How will I know when it’s time to replace my clay sewer line?
Conventional wisdom is that a clay sewer line will last forever, and to some degree it’s true. The actual clay sewer pipe will last indefinitely; what won’t last is its ability to remain free from root blockage or root build up.
Since clay sewer pipe is usually 6 feet in length, that makes for a lot of joints in the pipe where roots can grow. Roots seek water, and clay pipe joints are ripe for root invasion.
The following picture illustrates what a clay pipe joint looks like when it has been penetrated by roots. Once inside the pipe, small roots grow like crazy, especially given all the nutrients from sewage passing down the pipe. Once a sewer line has been compromised by roots, you will experience numerous and repeated sewer stoppages.
You can clean the roots out but they will return. If it is bad enough, you will not even be able to keep the line open on a consistent basis because the roots are just too big to clear entirely. A line compromised by roots has roots as big around as your fingers. The last picture shows a sewer line in this exact condition.
At this point you have only one option: replace your sewer line. When you do this, you will have a new ABS sewer line with lengths of pipe up to 20′ long. This makes for far fewer joints in the pipe, which means less chance for root invasion. Additionally, the joints are “solvent welded” together. Pipe joined properly in this manner are impenetrable to roots.
If you are having persistent problems with your sewer line, call Sav-On Plumbing. We will diagnosis your problem and offer you options. Based on what you see from the camera inspection, you can then make the best choice for your particular situation.