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How to Fix Broken Sewer Pipe Under House | A Step-by-Step Guide


Dealing with a busted sewer pipe beneath your home can be pretty frustrating. It’s a headache that needs urgent attention to avoid damage and keep health risks at bay. So, the big question is: How do you go about fixing a broken sewer pipe under your house?

Gone are the days when fixing your sewer line meant turning your property into a construction site and living without plumbing for what felt like an eternity. While some repairs may still call for the shovel and downtime approach, there are newer, less invasive methods that can save your precious yard.

Before diving into the nitty-gritty of fixing a broken sewer pipe under your house, it’s crucial to understand what causes these issues and how to spot the signs that scream, “Hey, your drainage pipe needs some TLC!” This way, you’ll be clued in on when to dial up a pro to tackle that pesky sewer leak lurking beneath your home. Contact Plumbers Sherman TX for any plumbing needs.

Common Causes of Sewer Lines Breaking

Knowing the reasons behind a cracked sewer pipe beneath your home is essential for safeguarding your plumbing. There’s more to it than just aging pipes and regular wear and tear.

It’s vital to grasp the factors that lead to a cracked sewer pipe beneath your house to ensure the well-being of your plumbing system. Old pipes and natural wear and tear are just a couple of pieces in the puzzle. Let’s dive deeper to uncover the whole picture.

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Tree Roots

Imagine a scenario where the roots of trees sneak into our home’s sewer pipes, creating chaos with backups, floods, and the need for expensive repairs or even full replacements. This is a significant headache for homeowners all over the United States.

Surprisingly, invasive tree roots are a major culprit behind damaged sewer pipes, often overlooked. Trees are always on the hunt for water, and our sewer pipes become a tempting source. If there’s even a tiny crack in the drain, these persistent roots seize the opportunity to slip in and invade the pipes. As they grow, they apply pressure on the pipes, causing them to break and leak. It’s a problem many homeowners face, and it can lead to some serious headaches.

Poor Soil

The health of the dirt around your pipes can impact how long they last. If the soil has a lot of expansive clay or is super acidic, it can lead to leaks in your sewer lines. You see when the clay gets wet, it swells up, and when it dries, it shrinks back down. This constant swelling and shrinking put stress on your pipes, kind of like a squeeze-and-release game. And that stress can make your pipes weaker.

Now, let’s talk about acidic soil. If the dirt around your pipes is too acidic, it can make the material of the pipes rust over time. Imagine your pipes getting a little rusty, like how your bike might if you leave it out in the rain. Rust weakens the pipes, making them more prone to problems.

So, it’s like your pipes are in a bit of a tricky situation. If the soil is full of clay or super acidic, it’s like a double whammy for your pipes – they have to deal with the swelling and contracting of the clay and the rusting from the acidity. It’s kind of like making your pipes run a tough obstacle course every day!

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Old Pipes

Outdated sewer lines, made from materials like cast iron, concrete, or terracotta, are prone to wear and tear, leading to leaks and deterioration. Every sewer pipe has a lifespan, and as time passes, metal pipes can rust, concrete pipes in the Pacific Northwest can crumble, and even terracotta pipes may develop leaks, cracks, or face intrusion from roots. If your home was built before the 1970s, chances are it has these aging pipe materials.

These pipes, after around 60 years of continuous use, may show signs of decay. Even if they aren’t visibly damaged, it’s advisable to consider replacing them. A helpful way to assess their condition is through a sewer camera inspection.

This process not only reveals the existing wear and tear but also provides answers to any questions you may have about the state of your sewer system. So, whether your pipes are rusting, crumbling, or susceptible to root intrusion, it’s essential to stay proactive in maintaining your home’s sewer lines for a trouble-free living environment.


Pouring oil, grease, and fats down your pipes leads to a buildup that narrows the space for waste to flow. Paper towels, so-called “flushable wipes,” and using too much toilet paper add to this buildup, leaving little space for waste.

These blockages exert pressure on the sewer line, leading to cracks and breaks. To avoid clogs, stick to flushing only water, toilet paper, and bodily waste down your bathroom drains. Unfortunately, even garbage disposals contribute to buildup in older drain pipes, especially if they are less than 2 inches in diameter. So, be mindful of what goes down your drains to keep things flowing smoothly.

