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If you’ve ever had the pleasure of replacing a sewer line from your house to the main line, you know it is time-consuming and onerous, but it doesn’t have to be a pipe dream. If this is your first go-around, reading through these helpful tips can help alleviate some of the frustration.
Before you start, get visual confirmation of what needs to be replaced, no need to spend money needlessly. Some of the less honest companies out there might give you for a full sewer line replacement cost estimate for something that only needs partially replaced or repaired. Once you’ve made visual confirmation, it is up to you to determine if the cost of replacing it professionally is right for you, or if you would like to do it yourself.
*When researching prices, keep in mind that the cost to replace cast iron drain pipe under house might be worth it to avoid specific issues during the process and that the cost to repair sewer lines under slab will be higher due to the time and effort needed to remove and replace the concrete, slab.*
D.I.Y. Replacement Guide
If choosing to replace the line yourself to avoid the trenchless sewer line replacement cost, the following will help you along the way.
Before breaking further ground, following visual confirmation, you will need to obtain sewer records and the proper local permits required to complete the job safely and correctly. Once you have the proper documentation and a plan of action, you should research and purchase material. It is important that you do not skimp on the material. Only choose highly rated, preferably domestically made, products.
Step-by-step sewer line replacement guide:
- Survey – This includes measuring the elevation and slope/grade/pitch/fall. You want to assure your line is installed carefully and correctly according to elevation and slope.
- Trench and Bed – Dig, remove and replace. Following all safety precautions, you will want to open the trench, carefully removing material surrounding the old line. It is recommended you either add or replace bedding material (material that the line lays on), typically sand and gravel, to prevent damage. Do your research on which bedding material is best for your application.
- Replace/Lay the Pipe – Before you begin physically laying pipe, install string along pipe run for accurate, level installation. Begin on the lower end of the run, climbing the slope as you install. Remember, before you begin to glue the pipes together, you need to apply the appropriate primer (purple in the case of PVC).
Note: If the pipe has a bell end, this must be placed on the uphill end to ensure no leakage.
- End of the Line – Assure you have the proper fittings, length of pipe, and cover material. Check for leaks, broken or improperly installed portions. Cover with adequate material (sand or gravel) and pack the material down, this helps to absorb weight, preventing damage. Make sure to install proper warning tape for the next person excavating.
- Final Inspection – Contact your local officials for final inspection.
Although it may not seem like a difficult job, it requires attention to detail and the right tools and training. If you don’t want to replace the sewer line yourself, contact the professional plumbers at Dr.Pipe Drain and Plumbing Services in Hamilton.