Does Your Sewer Line Need Repair? Sewer Excavation May Be Your Answer



As a homeowner, one of the least favorite issues to deal with involves plumbing. Whether big or small, plumbing issues are not exactly the glamorous part of owning a home. However, the plumbing of a house or even business is an essential part of a dwelling. Whether you are a new homeowner or an experienced one, you will face a plumbing issue that needs to be resolved at one point or another.


A building or home’s plumbing system can be pretty intricate. Your plumbing system includes fixtures and pipes that help distribute water in and out of your home. It allows for water to enter your home for use. The system helps distribute the clean water throughout the house and helps remove wastewater from the home. The system consists of various types of pipes in the home as well as outside of the home to ensure that everything runs smoothly. The pipes that run inside your home are referred to as drain lines. The ones outside of your home are the sewer lines. All these lines are connected and risk creating anything from minor issues that you can handle yourself to more significant problems that call for a professional.









The problems with your drain line may include minor clogs or slow drains. You can address some of these things without having to involve a plumber. More significant issues like those related to your outside sewer line may require more work. In these cases, professional plumbing companies such as Omaha Drain can help get your system back in working order.


Your Main Sewer Line and How You Care For It


The sewer line may be an essential part of your plumbing system, yet many people hardly give it a second thought until they encounter issues. Your main sewer line is what connects you to the city’s sewer line. This part of the plumbing system is one of the most important. Not only does a properly running sewer line help with the overall running of your home, but it is also essential in regard to sanitation and hygiene. One of the main sewer line’s primary jobs is to carry waste from your home to a city’s mainline to rid it of smells, germs, and illness.


Maintenance of the main sewer line is key to protecting your plumbing system. Upkeep is an integral part of maintaining a healthy sewer line. Upkeep or maintenance can include small things that you can do yourself to other things that you may need the assistance of a professional.


Maintaining Your Main Sewer Line


The maintenance of the main sewer line is a crucial part of owning or caring for your home and your family. You can do many things to help ensure that your main sewer line remains healthy. One of the first things that you need to be aware of is that the main sewer line does not only remove waste from your bathroom; it handles waste from all of your indoor plumbing. This includes waste from both your bathroom and kitchen, for example. To help with the upkeep of your main sewer line, you must be conscious of what you are allowing through your pipes.


Kitchen waste is a big part of the amount of waste removed from a home. Being mindful of what you put down your pipes can help you keep a smoothly running system. Many foods do not easily flow downpipes. Bulky foods and grease are a nightmare for your system and can cause you unnecessary headaches. Ensuring that the items going down the drain from your kitchen sink will not cause blockage is a step everyone can take to ensure that your drains steer free of any clogs.





It is essential to know that everything is not flushable. With that said, even flushable things can still cause havoc to a plumbing system. Bulky items such as large amounts of toilet paper and other personal hygiene products can cause blocked pipes and plumbing issues. In that same sense, making sure that everyone in your family knows not to throw bulky items in the toilet can also help prevent future problems with your system.


Being aware of how you can maintain your sewer line yourself is being proactive as a homeowner. For example, you may want your pipes and drains cleaned by a professional.

However, there are some maintenance issues that you may not be able to handle on your own and may need to leave it up to the professionals. Although there are some methods in which you can do a minor cleaning of your pipes yourself, if you want a thorough cleaning that will rid your pipes and lines of debris, including tree roots, you may want to contact a reputable company.


When looking for a company to do a sewer line cleaning, you will want to make sure that the company has the technical ability to clean your pipes in a manner that is not only thorough but also in a way that will not damage your pipes. Furthermore, you want to ensure that the company has the right professional tools to get the job done. You will want to ensure that a professional plumber and his team take the time to identify the type of pipes that you have and the best method to use.


Today, hydro jetting is a common way of cleaning your mainline. A hydro-jet machine is used to spray high-pressure water into the line. The pressure is so intense it can unclog any blockage that you may have in your sewer pipes. The intense pressure can eliminate almost anything, including rocks and tree roots. This method is very popular as a form of complete cleaning as it will usually remain clear of debris for an extended period.


Taking some preventive measures as a family and regularly cleaning your plumbing system can give you as a homeowner peace of mind and help prevent graver issues ahead.


How Do You Know If Your Sewer Line Needs Repair?


