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Frequently Asked Questions About Home Sewer Lines

Many homeowners only think about their sewer line when there’s a major problem. When problems occur, there are many questions to consider. Here are some of the most common questions we receive from homeowners about their sewer lines.

How long will my 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.

If the sewer line breaks, who’s responsible for fixing it?

In most Chicago municipalities, homeowners are responsible for maintaining and repairing the sewer line from the house to the sewer main.

Do most homeowner’s insurance policies cover sewer line repair or replacement?

Most insurance policies exclude 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 backups and damage to your home.

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.

How can I prevent damage to my sewer line?

Even if your home is newer, regular video sewer line inspections are good idea. By inspecting the pipes for bulges, joint failures, cracks and tree root intrusion, you can often prevent a more costly sewer line failure from occuring.

My sewer line is damaged, what are my options?

In the past, your only option was to have a trench dug in your yard to gain access to the damaged section of the pipe. With newer trenchless sewer line repair technology, repairs to a damaged sewer line can often be made from inside the line itself by first clearing the obstruction and relining the damage section of the pipe.

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