Your home has multiple drain lines that lead from your sinks to the main sewer drain. A problem with any of these lines could lead to water damage or odors and contamination, especially if the sewer drain is involved. A drain line can crack or burst for a number of reasons, and one reason is the old age of the pipes. No matter the reason, a plumber can determine the right repairs needed. Here are two options for drain line repair.
Replace The Damaged Part Of A Pipe
If the damaged line is inside your house, then reaching the damaged area could be easy if the pipe is exposed in your basement. It's also possible that the pipe is behind a wall, under the slab, or even under the ground, if it's outside. If the pipe can't be seen, the plumber might use a camera with a locating device to find the damaged section so the plumber knows where to start digging to get the pipe uncovered. A plumber also has other equipment that can pinpoint leaky pipes so the amount of digging in the yard or under the slab is minimal.
Once the damaged area is found, the cracked or damaged pipe section is cut out and replaced with a new pipe. This repair may last for many years, but if your pipes are old, it's possible a new crack will develop elsewhere. When your plumber looks in the pipe with the camera, the condition of the pipe can be seen. You may need to think about repiping in the future if the pipes are corroded and ready to fail.
Replace A Whole Pipe
Your plumber may decide it's necessary to replace the entire pipe instead of making spot repairs. This is often needed for the main drain line that goes to the sewer. There are options for replacing a pipe that's buried under the ground. The plumber might dig up the old pipe and bury a new one in its place. The plumber might decide to put a liner in the old pipe to create a seal that stops the leaking and holds the pipe open. A new pipe can sometimes be pulled under the ground that busts up the old pipe as it advances. This prevents the need to dig up the old pipe.
The method chosen depends on the type of pipe material you have, the extent of damage, the age of the pipe, the depth and configuration of the drain line, and whether you want to disrupt your yard with digging.
One good point about a leaking drain line is that it only leaks when water goes down the drain, so the pipe doesn't leak constantly and run up your water bill. Still, a leaking drain line can do a lot of damage to your home, and in the case of a bad sewer line, the leak could create a toxic mess. Call a plumber when you see or suspect a drain line leak so it can be repaired before it causes damage that compounds your problems.