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Clay Sewer Lines: Did Your Pipe Collapse?

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If you need to clear or treat the plumbing lines in your bathroom, basement, or kitchen on a regular basis, you may think there's a clog in your sewer line. Although sewer lines can become clogged with waste, they can also collapse beneath the ground, especially older lines made of clay. Learn more about collapsed sewer lines and what you need to do about your line below.

What Happens If Your Sewer Line Collapses?

If your sewer line is over 50 years of age, it most likely contains a material called clay. Although sewer lines constructed out of clay can last a long time, the material can wear down under stress during the cold season. The stress can eventually cause your sewer line to collapse beneath the soil.

A collapsed sewer line can cause backups to occur inside your plumbing system. The plumbing pipe leading to your toilet may constantly back up with solid and liquid waste. Dirty water may also backtrack into your kitchen or laundry sinks. The drains in your basement floor may also back up with large amounts of water. 

If the damage in your sewer line becomes worse, it can leak large puddles of liquid onto the surface of your yard. Odors and insects can develop around the puddles and cause additional problems for you.

The best way to prevent or address the issues above is to call a plumber for assistance.

Can You Repair a Collapsed Sewer Line?

Before a plumber can repair your sewer line, they must visibly inspect it first. In order to view your sewer line properly, a plumber may place a small camera inside it. As the camera travels through the pipe, it relays images back to a plumber. A plumber can use the images to detect the cause and location of the collapse.

After a plumber detects the cause and location of the collapse, they'll insert a liner inside the pipe and seal it in place. A liner is small enough to fit inside the old pipe without causing additional damage to it. The liner also seals the pipe so that waste doesn't escape it in the future. 

If the collapse is large enough to cause substantial damage to your property, a plumber may suggest you remove the line immediately. You may want to replace your old pipe with something other than clay, such as cast iron and PVC. A plumber can help you select a replacement sewer line that works best for your home's plumbing system.

Learn more about collapsed sewer lines and how to repair yours by contacting a plumber for sewer line repair today.