If your home has problems with the sewer line, the pipe may have to be repaired or replaced. In some cases, trenchless sewer repairs are possible which entails pulling a new liner through the damaged pipe. However, you might have to dig up the old pipe and replace it instead. Here's a look at what's involved with replacing a damaged sewer pipe.
Determine The Type And Location Of The Problem
Your plumber may start with a video inspection of the sewer pipe to determine what's causing the problem. The video could reveal a pipe that has severe damage due to age, which might mean the entire pipe has to be replaced. The video might also show a localized crack or collapse due to tree roots that might require replacing a small portion of the pipe. A pipe camera can also double as a locating device. When the camera is advanced through the pipe, the plumber watches the video on a screen. When a cracked area is found, the location of the camera can be detected through the soil so the exact spot of damage can be pinpointed from the surface.
Dig The Trench
The next step is to dig a trench in your yard so the old pipe can be accessed and so the new pipe can be installed. Digging a trench tears up your yard, and this is one reason trenchless repairs with a liner are so popular. However, when the depth or route of the pipe make trenchless repairs unsuitable, then digging a trench is necessary. Your plumbing company may have equipment to do this or you might need to bring in an excavation contractor to dig the trench.
Replace The Damaged Pipe
It's easy to see damaged areas once the pipe is exposed. This allows the plumber to be certain when repairs are complete and the pipe is fully functional again. The damaged area can be cut out and replaced or the entire pipe can be replaced as needed. The plumber has the chance to check the condition of the pipe during these repairs and if the pipe is old and in danger of cracking or collapsing in the future, then replacing the entire pipe could be the best option.
Restore Your Yard
Once work on the pipe is complete, the trench is filled in and you can plant grass over the area so your yard returns to normal. If tree roots caused damage to your pipe, then talk to the plumber about the best way to deal with the problem so the roots don't grow back and cause trouble with the new sewer pipe too.