard. It is vital to protect your sewer lines from damage to prevent expensive repairs down the road.

Find Your Sewer Lines

If you have a lot schematic of your property, it may show you where your sewer line runs. You may also be able to get an outline of underground utilities on your property from your local utility or building municipal departments if they have one on file. The other option is finding the outlet from your home (usually in the basement or crawlspace) and following the path to the septic tank or city sewer line.

Inform Utility Crews

Most utility crews will investigate to ensure they are not disturbing any existing utility lines before they begin digging. However, do not assume they have done their due diligence. It is not uncommon for damage to be done to sewer lines or a D-Box that is not realized until many years later. When you need to replace a sewer line because it eventually breaks from damage done years prior, you most likely will be left paying for the repair.

Concerned that a utility crew may have damaged your sewer line? Contact a local sewer line service to have your pipes inspected for damage. It is better to find out sooner than later, giving you an opportunity to have the repair done before it causes damage to your home or property.

Posted on behalf of:
Septic Service Pro, LLC
Peachtree Street NW
Atlanta, GA 30334
(678) 292-8728

Tips on How to Handle a Broken Sewer Line

One thing a homeowner doesn’t want to deal with is a broken sewer line, but it does happen. Sewer lines can last for decades without any issues, but even these durable pipes can eventually break. Tree roots, corrosion, pressure from vehicles/heavy equipment and other factors can cause a broken sewer pipe in your yard. When it does happen, knowing how to handle the situation can reduce the stress and cost of the repair.

Recognizing a Broken Sewer Line

First, you need to know how to quickly identify that you may have a sewer line problem. Most sewer lines are under the ground, so you may not know one is broken right away. Some signs you may have a broken sewer pipes include:

  • Wet spots in your yard
  • Bad odor outside your home
  • Backed-up drains in your home

If you notice any of these issues, it is time to act. Stop using your plumbing immediately and call your local sewer service company. If there is a sewer backup into your home, you may want to have any children or pets stay elsewhere until the issue can be resolved. Sewer backups contain dangerous bacteria and toxins that you do not want anyone exposed to, especially kids or pets. The mess will need to be cleaned up and the area disinfected before you bring your family back home.

The one thing you should not do is ignore a possible sewer line break. Even if the plumbing is working fine, don’t wait for a backup to occur. Call your sewer professional and have your sewer line repaired to limit the damage to your home.

Posted on behalf of:
Seagraves Plumbing Sewer & Septic
4980 Plant Atkinson Rd SE
Smyrna, GA 30080
(494) 792-2221

Dangers of Sewer Line Damage

You may not think about your main sewer line but if it is damaged, you will be forced to spend more time and money on this component of your plumbing than you ever wanted. Whether you have a septic system or use municipal waste removal, you have a main sewer line that travels out of your home. It either connects to the city sewer line or your septic tank and it needs to be protected to reduce risks of damage.

Find Your Sewer Line

If you do not know where your sewer line runs, it is important to find out. You may be able to get a good idea by locating where it leaves from the house. You can find this in your basement or crawl space under your home. It is most likely located on the side nearest the city sewer line or your septic tank. From there, you can assume it runs straight to the connection with the city sewer or tank. If you have the plot plans for your home, the sewer line path should be outlined on these plans.

Protect Your Sewer Line

Although the sewer line may be located a few feet underground, it is still susceptible to damage from above. It is crucial to make sure that this area is not disturbed as it can lead to a broken sewer line in your yard. Some common causes of sewer line damage include:

  • Driving a vehicle over a sewer line
  • Post hole digging for fences
  • Trenching to add utility lines
  • Construction, landscaping or digging above the sewer line

To protect your sewer line, keep the area above it a work-free zone and make sure no one drives near this area. If you notice any erosion or depressions in the ground above the sewer line, you may have a broken pipe, or a leak, and you should call your local sewer/septic professional immediately.

Posted on behalf of:
Seagraves Plumbing Sewer & Septic
4980 Plant Atkinson Rd SE
Smyrna, GA 30080
(494) 792-2221

Will Homeowner’s Insurance Cover Broken Sewer Pipes?

When you find out you have a broken sewer pipe that needs repair or replacement, the first thing that may cross your mind is the cost. A sewer issue can be expensive to fix, but it is not something that can be ignored; anything that can help mitigate the cost is appreciated. In some cases, homeowner’s insurance may cover some of the costs of a sewer pipe repair, but there are circumstances where it most likely won’t be covered.

Age/Wear and Tear

If your sewer pipe bursts after many years of use, it may be general wear or age that caused the problem. Insurance usually only covers accidents or unforeseen issues; it may cover damage caused by the burst pipe but not the repair itself.

Workmanship

A broken sewer pipe due to poor workmanship may be covered under your insurance policy or under a warranty by the contractor. Check with both your insurance agent and the company who installed your sewer lines. 

Weather

Did your sewer line freeze, causing it to burst? A weather related broken sewer pipe is more likely to be covered than other issues. Check with your insurance policy to see if weather-related plumbing issues are covered.

Location

Where the sewer line break is located can impact whether it is covered under your homeowner’s insurance. Breaks within the foundation of the home are more likely to be covered. In some cases, if the break is caused by a municipality issue, you may get it covered through them.

The first step is to call your local sewer repair company. They can assess the damage and help determine the cause to report to your insurance company – it is always worth researching to find out whether your insurance will pay for any of the repair.

Posted on behalf of:
Seagraves Plumbing Sewer & Septic
4980 Plant Atkinson Rd SE
Smyrna, GA 30080
(494) 792-2221

Does Your Homeowner’s Insurance Policy Cover Your Sewer Lines?

