Some of the scariest words you can hear a plumber say are “you need your sewer repaired.” Repairing a sewer can be expensive and time consuming, but being educated on the process, and on your options, can take some of the fear out. The first thing you should do is find a plumbing company you know is qualified for the job. Other than that…
Understand the difference between sewer repair and replacement. If your plumber can’t find the origin of the leak in your sewer pipe, the whole thing may need to be replaced. This may seem daunting, but remember that a new sewer should last at least 50 years – usually much longer than that. In many cases, replacing the sewer can actually be less expensive than repairing it, especially if the problem area is in a hard-to-reach spot.
The type of repair you need depends on what, and where, the problem is. A qualified plumber will be able to suggest a few possibilities to repair it and give you the information you need to weigh the pros and cons of each of the options.
Repair clamps, sewer liners, and full on replacement of pipe segments are all possibilities for sewer repair. Your plumber will recommend these based on the location and severity of your problem.
Sometimes sewer repair may not be the best solution – you might need whole house repiping. This is especially true if you built during the days when cast iron piping was more common than any other type of piping. Today’s standards are PVC pipe or copper pipe, so typically if the system leaks frequently, they will recommend the entire system be replaced with the updated pipe system.
Different projects, in different locations, may require different materials. Sometimes numerous materials may be needed or just be possible for use with the same job. For example, ductile iron pipe, heavy cast iron, PVC, and clay pipe may all be involved when working on a system that is encased in a concrete slab.
You should stick with plumbers who have experience in large scale jobs such as sewer replacement. This is definitely not a starter job, so make sure that the contractor has plenty of experience specifically working on sewers.
Needless to say, no two plumbing repair situations are exactly alike. That’s why it’s important to choose a plumber who has experience handling sewer problems as they come up. Always ask for referrals from friends or neighbors who’ve had similar services performed so that you know you can trust the contractor.
Also ask how much insurance the plumber has. The risks inherent in sewer repair jobs are greater than other plumbing jobs, so a solid insurance plan is a must.
Don’t be afraid to ask questions if there is something about the job you don’t understand. With such a major project going on there on your property, it is only natural for you to be curious about exactly what is being done. Hold your plumber accountable by finding out the details of what he or she is doing.
If you live in Maryland, Virginia, or Washington, DC and need sewer repair, there’s only one name you need to know – Magnolia Plumbing!