If you’ve started noticing signs of a cracked sewer pipe, you need to get it fixed sooner rather than later. While it is important to have a properly working sewer system, I say this more because there’s no telling how long your sewer pipe has been damaged.
Because by the time you start noticing the signs, it’s likely your sewer pipe has been cracked for quite awhile now.
What Does Having a Cracked Sewer Pipe Mean?
As I’ve talked about here on the blog before, unlike your fresh water lines that always have water in them, there is no water in your home’s sewer lines unless you are running water somewhere in the house.
So when you flush the toilet, water and debris flush through your system out to the city line. You turn on the kitchen sink or run the washing machine and water drains down and out of your home’s system.
Because of this, water only leaks out of the crack when water is running through it. And depending on the severity of the crack, a very small amount could be leaking out every day which is what makes it so difficult to know right away that you have a crack.
However, once the integrity of the pipe is compromised, it will most likely get worse which means more and more water will escape the pipe increasing the odds of greater damage not just to your sewer line but your home.
And that is when you start to notice the signs of a possible crack in your sewer pipe.
Possible Signs You Have a Cracked Sewer Pipe
If water has been leaking out of a cracked line for long enough or the break is severe enough, you will start to notice some signs like:
- Cracks in walls
- Cracks in foundation
- Cracks in the floors
- Uneven floors
- Bowed walls
- Walls separating from house
- Sewer odors
- Insect and/or rodent infestations
And because there’s a crack in the line, backups can become a problem as well. Dirt can get into the line which can build up, and the leaking water attracts tree roots. The roots then eventually grow into the line causing a stoppage. So slow drains and recurring backups are other signs to look out for if you suspect a cracked sewer pipe.
Cracked Sewer Pipe Repair
Replace the Sewer Line Yourself?
I wouldn’t suggest replacing a sewer line yourself. First of all, it’s unlikely you can even find the pipe with the crack much less get to it if you do.
The sewer system in most homes in the Dallas area under a concrete slab. We do a series of tests to determine if it is a leak that you are dealing with (sewer leak test), and where the leaks might be if you do have them (sewer leak isolation test).
And even with the tests, we can’t know 100% until we get under the actual slab either through punching a hole through it or tunneling to the cracked pipe.
As trained and licensed plumbers, we have the experience and the equipment to perform these tests and the necessary repairs and replacements. Also tunneling is not a job for a layperson. It can be dangerous if you don’t know what you’re doing.
PVC or Cast Iron?
For the most part, sewer pipes are either PVC or cast iron. Cast iron was last used in DFW home construction around the mid-80s.
If you have PVC sewer pipes, we will most likely repair a cracked pipe. As I said before, this involves either tunneling to the damage or punching a hole through the slab to make the repair.
If, however, you have a cast iron system, we no longer make repairs on cast iron sewer pipes. In the last few years, we have discovered repairing cast iron is a waste of money for the homeowner.
Not to mention, because cast iron was designed to last for only 50 years maximum, every system we’ve come across is in such bad shape, it is nearly impossible to repair. Because of this, we recommend replacing a cast iron system.
What About Trenchless Sewer Pipe Repair?
We are always researching, and when appropriate, testing new products and methods. If there’s something that is going to be more cost-effective and less invasive for both us and our customers, it’s in all of our best interests to do it.
Because of this, we know that the current trenchless pipe sewer repair options don’t work well, so it’s not something we recommend for sewer systems at this time. I go into the various methods in this blog post, and why companies offering it in the area either don’t anymore or use it as a ploy to get your business.
Does Homeowners Insurance Cover Sewer Pipe Repair/Replacement?
Homeowners insurance will not cover anything outside of the house. So anything in the yard will not be covered.
As far as inside the house, it depends on your policy. Most companies don’t cover anything. Some do but only under certain circumstances. And the ones that do are only responsible to fix what is happening right now. They are not responsible for taking you into the future.
They will cover spot repairs, but they won’t pay for the whole system. It’s in their best interest to pay the least amount of money possible and only solve what they need to solve today.
So say you have a problem with a cast iron system. It’s highly unlikely they will pay to replace the system. IF they cover the spot repairs once, and you need more repairs — which you definitely will with cast iron — make two or three claims in a two year period of time, and they will drop your coverage. You’ll pay the deductible each time and then when you continue making claims, they will end up cancelling your plan.
The Cost of Cracked Sewer Pipe Repair and Replacement
I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again. It depends.
No two houses are alike so no two estimates are identical. Without seeing your particular situation, I can’t say how much something will cost.
We’ve had repair and replacement estimates from as low as $2,500 and as high as $80,000. Generally it depends on how much line there is and where it is. And how many repairs you need or how large the system in need of replacing is also comes into play.
Call In-House Plumbing Company Today
If you suspect a cracked sewer pipe, give us a call at 972-494-1750. We will always work with you to find the best option for you and your budget. You can also email us at email@example.com.