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Sewer Pipe Cracks: What To Know

A water line buried underground

Cracked sewer lines can’t and shouldn’t be ignored. While sewer lines are designed to last upward of 75 years, their life spans can be reduced by installation errors, what has been put down the piping, how many trees are on your property, and soil conditions.

If you’ve recently noticed increased clogs and slow drains at your West Chester home, you might need sewer pipe cleanout, repair, or replacement services.

Do you need professional plumbing services for your Chester County, PA, home? Contact Mattioni’s team online or call 610-400-8510 to schedule friendly and reliable service!

Common Questions About Sewer Pipe Cracks: A Guide

Before scheduling sewer line replacement, it helps to verify that you have a cracked sewer pipe, as sometimes something else is happening. For instance, if a video camera inspection doesn’t detect any cracks, you might just be dealing with a blockage that needs high-pressure sewer jetting.

Here are some of the sewer pipe questions we frequently hear from our customers:

What causes a sewer pipe to crack?

Unfortunately, no pipe is indestructible. Common culprits for sewer pipe cracks are:

  • Age-related wear
  • Shifting soil
  • Poor piping maintenance
  • High water pressure
  • Root infiltration

How serious is a sewer pipe crack?

Sewer pipe cracks are serious problems that can lead to property damage, soil pollution, and mold-related health issues. Sewer gas leaks can also cause people to experience headaches, dizziness, sinus infections, and more. And depending on where the cracks occur, you could be looking at severe damage to your home and yard.

Are all sewer pipe cracks the same?

While the size and location of sewer pipe cracks vary, all cracks and fractures can eventually cause catastrophic damage. That’s because no matter how big or small a crack is, it affects your pipe’s structural integrity.

  • Minor cracks and fractures require routine inspections to determine whether their severity is increasing.
  • Moderate cracks and fractures caused by root intrusion can affect a sewer line’s working condition. They should also be routinely inspected as you plan and budget for repairs or sewer line replacement.
  • Severe cracks and fractures compromise your sewer line and should be handled immediately.

How do I know if my sewer pipe is cracked?

Out of sight, out of mind can make it difficult to find cracks in your home’s sewer pipe. Fortunately, a broken sewer line gives off several telltale signs, including:

  • A sewer gas odor
  • Slow drains
  • Clogs and backups
  • A soggy or lush green lawn area
  • Insect and rodent infestation

How can I find a sewer pipe crack?

Professional sewer line inspections are the fastest and surest way to find a sewer pipe crack. However, there are several ways you can locate and verify a sewer pipe break on your own:

  • Turn on the bathroom sink and look for signs like rising toilet water or water in the base of your bathtub or shower.
  • Look for overflow in toilets and shower or floor drains while washing the washing machine.
  • Flush the toilet and listen for gurgling water sounds in the tub or shower drains.

How do sewer pipe repair services work?

You have two options for sewer line repair and replacement:

  • Pipe lining is best used when sewage pipe damage is minimal. An inflatable tube covered in epoxy is inserted into your sewer line and inflated against the existing line. Once the epoxy hardens, the leak is repaired, and the inflatable tube is removed.
  • Pipe bursting is a trenchless repair technique where technicians feed a bit through your existing sewer line, destroying the old pipe and immediately replacing it with a new one.

Both of these methods require little time and expensive excavation work.

If my sewer line is cracked, do I have to replace it?

The short answer is yes. Even tiny cracks that aren’t causing significant issues now will eventually need replacing. And it’s often better to replace the sewer line once the cracks are found to avoid a failed or collapsed sewer line.

Do homeowners or property insurance policies cover the cost of a replacement sewer pipe?

While most homeowners’ insurance policies do not provide coverage for sewer line replacement when it’s due to common causes, you might be able to add a policy endorsement that does cover your line. However, as some policies cover damage from a sudden accident, it’s best to read your policy or talk to your insurance agent about whether your home is protected.

Choose Mattioni for Sewer Services

For more than 70 years, Mattioni Plumbing, Heating & Cooling has provided Chester County homeowners with five-star plumbing services that keep their home’s plumbing systems operating efficiently. You can depend on our skilled team to professionally and quickly handle any plumbing repair job, including sewer line replacement.

Are you seeking reliable, responsive plumbing services from trained, professional plumbers? Contact Mattioni online or call us at 610-400-8510 to schedule services!

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