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Natural Disasters

When powerful forces of nature, such as earthquakes, tornadoes, and floods, occur, they can harm the underground pipes that carry away our wastewater. These pipes may break or develop cracks due to the intense impact or the ground moving around them.

It’s crucial to have your plumbing checked after major natural disasters to make sure these sewer lines are still in good shape. This helps prevent any potential issues and ensures your home’s plumbing remains intact and functioning properly.

Signs of a Broken Sewer Pipe Under House

Repairing a damaged sewer pipe can be a pricey affair, potentially running into thousands of dollars. It’s crucial to be aware of the indicators pointing to a troubled drain sewer line. If you observe any of these problems, it’s wise to reach out to a sewer repair expert promptly.

These professionals possess the know-how to effectively mend an underground drain pipe that’s gone awry. Don’t hesitate to seek help when you spot the signs – addressing the issue early can save you both headaches and money.

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Wet Grass Around Exterior Walls

Damp spots inside your house, especially on the outer walls, might be a sign of issues with your drain lines. If you’re not experiencing recent rainfall, there shouldn’t be puddles forming around the base of your home. The presence of moisture due to a damaged sewer pipe is a potential culprit for these wet areas, and it’s crucial to reach out to a qualified plumber skilled in repairing cracked sewer pipes.

Alternatively, after rain, a blocked downspout could be the reason behind the dampness inside or around your house. In either case, addressing these issues promptly is essential to keep your home dry and comfortable.

Wet or Damp Carpet

Beneath your home, a network of pipes carries away sewage and water through your sewer and drain lines. These pipes connect to the main sewer line, but when water gathers around the joints, it can seep into your basement, making the floor damp and giving rise to mold and mildew.

This excess water not only damages your floors but also brings about unpleasant odors filled with harmful bacteria. Once the leak is fixed, it’s crucial to bring in a professional floor cleaner to eliminate odors, sanitize, and thoroughly dry the flooring.

If left unattended, this dampness can lead to health problems and structural issues. To pinpoint whether you’re dealing with a clog or a cracked sewer or drain, a camera inspection is recommended. Swift action is essential to prevent potential health risks and protect the integrity of your home’s structure.

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Musty Odors

If your home has a weird, kind of gross smell, it’s probably because of mold and mildew growing in damp spots. When your sewer lines crack and leak, it becomes an ideal place for bacteria to thrive. So, if you notice a funky odor – like something dead or a strange smell of methane or sulfur that you can’t quite figure out – you might have a sewer leak.

Don’t ignore it! Get a plumber on the phone right away to fix it. This way, you can stop the mold from spreading and make the air in your home smell fresh again. Don’t wait until it gets worse!

Slow-draining showers, Sinks, and Toilets

Hair, bits of food, and various gunk can quickly clog up your drains. If your sink, shower, or toilet is draining slowly, it might be due to a blockage that could lead to a messy backup.

Sometimes, the issue goes beyond a simple blockage, and you might be dealing with something more serious, like roots growing into your pipes or a pipe that’s cracked. When you can’t clear the blockage in your plumbing, it could be a sign of a bigger problem lurking beneath the surface.

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Signs of Structural Damage in Your Home

When you discover a busted sewer pipe, it’s crucial to think about your home’s strength and safety. Paying attention to signs of harm to your home’s structure can stop small issues from turning into big, expensive headaches.

Cracks in Walls Spreading Upward From the Ground

Concrete is a sturdy substance, and it’s normal for a few small cracks to show up as your home settles over time. But if you spot big cracks in the walls that go up from the ground, it could be a sign of serious structural issues.

When this happens, not only does your foundation require fixing, but you also need to address the sewer pipe problem that played a role in causing the structural damage. Taking care of both is crucial to ensuring your home stays safe and sound.

How to Fix Broken Sewer Pipes Under House

Discovering an issue with the sewer pipe under your house? No worries! Your plumber might present you with a couple of solutions that won’t involve tearing up your lawn. These go by the names of pipe lining and pipe bursting, and they’re what experts call trenchless sewer repairs. Let’s delve into these alternatives and find out what might work best for you.

