What is a culvert?
A culvert is a pipe installed in the ground, used typically to allow water to flow underneath a driveway or roadway.
Do I need a permit to install a culvert?
That would depend on if you already have an existing culvert that you would like to replace, then you would not need one. If the culvert is on private property and not adjacent to a public roadway then you would not need one. If the culvert is adjacent to a public roadway and you are not replacing one that is existing, you would need to contact your county in order to get permission to install one. The process is a simple form to fill out, if you meet the requirements then you are permitted to proceed as long as you adhere to their construction standards which they will outline for you.
How do you prepare the ground for concrete slab?
Generally speaking in order to prepare the ground for a concrete slab the first step is to remove all the organic material such as sod and topsoil, it is preferable to excavate down to clay. In order to create a proper base 4 inches of compacted road crush is installed under the slab so you must take into account the thickness of the slab plus the 4 inches of road crush and excavate to the desired depth. If you have not removed all the organic material at this point it is best to continue excavation and then build up the road crush base to the desired elevation. The road crush must be installed in layers and properly compacted with a plate tamper.
How do you demolish a house?
In the city of Edmonton the process for demolishing a house is as follows; firstly you as the homeowner will need to apply for a demolition permit, the city will need to know who is completing the demolition. You will need to have the home tested for hazardous materials such as asbestos. Once this is completed and a demolition contractor has been retained the next step is to apply for a utility disconnect, a permit is required in order to have the power and gas disconnected from the property. At this point the home is ready to be demolished. It is a great idea to contact a non profit organization such as habitat for humanity and allow them to remove any items of value such as doors, hardware and kitchens from the home to be sold or used, doing so can also reduce your tax liability. Once the home has been stripped of valuables the demolition contractor will generally use an excavator to tear the home down, forcing all the debris into the basement with the machine and then loading all the debris out into garbage bins to be hauled away to the landfill to be sorted and disposed of. Once completed the lot can be prepared for the new construction project.
Is composite decking better than pressure treated lumber?
Composite decking is a newer decking material which can be used as the surface material for your deck. It is a blend of plastic products and wood fibres used to create wood shaped materials to be used in lieu of traditional decking products. The main advantage of composite decking is the durability of the product; it creates a maintenance free deck surface that will outlast any wood product without requiring any maintenance. The upfront cost of a composite deck is more than a wooden deck, however over the lifetime of the product the maintenance savings will generally outweigh this. One major thing to note is any composite deck is only as good as the structure and materials used to build the structure that supports it. Composite should never be installed the same as a wood deck, be sure to do your research and use a reputable contractor with lots of experience using these products, if they are installed improperly you will have yourself a very expensive deck that will not last.
Is metal siding better than vinyl?
From a durability standpoint metal siding would typically be considered a superior product. Vinyl siding products are durable and long lasting however they have a tendency to fade and can be easily damaged by hail and impacts from objects. Metal siding tends to be more robust however as with any product this is dependent on manufacturing and design. When choosing a metal siding you are going to want to choose a reputable manufacturer that offers a long and extensive warranty. Consult with a professional installer, they will be able to educate you on pros and cons of various manufacturers and products available. If you are in the Edmonton area we highly recommend Waynes building products, they have an extensive line of products with excellent warranty and customer service to help you choose a product that is right for you.
What is the difference between mulching and flail mowing?
The main difference between mulching and flail mowing is the attachment head being used. A flail mower is best used for clearing brush, vegetation, tall grass and weeds with a diameter up to 1.5 inches. If you are needing thicker trees and vegetation removed a mulching head will be more effective at removing them. Think of a flail mower as a large heavy duty lawn mower and a mulcher as a portable wood chipper. If you are needing vegetation control we would be happy to help you decide which method will best achieve your desired outcome.
What is a septic holding tank?
A septic holding tank can be commonly found on older properties or on properties that are restricted on space which would be unable to house a septic field otherwise known as a leach field. Alternatively if the ground has a very high water table and inadequate drainage a holding tank may be the only option available to service your needs. A holding tank is a very basic way of containing sewage and wastewater and has been used for decades. It is simply as it sounds, a tank placed in the ground to hold the septic waste discharge from a property. Typically in newer systems these tanks will either be plastic, fiberglass or concrete and are available in many different sizes, shapes and configurations.
What is a septic leach field?
A septic leach field is a series of perforated pipes buried 2-4 feet below the surface of the ground. The leach field will be connected downstream of a septic tank to allow the treated effluent to drain into the field and slowly leach into the ground.The perforated pipes are generally laid on top of a bed of clear stone or sand to allow for good drainage and then covered with the native soil to allow for grass to be grown on top of the field area.
What kind of septic tank should I use?
The answer to this is very dependent on your needs and a professional should be consulted to choose the right tank for your application however I will explain the different types of tanks available. In newer systems concrete, plastic, or fiberglass are the products of choice and offer pros and cons to each, fiberglass tanks tend to be the most inexpensive however they offer the least amount of structural integrity and are unable to be buried more than 36 inches in the ground and once buried you are unable to place any heavy objects on top of them such as a ride on lawn mower or any vehicles as this can cause the tank to collapse. Plastic tanks offer a little more in the form of structural integrity and can be buried up to 6 feet in the ground, you are still unable to pass overtop of them with anything more then foot traffic however it does give you the option of burying them deeper which potentially allows you the ability to have a basement bathroom or drain point. The main thing to keep in mind is the top of the septic tank has to be buried lower than the lowest plumbing fixture in the house in order for this fixture to drain via gravity. It is possible to pump sewage up into a tank however this requires more things to add to the system and in turn more costs and more possibilities for things to fail, repair and maintain over the lifespan. Concrete tanks are able to be buried at deeper depths and also have a higher structural integrity to them, it is still not advisable to drive over them however there is much less risk of a collapse in the event that someone does. That being said concrete tanks are generally more expensive and require larger equipment and better access in order to install them.
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 a 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 now 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 a city sewage backup caused by the system being overloaded. The valve is a quite simple concept the box contains a flat piece of plastic that allow fluids to flow out of your home however 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 should not. 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 and 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