Unfortunately, even if you have tried to maintain your sewer line correctly, you may come to a point where the line may need repair nonetheless. For example, in the case of your outside mainline, mother nature or animals may wreak havoc on your pipes. In these cases, preventive measures may be limited or even nonexistent. Regardless of whether the cause of the problem is man-made or nature-made, you should never ignore it.


Due to the fact that the sewer line plays such a critical role in the running of your plumbing system and the overall health of you and your family, knowing when an issue arises is essential. Quickly identifying a problem will prevent more severe issues down the line. There are issues that only a professional plumber can assess, but there are many things that you can identify as well.


Signs in Your Home to Look Out For


There are many ways and clues that you, as a homeowner, can tell if you are encountering or about to encounter an issue with the main sewer line of your home. These signs may seem simple, but ignoring them can be catastrophic to your plumbing system.


  1. Slow Drainage


One of the first things you may see if there is an issue with your home’s line is slow drainage. This slow drainage may happen gradually over time and become clogged entirely if not resolved right away. A sewer line may require repair if your start noticing that the drains in the various areas of your home are slow to drain.



2. Foul Odor





Another tell-tale sign that your sewer line may need repair is the smell of an awful odor. Many people describe this odor to smell like rotten eggs. The odor can mean different things. The smell you are experiencing may come from old dried debris in your pipes. It may also be due to gases contained in your pipes. This odor, which comes from toxic gases that are being backed up into your home, is a sure sign that something is awry. If you smell any odor coming from your line, it may mean that a seal or a pipe is cracked.



3. Back up


One sign that is proof that something is wrong with their sewer line is if you experience any backup. Waste backup can occur in anywhere where the water is intended to drain out. Back-ups can occur in a sink or a toilet bowl and can present themselves simultaneously with odor and clogging. Backed-up drains are not only unsightly, but they are also unsanitary. Having sewer wastewater come back up and spill into your home can lead to disease and illness.


4. Strange Sounds


If you hear strange sounds such as the gurgling of water either in your toilet or in a sink, your plumbing system contains a clog and may need to be checked out. Ignoring this sign just because water is flowing or draining is a colossal mistake that can lead to further problems down the line.


5. Excess Water in Your Yard


Another sure sign that your main sewer line has issues is if you start seeing signs of excess water in your yard. Signs that you have excess water include seeing pools of water in an area of your yard or if your lawn is greener than usual. Waste is a fertilizer for your lawn. So although you may think that your grass looks luscious, if you did not do anything to improve the lawn, it may mean that there is a leakage somewhere in your line.


Another sign of leakage is excess moisture. Excess moisture can display itself as mold on your home’s walls. Mold on the wall can look yellowish or brown, and even small patches of mold can be a sign of a big problem.


Tree Roots


If you notice mold, this may mean that you have a cracked or broken sewer line. One primary reason you may have a damaged line in your yard may be tree roots. Growing tree roots may cause extensive damage to your sewer line. The root may penetrate your line and cause a major clog or worse.








If you have a large tree in your home and notice some of the signs mentioned above, the tree may be the reason. Mainline issues resulting from tree roots are among the most significant problems you may face when repairing.


The Age of Your Pipes


Most sewer lines have an age span of more than 50 years. Unfortunately, unless you have been living in your home for that amount of time, you may not know when your lines were installed. As a line or pipe is coming to the end of its lifespan, it may begin to cause various issues with your plumbing system. You may experience corrosion, breakage, or cracks. You may even experience slower than usual drainage or clogs. Furthermore, older pipes are easily susceptible to leaks and tree root issues. Essentially, the age of your pipes may mean that you may eventually need to have a sewer line repaired or replaced.


How Do You Repair A Main Sewer Line?


Repairing a main sewer line is probably one of the most labor-intensive plumbing jobs you will encounter. Because the mainline is the line that connects all your pipes in and out of your home to the city’s line, when it needs to be replaced or repaired, it can be overwhelming. One thing is certain, however, this type of job is not the usual DIY plumbing job. If you have reached the point that your mainline is in need of repair, it is essential to find a company that can do this type of work.


There are several ways that a mainline can be repaired. The chosen method will depend on the severity of the problem you are facing and the type of repair needed. Another factor that will need to be identified is where the problem is located. The most important thing to keep in mind if your sewer line is showing a sign of problems is that you must attend to it as quickly as possible. The quicker you tend to the issue, the less likely it will turn into a more significant problem that will cost more money, time, and resources.


