5 Frequently Asked Questions About Home Sewer Lines

Posted March 27, 2014

Most homeowners only think about their home's sewer line when there's a major problem like a burst pipe or back-up. By understanding a few simple sewer line facts, you can prevent a major sewer line problem. 

1. How long will a sewer line last? How long a sewer will last depends on a number of factors, including the pipe material, proximity to trees, etc. If your sewer line is more than 40 years old, it may need replacing. Even if the home is newer, its plumbing may be connected to an older sewer pipe. Even if your home is newer, regular video sewer line inspections are good insurance. By inspecting the pipes for bulges, joint failures, cracks, and tree root intrusion, you can prevent a costly sewer line backup and extensive repairs. 

2. If the sewer line is damaged, who's responsible for fixing it? In most municipalities, the homeowner is responsible for maintaining the sewer line running from the home to the sewer main.

3. Does homeowner's insurance cover sewer line damage and repair? Most insurance policies do not cover repairs to sewer lines caused by gradual wear and tear. Before problems occur, check your homeowner's insurance policy to see if it covers sewer pipe repair or replacement. Some insurance companies will add a sewer and drain endorsement to your policy to cover losses related to a sewer line backup, to cover damage to your home. 

4. What causes sewer line damage? The most common problem with older homes built prior to 1980 is damage from tree roots that have invaded the joints of the pipes. Other causes include acts of nature, accidental damage from digging to close to the pipe, and inevitable deterioration to the pipes over time. 

5. My sewer line is damaged, what are my options? In the past, your only option was to dig a trench in your yard to gain access to the damaged section of the pipe. With newer trenchless sewer line repair technology, we can often repair a damaged sewer line from inside the line itself by cleared and the damage section and relining the damage section of the pipe.

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