Do you need a sewer repair? First, let me start by saying we are NOT the company to tell you that you need a sewer line repair. Just because it’s in our name, doesn’t mean we are pushing sewer services on people like Big Pharma pushes everything with a profit margin. Nonetheless, we wanted to cover what really are problems with the sewer or drain lines and when it is a matter of companies trying to make a buck.
Do you have a sewer line problem, really?
If your sewer or drain line is backing up or holding water (it won’t go down), there is a problem. Sometimes we have customers say that we caused their line to break and that “there was no problem before we came.” This isn’t true. There is 100% a problem before we arrived if 1) the line is backing up or not draining and 2) you called a professional to fix it.
Now, on the contrary, if your sewer or drain line is NOT backing up, then it isn’t broken. This may sound like a no-brainer, but I have had customers tell me that their sewer line is broken but there are literally no reasons for them to believe that. One customer hadn’t had the drain cleaned yet to determine if it was a simple blockage and the other saw a sink hole in her yard, but her sewer was working fine.
First things first
Once it is determined whether or not there is a sewer line problem, then an attempt should be made to clean the line. This is an important step because the plumber can typically determine at that time if the line is simply clogged and then clear it, or that it is not able to be cleared.
There is an important note here that not all plumbers, and in fact I will say that MOST plumbers are not drain cleaning specialists. This means they may give up, or decide it is easier to do a repair than try to clear the clog.
It is 100% ok to get a second opinion, especially if they are not a drain specialist or if they are suggesting a sewer repair or replacement.
Get a second opinion on your sewer scope
We always suggest getting at least one additional opinion/bid when you are told you need a repair or replacement to the line rather than a cleaning. This step can save you thousands of dollars, and I am not exaggerating when I say this.
If you are in the greater Denver area, Garvin’s is happy to take a look at any estimate and video provided to give a free second opinion. If you aren’t given a written estimate or video, that is your first red flag.
In most cases sewer lines can be cleaned rather than replaced, and we are specialists at opening lines that others have determined need replacement. In fact, we only suggest sewer line repairs for:
- Complete line closure due to roots (roots are penetrating more that ¾ of the circumference of the pipe for greater than one foot).
- Core (closure of line due to extreme levels of debris)
- Construction or foreign object debris that can’t be pushed through
- Creating a new access point for the sewer line
- Breaks in the line / Failed lines
- Replacement of Orangeburg
What about what the other plumbers told me?
There are opinions out there that say drain or sewer lines should always be replaced due to roots or bellies in the line, but we disagree – to a point. Most of the time, a sewer line can be cleared of roots. We only recommend replacement when they have completely closed the line or broken the line.
In regards to bellies, we have seen sewers with 100 foot bellies (low spots in the line) that never fail because the customer does annual preventative maintenance. These services cost pennies on the dollar, making the cost of replacement unnecessary.
This may not be true in the case of real estate transactions, however, as we have seen people be required to replace sewer lines with bellies in order for them to sell the home because it is a risk the new homeowner doesn’t want to take. This isn’t unusual, just as a new homeowner wouldn’t want to take a risk with an old water heater or furnace, old roof, etc.
Garvin’s Sewer Service can help!
As always, because we are known for our ethics and expertise, if you have questions, we are here to help with our professional opinion. Give us a call if we can be of assistance.