When it comes to repairing sewer lines, you will most likely need to hire a professional. However, there are some things as the homeowner you can do first. If you have a clogged pipe in your home, try to see if you can unclog the pipe. There are several ways that a pipe can be cleared. You can try some everyday household products, or you can purchase products that are made specifically to unclog drains. If your toilet is clogged, you can purchase chemicals explicitly made to break down the material causing the blockage. If you feel comfortable enough, you can try to use a snake.


Of course, these methods are only for minor clogs. However, if you cannot unclog the drain, it is time to call in for help. An experienced plumber will come to your home to assess the issue. It is critical to identify the root of the problem. Once that is identified, the plumber can help determine the extent of the problem and how they will address it. If the plumber identifies the issue as a broken, clogged, or cracked main line, you may be looking at a deeper problem. This is when the plumber might mention excavation.


What Exactly Is An Excavation?


To excavate simply means to dig or remove dirt. As it relates to plumbing, excavation is to dig a hole, channel, or trench to access a plumbing pipe or line.





For many people, plumbers included, excavation is the last resort to solve main sewer issues. This type of repair is a more extensive form of repair. However, it is the most effective way to find the cause of a problem and ensure that the problem is fixed. For this reason, although excavations are the most inconvenient method, they are also the most common method.


Sewer lines are an essential part of any dwelling’s plumbing layout. The mainline is what connects your home to the outside lines. These lines ensure that clean running water enters your home and ensures that wastewater exits it. These pipes are found both inside and outside of your home. Because the pipes run both in and out of the home, you have to be ready for any potential issue that may surface both in the interior of your home as well as the exterior.


External vs. Internal Excavations


As you can imagine, repair jobs outside of the home may be completely different from those done within your home. The type of work done and the method used may vary depending on where the problem is located.


An external repair job consists of solving plumbing issues outside of your home. External plumbing issues may mean that an underground pipe needs to be replaced or repaired. An external excavation may focus on a small area or a large area. The work may look cumbersome, and the methods may be more invasive. Your yard or landscape most likely will be affected, and you may encounter a few days of unsightly work.




An internal excavation, as opposed to its counterpart, occurs indoors. It can be an invasive method, but it mainly focuses on a specific indoor area. It, too, may be burdensome. However, since interior excavations only focus on smaller indoor jobs, it is not always a suitable method if you are encountering several issues in different locations.


Excavation Methods


There are different ways to repair a damaged sewer line today with new technology. The most common method, and the one that has been used for decades, involves digging to reach the pipes that need repair. The digging may entail one hole, many holes, trenches, and channels. The type of digging will depend on the damage. If your plumber determines that excavation is necessary, the next order is to decide which method to use.


On the other hand, a trenchless excavation is less invasive and does not require the uprooting of any or many parts of the ground. A trenchless excavation can call for one hole to have an opening to the line. This access point will be where tools and machinery enter to complete the job.


Trenching Method


The most well-known and widely-used method of excavating is essentially digging trenches in the outdoor area or the yard. This type of excavation is referred to as an open-top excavation.

The open-top excavation is used to access the parts that need mending. Open-top excavations can be done in large sections or smaller ones. At times, excavation is required to see what is causing the problem. The work is quite rigorous and calls for much manpower and special machinery. Essentially a plumber will use a machine to dig all around the pipe so that they can work on the line.


Although extreme, digging trenches is a tried and true method of efficiently resolving the issue at hand. But, as previously stated, it is either used as a last resort or if there are no other ways to repair the damage. Some issues only can be handled through excavation. A prime example is when your sewer line has a severe tree blockage. Tree roots can penetrate your line, causing severe blockage and, in some cases, extensive damage. If a tree is the cause of your problem and is so vast that a simple cleaning will not remove the root, this type of excavation may be the only way to get to the affected pipe.




Other reasons that an open-top excavation may prove necessary are extremely corroded pipes that a plumbing company cannot repair in any other manner. Many older pipes or pipes made with materials that cannot withstand non-invasive methods can only be cleaned and repaired the old-fashioned way. If not, the line may become more damaged and cost more money to fix.


