Have you ever had to deal with a sewer line backing up? Then you have probably had roots growing in the sewer line… Maybe you need to auger out once a year to keep the line open. Or if you are like me, you have had to dig up your sewer line and have it replaced.
This is an often over-looked item on home inspections… running a camera down the sewer line to inspect it. There is enough of the housing stock that is over 50 years old now, beyond the lifespan of many sewer lines.
Recently I have had the privilege of having to replace sewer lines on a couple properties I own. It is not a small expense either!
On one of my rental properties in Minneapolis, I had a broken clay pipe that roots kept growing in. In the City of Minneapolis a property owner can only choose from a hand full of contractors licensed by the City to work on sewer lines, as you can imagine this brings the cost way up. For this line I was able to run a new product called Perma-Liner. I am very impressed with this technology. The contractor feeds a felt like material through the old sewer line adding an epoxy chemical to it, then they run a balloon through the middle of this material to form it to the diameter of the pipe. This felt material then hardens with the epoxy making it as strong as PVC pipe.
The above video shows the finished product. The great thing about this product is that it helps reduce excavation, and for this property this approach made more sense than replacing the entire pipe. The downside is it is more expensive than PVC pipe, so that has to be weighed against the excavation costs including driveways or sidewalks that may have to get dug up.
THEN IT HAPPENED TO ME AGAIN ON ANOTHER PROPERTY….
I had to have a sewer line replaced on a property I own that was built in 1952. This sewer line was a combination of clay tile pipe, transite pipe and a section of PVC that was replaced about 20 years ago.
When the contractor dug up the old pipe, this is what they found! This is a Trophy… I am amazed the line was able to drain at all.
If you know you have roots beginning to grow in your sewer pipe, make sure you auger out the roots at lest once a year – it will prevent your root problem into growing into this mess!
Unfortunately for me, there was no warning sign until it was a major problem. Had I hired a company to run a camera down the sewer line to inspect it, I would have known I had an issue and could have taken routine maintenance action or avoided this mess by buying a different home.
The good news is I have the newest sewer pipe on the block! It is a shame no one can see it…