How often should I inspect my sewer line?
You should have a camera inspection done on your line at least once every year in order to detect any issues prior to them becoming major problems.
What is non corrode pipe?
Non corrode sewer pipe otherwise know as tar paper pipe or orangeburg pipe was commonly used in Edmonton for residential sewer lines between 1950-1959. The pipe was made by wrapping layers of bitchumen soaked paper on itself to create a pipe hence the nickname tar paper pipe. At the time there was a shortage on clay and this was created as a less expensive alternative. The issue was that the life expectancy of the product was 40 years, clay tile is 100. In 1959 most sewer lines were installed using clay tile once again however there is an estimated 25 000 homes in edmonton still using non corrode sewer lines.
Do I need to replace my non corrode / tar paper (orangeburg) sewer line?
It is strongly recommended that you explore replacing your non corrode sewer line as this was a 40 year product installed over 60 years ago. What happens is over time the pipe deteriorates and slowly begins loosing its structural integrity and collapses on itself. Excessive use of hot water softens the pipe and speeds up the process, if you have a large family showering or if you use a dishwasher or hot water to wash laundry this really takes a tole on the pipe and can lead to a collapse of your line at which point replacement options become more invasive and can be more expensive.
How do I know if my sewer line needs to be replaced?
Typical signs a line needs to be replaced are sewage backups, slow draining of your sinks and other fixtures. Sometimes there are no signs at all. It is always recommended to have an inspection done prior to a problem arising to determin the condition of your line. This is a quick and inexpensive thing to do and will give you peace of mind or at the very least warn you of any potential issues.
I had a sewerage backup in my house what do it do?
First thing you would want to do is solve the current problem. You should start with a drain cleaning company or plumber, if you are having a problem contact us and we can arrange this. Next you will want to contact your home insurance to arrange cleanup. And then you will want to find out what the problem is and correct it, the drain cleaning or plumbing company will be able to tell you what the problem is.
What is pipe bursting?
Pipe bursting is a method that can be used to replace a sewer line. The process is simple in theory an access pit is dug either in your basement or outside your home to reach the sewage line. Another pit is excavated at the city connection point for your home the existing pipe is then cut and removed at each end, a steel cable is then fed into the pipe from one end and coned cutting head is then pulled through the old line with a hydraulic winch. The steel cable is then re-fed through the old pipe where a larger head is then attached, on the other side of this head the new seamless plastic pipe is attached and then it is all pulled into place with the same which. Once pulled though the old line the new pipe is connected on both ends, the holes are backfilled and you are no up and running with a new sewer line.
Is pipe bursting better then excavating to replace my sewer line?
There is no one answer fits all, it is always dependent on the condition of your existing line and the amount of obstacles present on your property. If your existing line runs under a structure such as a deck or garage of expensive landscaping then pipe bursting will generally be the best option. If your line does not run under any structures then it depends on the condition of your existing line. If you have any long sags in the line or if it is already collapsed then pipe bursting may not be the best option, even though it is less invasive it is not always the best method to replace your sewer line.
How long does it take to replace a sewer line?
Generally for most residential lines it is a 2 day process from start to finish. You can expect to be without water and sewer services for 4-5 hours total from start to finish.
What kind of pipe is used to replace a sewer line?
There are different grades and types of pipe used to replace a sewer line, polyethylene pipe is generally what is used. When pipe bursting we use HDPE (high density polyethylene pipe) this is preferred because it can be fused together to make a seamless pipe as long as is required. When doing open excavation we recommend SDR-35 poly pipe it is typically green, SDR-25 can be used as well or simple PVC pipe for sewage however SDR-35 is much stronger and it has better connection joints to avoid leaks. We prefer this product over HDPE when doing open excavation as it is more rigid and much easier to ensure a constant 1 percent slope when installing the line. There are many different products available for use however we choose to only use the best quality and highest grade available to us as this should be a repair that lasts the lifetime of your home.
Do I need a permit to replace a sewer line?
No you do not need a permit to replace a sewer line on the outside of your home, you should however use a professional company with experience in this line of work as it is not just as simple as digging a trench and putting pipe in the ground and if done incorrectly can be very costly to repair. If you are doing plumbing work inside your home or basement, even if it is on the same pipe coming from outside at this point you would be required to have a permit.
What is a backflow valve?
A backflow valve is a device installed either inside or outside your home on the main sewer line. The purpose of this valve is to prevent city sewage from being forced into your home during the a city sewage backup caused by the system being overloaded. The valve is a very simple concept the box contains a flat piece of plastic that allow fluids to floe out of your home but if any material is forced in the opposite way of flow it flips the plastic up effectively blocking off the line into your home and preventing sewage from entering. A backflow device should be accessible and inspected once a year to ensure it is functioning properly.
What is a storm line?
A storm line is another pipe similar to a sewer line that is connected to your homes weeping tile system and sump pumps in order to channel that water collected to the city storm system. In older neighborhoods we generally find there is no storm line and your weeping tile is connected directly to your sewer line.
Where is my sewer line located on my property?
Typically your sewer line runs in the same trench or directly beside your water line, if you check your property lines you will find a brass cap about 3 inches in diameter which is a water shutoff valve. Once you locate this you can typically trace a straight line from it to your home and this is likely where your sewer line will run.
Who is responsible for maintaining a sewer line?
In edmonton Epcor owns all the sewer lines on public property, the homeowner however owns the portion from their property line to the house. It is your responsibility to maintain and repair and damages on this portion of the line. If there is a problem past the property line epcor will address this as that is their property.
How deep is my sewer line?
Generally a sewer line will be between 7-9 feet deep in your lawn.
Can you auger a blockage or tree roots in a non corrode sewer line?
The answer is, you can but you shouldn’t. the reason for this is a non corrode pipe is soft and brittle and an auger will eat right through it and weaken the pipe, because the clay is so dense in edmonton a lot of times people auger the line, ruin it but the sewage still flows. The pipe can be damaged or completely broken out but the clay takes awhile to settle so essentially the sewage is now running through a dirt cannel in the ground and the likelihood of a collapse is greatly increased.
Do I have to replace my whole sewer line or can I repair a damaged section?
It is possible to repair most sewer lines with what we call a spot repair where we excavate the troubled area, cut out and removed the section and then replace it with new. If you have non corrode pipe this is not recommended as generally the pipe is too brittle to connect to and can create further issues down the road if it collapses.
How much does it cost to replace a sewer line?
Here in edmonton the average cost for a line replacement ranges between $6000.00 and $12 000.00