We’ve already established on this blog that sewer backups are a bad thing. You probably didn’t need us to tell you that. It’s simple: sewer backups → leaks/floods → home damage → expensive repairs. Sewer lines only backup if something is clogging or blocking the flow of water. There are many reasons why a sewer pipe might clog–some of those reasons are more in your control than others. A sagging sewer line, unfortunately, is one of those reasons that is not really in your control if you were not the one to install your home’s sewer system.
Truth be told, if your sewer system was installed somewhat recently and by a reputable company, the chances of dealing with a sagging sewer line are slim. Sometimes, though, forces of the earth that are not in your control create a situation where one of your sewer pipes might start to sag, and you will need to deal with the consequences.
In order to understand this issue more, we need to know why sewer lines sag, how it can be prevented, and what you can do about the issue once it occurs.
Why Causes a Sagging Sewer Line?
There are a few reasons why a sewer line might sag. The first is that it was not installed properly. Sewer lines must be installed at a downward slope away from your home, and a proper bedding of sand and gravel must be packed underneath it to give it proper support. If the material under the pipeline is too soft, the pipe will start to settle into it, disrupting the appropriate slope needed for gravity to pull the water away from your house. These conditions will allow for the pipe sagging and for a belly to form where water pools instead of flowing properly.
Unfortunately, even if the sewer line was installed correctly, natural movements of the earth from tree roots, earthquakes, and even heavy traffic above the area can lead to the pipe starting to sag.
How Can You Prevent A Sewer Line From Sagging?
While you can’t control everything that goes on underground, you at least lower your chances of experiencing a sagging sewer line, even if you can’t completely eliminate them. If you are the one installing the sewer system for your home, make sure to hire a reputable company who understands the correct way to install the pipes. Make sure to plant any trees far enough away from the pipes so the roots won’t interfere, and keep heavy machinery and equipment away from that area so they don’t cause the earth to shift.
How Can You Fix a Sagging Sewer Line?
If you have water backing up into your home, a sagging sewer line could be to blame. Once you know you have one, what can you do about it? Experienced sewer professionals have a few ways to repair your issue. One popular method is called trenchless sewer repair. This is when we go in and repair or replace the sewer line without having to dig up trenches in your yard. Sagging pipelines can’t always be fixed this way, as sometimes the actual bedding below the pipe needs to be repaired, but many cases are candidates for a trenchless repair.
Professionals can also add a lining to your pipe to cover up the belly that formed and re-introduce the proper slope for sewage water to travel down.
Most Importantly, Get Help As Soon As You Notice a Problem
Whenever you suspect something may be wrong with your pipes or sewer system, get help from a professional immediately. The quicker the problem is fixed, the less damage you will have to deal with later. Our sewer experts at A&L Cesspool have extensive experience repairing and replacing sewer lines due to sagging pipes, and we are here for all your sewer needs!