How to Carry Out Underground Drain Pipe Repair if Needed

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Every house comes with its own set of piping to allow the flow of freshwater into and waste sewage out of the property. Furthermore, like any other system, such as electricity or gas, underground piping also requires regular maintenance, even though the ground acts as a protection from any sort of damage. Thus, drain pipe maintenance is usually required once a decade or so. However, there are instances where there is damage to the underground sewer line, causing a disruption to the smooth flow of waste out of the house.

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What Causes Underground Sewer Lines to Break

There is a multitude of factors contributing to broken underground pipes. We list down some of them:

  • Low Temperatures: Low temperatures can cause water in the pipes to freeze. This ice has the potential to cause damage to the pipe. For this very reason, some households winterproof their piping.
  • General Wear and Tear: The constant flow of water causes the vessel carrying it to wear down, causing any small cracks that might have appeared to worsen over time.
  • Blockage: Blockages from toilets and drains may move deep into the pipes, and any pressure from such could cause the pipe to rupture.
  • Tree Roots: There is a slight possibility of the roots of trees wrapping themselves around the pipe that is passing through your backyard, breaking it in the process.

Why Fix a Broken Drain Pipe?

The signs of a broken underground drain pipe are exactly why we should fix it as soon as possible. Leaving it may lead to higher costs, as the damage worsens or spreads, and the threat that a constantly leaking drain pipe poses to the structural integrity of your house. We discuss all these points, with each indicating a broken sewer line.

  • Growth of Mould: Apart from being an eyesore, mould is a health hazard that people with allergies or asthma are in threat of being exposed to.
  • Bad Odours: A broken and leaking drain pipe will cause bad odours in the house as sewage is collected around it.
  • Subpar Quality of Water: House taps running water that is cloudy or a shade of brown is an indicator of a broken pipe underground.
  • Bright Colored Grass Patches: If you have patches of lush, extra-green grass on various spots in your property, there is a probability of a broken underground sewerage pipe.
Sewer Lines to Break
Broken Drain Pipe

How to Perform an Underground Drain Repair

In the incidence that the breakage of an underground drain pipe is confirmed, the most common reaction of people tends to be calling for help from professional drain installers and repairers. This is exactly what we would recommend to any ordinary layman with no expertise in drain repairs.

However, if you want to repair the breakage yourself, then that is also possible. Here, we explain to you what series of steps you can take to repair your underground sewer line. Make sure you are sporting Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) before setting out to do the task.

Locate the Fault in the Sewer Line

The first and foremost step you have to take is to locate the faulty piece of pipe. There are a few ways of doing this. One is looking for a lush, extra-green patch of grass on the ground. The breakage is suspected to be beneath it. You could also listen to water-dripping noises. The easiest indicator would be the presence of any foul odour, which could lead you directly to the exact location of the fault. Once the breakage has been located, it is recommended to scan the area for any gas pipes or electrical circuits that might be running through there.

Dig Out the Defective Part of the Pipe

Once you know where exactly the fault is in the pipe, you dig out and expose that part. If the fault is under a slab of concrete, you will have to break that slab. Dig an extra six inches under the pipe for extra headroom for repairs.

Cut Out the Broken Part of the Pipe

Leaving two inches on both sides, cut out the part of the pipe you have found to be defective. Before performing the cut, however, do examine the material of your pipe since each material may require certain specialised equipment to cut.

Get a Replacement Piece

Get a replacement piece for the part of the pipe you just removed. That replacement should be identical to the part cut off in measurement and in diameter. It is recommended to get a PVC replacement piece since it is durable and has a longer lifespan.

Before attaching the replacement piece, fix a couple of flexible rubber couplings to the pipe and the replacement piece, with half of it being on the older part of the pipe and half on the new one. This will ensure no future leaks or any exposed parts.

Fill the Area Around the Pipe with Gravel

In order to provide support to the pipe, fill the area around it with fine gravel. You have now successfully repaired a broken drainage pipe.

Hire Professionals

If you lack confidence in carrying out this pipe-repairing task yourself, you may contact professionals in the field. Professional service providers have sufficient resources to scan your drain pipes using CCTV technology. If a fault is found, it can be fixed without having to dig into the ground.

Professional service providers use patch-lining to fix pipes when the damage is perceivably minor. A tube and a patch liner are inserted into the pipe until they reach the affected part. The tube inflates so that the patch liner is securely attached to the circumference of the inside of the pipe.

If the damage is more than what can be covered by patch liners, then a big chunk of the drain is relined using a resin-impregnated drain liner. It is inserted in the pipe and inflated using water or air pressure. Once the resin of the lining is set, the drain pipe is claimed to have been repaired.

FF Plumbing Services is a 24-hour provider of all services pertaining to drainage systems, ranging from CCTV drain surveys to patch lining and drain relining.