You know you have homeowner’s insurance to cover accidental damage to your home. But do you know what it covers if you have a sewer line problem? Many homeowners assume that if they have a major issue with their sewer lines, their insurance will be available to help with the costs of repairs. However, that is not always case. Here are a few tips to ensure you are not caught off guard when you have a sewer line problem.

  • Regular wear and tear. In most cases, sewer lines that break or get clogged due to normal wear and tear are not covered under homeowner’s insurance. This is a good reason to have routine maintenance done on your sewer lines to inspect for issues before they become clogged or broken.
  • City sewer. If you are connected to a city sewer system, the general rule is you are responsible for pipes on your side of the property line. If your insurance does cover sewer line problems, it will only cover those that happen on your property.
  • Check your policy. Read your homeowner’s insurance policy. Check for coverage for sewer or plumbing issues. Does it cover repairs or replacement? Does it cover damage caused to your home from a sewer line break or backup? If you are not sure, call your insurance agent. You may be able to add a rider to cover these potential issues for a low premium.

Knowing what is covered under your insurance ahead of time can help prepare you in case of a sewer line issue. It is better to know what to expect than to be caught unaware during a sewer emergency.

Posted on behalf of:
Bynum & Sons Plumbing, Inc.
2120 McDaniels Bridge Rd SW
Lilburn, GA 30047
(770) 736-8283

Are Sewer Line Repairs Covered by Homeowner’s Insurance?

If you have just found out you will need to have some or all of your sewer lines repaired or replaced, you may be wondering if homeowner insurance will cover these costs. Unfortunately, there is no simple answer to this question without knowing how the sewer lines were damaged and what type of coverage you have on your policy. The good news is that some sewer line repairs can be covered under insurance, making it worth the effort to investigate.

Determining the Cause of Damage

One of the biggest factors in determining whether sewer pipe damage will be covered under an insurance policy is the cause of the damage. Generally, normal wear and tear or issues caused by poor maintenance are not covered by insurance. Usually it must be a circumstance that was out of your control, such as an earthquake, flood or poorly installed pipes.

If your insurance policy covers the weather or earth-moving event that caused the damage, there is a good chance that the repairs will be covered. However, keep in mind that the insurance inspectors will be looking at the condition of the pipes. In some cases, it may be determined that the pipes were not properly maintained, making them susceptible to damage.

To find out if your sewer line repairs will be covered under your home insurance, call your insurance company and ask about coverage. This is a good opportunity to find out exactly what is covered under your policy and make adjustments as needed for possible future problems. If the repairs are covered, talk to your insurance about scheduling your needed repairs with your local sewer repair company.

Posted on behalf of:
Septic Service Pro, LLC
Peachtree Street NW
Atlanta, GA 30334
(678) 292-8728

When Is Relining Your Sewer Lines An Option?

Not all sewer line damage requires a full replacement. In some cases, homeowners can choose the more economical option of relining their sewer pipes versus replacing them. Relining sewer pipes involves inserting a flexible lining into the broken or cracked sewer lines, usually soaked in resin which adheres to the interior of the pipe through pressure and heat. This creates a new pipeline inside in the old pipes, lasting up to 50 years in some applications. It is a fast process, making it much less labor intensive and costing much less than replacement. However, first it must be determined that relining is an option well suited to your needs.

What Broken Sewer Pipes Can Be Relined

Relining is an option for many sewer lines, including those with 90 degree angles and long lengths. Sewer repair companies that offer this service will first need to perform an inspection of the malfunctioning pipes to determine whether relining is an appropriate sewer line repair. Typically, relining is used in pipes that have the following issues:

  • Cracks in the pipe surface
  • Joint displacement
  • Tree root damage

In cases when relining can be used, the pipes are usually first cleaned and obstructions removed, then the lining can be put in place. In some circumstances, it may be not be recommended that relining be used. Pipes which are sagging, have improper grade alignment or have sections missing will most likely need to be replaced.

The first step to finding out whether your sewer pipes can be relined is to call your local sewer repair company and schedule an inspection of your pipes. They can discuss what options are available to you, including relining, based on the current issues within your sewer line system.

Posted on behalf of Mike Smith, A-Flo Free Septic

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Sewer Gas Smell In Your Home

If you think you smell sewer gas inside your home, your first step should be to make sure you are not smelling natural gas or propane.  Natural gas or propane has a distinctive “rotten egg” smell that can be mistaken for sewer gas.  If you even suspect that it might be propane or natural gas, leave your home immediately and notify the gas company or fire department.

If you have eliminated natural gas or propane as the source of the smell, you can start looking for the source of the sewer gas odor.  In most cases, the cause of sewer gas odor is a “dry trap”.  Every sink, tub, shower or other drain in your home has a short curved section of drain pipe shaped like a “P” laying face down.  This drain pipe is called a P-trap.

If you look under your kitchen or bathroom sink you will see the P-trap right under the sink.  Bathtub and shower stall P-traps are usually under the floor and not as easy to see.

The P-trap is meant to hold a little residual drain water in it to form a seal that blocks sewer gas from entering your home through the drain.  What often happens when a drain does not get used for awhile is that the water evaporates and allows the sewer gas to enter your home.

In most cases, simply running some water down the drain will refill the P-trap and stop the sewer gas smell.  If you don’t have any dry traps, you should call a plumber or sewer-septic contractor and have them check your plumbing.  You could have a broken or leaking sewer line or a cracked or broken sewer vent line.