Soil condition is another reason that the open-top excavation may be necessary. Some soil renders no-dig methods impossible. Soil conditions can significantly impact your pipes. The soil surrounding the line may cause conditions that will lead to cracks or breakage. Moving dirt can also affect your sewer lines by making them shift out of position, leading to pipe damage. In these situations, you may have no choice but to excavate.


When most people hear about excavation, they usually picture the open-top excavation. They imagine their yard being in disarray with several holes and pipes lying around. They think of the time it may take not only for the work to be completed but also to put their yard back to its original state. For most people, the thought of their landscape being damaged is enough to make people them shy away from these invasive excavations. There are some positive aspects if your plumber tells you that trenching is necessary. The trenching method is less expensive than the other methods and because of technology, the job takes less time than it used to take before.


If possible, however, there are other methods of excavating that you can discuss with your plumber. The trenchless method is one of these methods.


Trenchless Method


The least invasive of all types of excavations is the trenchless excavation. This method does not impact your yard or ground, but it is expensive and, at times, seen only as a temporary fix. Trenchless excavations are a relatively new method of repairing underground damage. However, trenchless does not necessarily mean that there will be no digging at all. If any is done at all, digging is kept at a minimum. The point of a trenchless excavation is not to disturb the ground or cause minimal disturbance. The new technology allows professional plumbers to repair underground pipes with minor damage to your yard.


The lateral sewer repair is one type of trenchless excavation that many plumbing professionals use to repair an underground line with little disruption. This method installs a liner within the existing pipe. The liner is blown through the pipe, then becomes a new wall within the original pipe.

Another trenchless method is referred to as pipe bursting. This method is similar to cleaning pipes with a hydraulic jet. As opposed to the lateral repair, which allows the old line to remain in place, pipe bursting is used to blow away the old existing pipe with a powerful hydraulic head. Once the old line is removed, the technician can snake a new line in using the same area that the previous pipe once laid.





The type of excavation method you will need will depend on the severity of the damage and the nature of the repair. As you can imagine, both the open-top method and the trenchless method call for professional plumbers who have all the tools and experience to conduct such intricate work.


Omaha Drain Can Help You Repair Your Line


When looking for professional plumbers to conduct a sewer line repair, you must do your research. The repair job, if done correctly, will be the primary plumbing system in your home for many years. It will ensure that your system runs smoothly, but it will also provide peace of mind knowing that your family and home remain clean and healthy.


If you suspect that your sewer line needs repair, you can call the professional plumbers at Omaha Drain. With more than 20 years of experience in the Omaha area, the team at Omaha Drain will be more than happy to assist you. Specializing in drain cleaning, sewer cleaning, and sewer repair, Omaha Drain is ready to restore your plumbing system like new. They will conduct a thorough assessment and inspection to identify the problem and provide a reasonable solution.

If the technicians who conduct the inspection feel that a repair is unnecessary, they will let you know and provide you with alternatives. You can rest assured that the work that they suggest will be discussed with you thoroughly to ensure that you understand the process and what it entails. If repair is needed, the kind of repair and the method they will use will be explained.




If excavation is the only solution, the Omaha Drain team will ensure that the work is done professionally with the least amount of disturbance possible. With access to all of the latest tools and machinery, you can rest assured that the work will be done using all the latest technology.

Omaha Drain has not only provided years of stellar work in the community, but they also have years of stellar customer service.


With their outstanding rating, Omaha Drain has proven that they understand plumbing and people. They know how stressful some jobs can be and know that they are working on one of the essential parts of your home. If you feel that your sewer line requires repair, or you simply want them to assess the condition of your pipes, call them right away.


The Bottom Line


A sewer line helps the plumbing in your home function smoothly and effortlessly. The system ensures that you receive clean water and allows you to rid of wastewater. Sewer problems can cause all types of issues for your home, from leaks and slow drainage to unsanitary conditions. Although some plumbing issues have become standard DIY jobs, some are simply too complex for an everyday homeowner. If your sewer line is damaged, it is not the undertaking that you want to handle on your own.


Repairing a sewer line can be a significant undertaking that calls for a company that has a proven track record. With years of experience in the field, Omaha Drain can help you complete the job. Known for their professional and cost-effective service in the Omaha area, Omaha Drain is ready to help you with all your plumbing needs. Call them today for a quote.


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