You may never think about your home's sewer line until suddenly something goes wrong. A damaged sewer line can be a health hazard and a major inconvenience. You'll need prompt repairs so you can keep using your plumbing as you normally would. Here are three things that might damage the pipe and the sewer line repairs that could be needed.
1. Digging In Your Yard
Depending on the type of sewer pipe you have, it might break or crack when you hit it with a shovel when you're digging. The good thing about this kind of damage is that you know right away where the crack is located and you don't have to dig up the yard just to find the damaged area.
If you ever bust a sewer line when you're digging, call a plumber right away because anything that goes down your drains and toilets will spill out of the crack. A plumber might be able to uncover the pipe in the damaged area, cut out the broken pieces, and then make sewer line repairs by patching in a new section of pipe.
2. Driving Over The Line With Heavy Equipment
If you have work done in your yard that requires heavy equipment or a heavy truck, be sure you know where the sewer line is so you won't drive over it. Depending on how deep the line is, the line could crack under the heavyweight of the equipment. Since you can't see the pipe, you might not realize the pipe is damaged. It might be a while before you notice a sewer smell in your yard, see an area of lush grass growth, or have sewage back up in your home.
In this case, the plumber might need to look inside the pipe with a sewer camera to find out what's wrong and to locate the area of damage. When the crack is found, the plumber might pull a liner through it, or they might dig up part of the pipe to replace the cracked area when they make sewer line repairs.
3. Cracking Due To Tree Roots
Tree roots can be a big problem, and tree root damage is a common reason for sewer line repair. Small tree roots can crack a sewer pipe and infiltrate it so that the pipe clogs off. Some tree roots get large, and if one of those grows beside a pipe and puts pressure on it, the pipe could rupture and leak.
Since roots grow a far distance under the ground away from trees, the plumber may not have any idea where the pipe is damaged. They might have to use a pipe camera to look inside the pipe for roots and cracks. If the damage can't be found, they may need to dig up the entire length of pipe, and that might be difficult if it's surrounded by thick tree roots. Once the pipe is exposed, it can be replaced with a new one.