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Open Trench Excavation

Repairing a sewer pipe through the open trench method involves more digging compared to the trenchless alternatives. It also demands more time and personnel to complete the task.

However, opting for this approach becomes a preferable choice when the pipe repair is confined to a depth of 10 feet or less, and you are comfortable with the idea of digging a trench in your yard.

Before any digging commences, it’s crucial to locate gas, water, electrical, and telephone utility lines. These utilities are marked to ensure their safety during the pipe replacement process.

In this method, plumbers need to excavate approximately two feet around the sides of the old pipe to disconnect it from your home. To prevent the trench from collapsing, the team strategically places shoring boards before installing the new pipes. This ensures a stable and secure working environment.

Pipe Lining

We’ve got a top-notch solution for sewer pipe issues that won’t break the bank or disrupt your life. We’re all about trenchless sewer pipe repair, and our go-to method is pipelining. But don’t just take our word for it – we start with a free camera inspection to make sure it’s the perfect fit for your home or business.

Why do we love pipe lining? Well, for starters, it’s the most budget-friendly option for our customers. Traditional methods like open trench or pipe bursting might take more time and create more chaos in your space.

But with pipe lining, we get the job done efficiently, causing minimal disruption to your home and lifestyle. Trust us, we’re not new to this – we’ve been leading the pipeline game in Seattle for over 30 years, and we stand by every piece of work we do!

Now, let’s dive into how this magic happens. The pipe-lining process is a breeze. We slide in an epoxy-coated felt “sleeve” (we like to call it a liner) into your old pipe. Then, we pump up a rubber bladder inside, molding itself to the old pipe’s shape and creating a brand-new pipe inside the old one.

It might sound too simple, but it’s spot on! This method is pretty standard and, depending on the size and length, can be done in just one day, thanks to the UV curing of the epoxy.

And the best part? You’ll be back in action with minimal downtime. We’ve tackled everything from small 1½” pipes to hefty 36” culvert drain pipes. Pipelining is versatile – we’ve used it to fix 22” heating duct systems under homes, storm drain systems under roads, and even infrastructure inside food processing plants.

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Pipe Bursting

Pipe bursting offers a modern solution for repairing sewer lines without the need for extensive digging. It might sound a bit intense, but the process is designed to minimize disruption to your yard.

Here’s how it works: a hydraulic machine, equipped with a cone-shaped head, is used to break and expand the existing pipes beneath the ground. Simultaneously, it pulls a new pipe through the broken segments, essentially replacing the old pipes.

This approach proves to be quicker and more efficient than the traditional method of digging open trenches, especially when dealing with challenging spaces like areas under rocks, buildings, or other structures. The choice between an HDPE solid pipe and a liner depends on your specific situation.

If you’re facing sewer pipe issues, pipe bursting is just one of the options we can consider. Our team evaluates your needs and budget to recommend the best repair or replacement method. The process involves digging two small holes at each end of the sewer line.

A cable is then inserted and fed through the pipes. One end of the cable connects to a pneumatic jack, while the other end attaches to the cone-shaped head.

As the new pipe is pulled through the old one, it bursts in place, making way for the installation of a new HDPE sewer pipe. Once the new pipe is in position, our plumber ensures everything is functioning correctly and conducts a camera inspection. After these checks, we fill in the access holes.

It’s important to note that the old pipes cannot be removed from the ground entirely. However, they won’t pose any issues for the new sewer line. They remain in the ground surrounding the newly installed pipe without causing interference. Our priority is to provide an effective and efficient solution to your sewer pipe problems while keeping disruption to a minimum.

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Call in the Professionals To Solve This

Swapping out busted sewer lines isn’t exactly a fun task for most people. But hey, it’s pretty high up on our list of things to do! Keeping your family healthy and your home’s foundation in good shape is important, and we’ve got your back. The good news is that fixing those broken drain lines isn’t the headache it once was.

The key to getting it done right is to chat with someone who knows their stuff, an expert with the smarts and experience to give you the best plan for fixing things up. We’re here to make sure your sewer line issues are a thing of the past!

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