Preventive drain line and sewer line maintenance methods can help avoid many types of sewer line blockages. Remember that your home is like any other thing that requires periodic maintenance to keep its good appearance, and avoid problems due to wear and tear. As a homeowner, you will need to check such routine items as your garage door opener, air conditioning system for leaks, heating system for energy inefficiency, integrity of your roof, and insulation, just to name a few. Your house drain and sewer line are no different.
Sewer line maintenance is often overlookedOne thing that’s very easily overlooked is the drain and sewer lines in your home. Your drain system has the potential to cause nasty and unhealthy problems that can lead to expensive repairs. But many homeowners fail to recognize early symptoms of trouble, and to do proper sewer line maintenance. To make things easier, here are some of the most common problems with sewer and drain lines, and easy preventive steps you can take.
Blockage from tree roots
Roots can completely fill a pipeWhen tree roots have made their way into the sewer line, it is difficult to control how fast they grow and the damage they do. The problem starts when roots find a crack or hole in the pipeline; they find a source of water and moisture to keep the tree growing and nourished. Until the crack or hole is repaired, tree roots will be continuous and a recurrent problem.
• Prevention: Removing trees planted anywhere near the sewer line is good idea, but even the roots of far away trees can reach the pipeline. The best way to prevent this issue is to use copper sulfate crystals to create a poisonous zone around the pipe. Roots cannot penetrate the chemicals.
A truly preventative measure is to only plant trees with a shallow root structure. Some of the trees with shallow root structures are:
Irrigation system backflow prevention devices are used to protect water supplies from contamination or pollution. Irrigation backflow devices are designed for installation on potable water lines to protect against both back-siphonage and back-pressure of contaminated water into the potable water supply.
Many people ask what is a back flow preventer?, do I need one?, and why is it necessary
The importance of one is because the landscape around home or business is filled with all sorts of things, that can make people sick if indigested. from fertilizers and bacteria found in pet waste for example. Most irrigation systems are attached to a potable water system. So in other wards the back flow preventer prevents the back flow of contaminated water getting into the potable water supply. Back flow can occur when there is a sudden water pressure drop in the water line.
A back flow preventer is something that you might want to question having when installing or repairing a irrigation line.
When it comes to your sewer line, there are not many things your homeowners insurance will actually cover. If the part of the line which is on your premises is damaged by something sudden and unexpected, you would be covered. If there is a sewage backup, or the damage is due to a chronic issue, you will likely have to pay out of pocket to replace or repair the line.
When Does Homeowners Insurance Cover Your Sewer Line?
When is Your Sewer Line Not Covered by Insurance?
Sewage Backup Endorsement
Service Line Protection Endorsement
How to Care for Your Sewer Line
When Does Homeowners Insurance Cover Your Sewer Line?
Technically, the part of your sewer line that is on your premises is considered an 'other structure' of your home, meaning it is afforded the same protections as your home proper. Typical causes of damage that would be covered are:
Lightning or fire
Hail or windstorm
Damage caused by aircraft
Riots or civil disturbances
Damage caused by vehicles
For example, if there were an explosion in your yard and that causes the sewer line or sever, the damage would be covered by your homeowners insurance policy. The source of the damage needs to come from something outside of your control. The part of the pipe that is damaged will also have to be on your premises. If the pipe is damaged outside of your property line, it will be up to whatever entity that owns the damaged part to fix it. Unfortunately, most of the common ways sewer lines are damaged is through preventable, thus uninsurable, means.
How Much is Your Sewer Line Covered for By Insurance?
If you are covered, most standard home insurance policies limit coverage for 'other structures' to 10% of what your full home is insured for. For example, if your home is insured for $600,000, 'other structures' like your shed, fence and septic tank may only be covered up to $60,000. We recommend you scan your individual policy to be sure that is the case, as it may vary. The 10% should be enough to cover the costs. Data from Costhelper.com suggests the typical replacement cost for a sewer line is around $3,000 to $6,000.
When is Your Sewer Line Not Covered by Insurance?
When the sewer line backs up into your home, or when it is physically damaged from preventable means, insurance will not pay for its repair or replacement.
Physical Damage to the Pipe
All cases in which the physical damage to the pipe can be attributed to poor upkeep, faulty construction, or preventable error, your homeowners insurance company will not foot the bill for the repairs. Additionally, there are several calamities your insurer also will not cover under a standard policy. Some examples include damage from earthquakes, floods, pests and tree roots. For earthquakes and floods you will need separate insurance policies.
Sewage Back Up
Every homeowners insurance policy explicitly states that any damage caused by a sewage back up will not be covered. Whatever the water or raw sewage destroys will not be qualified for replacement from the insurance company. Unfortunately, many causes of sewage back up can stem from physical damage to the pipe--potentially leaving a very costly bill to replace the pipe and repair whatever was destroyed in the home.
Sewage BackUp Endorsement
Most homeowners insurance companies offer an endorsement that you can add to your standard policy that will cover damages associated with sewage back up (but not physical damage). The endorsement usually costs an extra $40 to $50 per year according to the Insurance Information Institute, and gets you an extra $10,000 of coverage should your sewer back up. Unfortunately, the $10,000 will likely not be enough to cover a massive sewage back up. As in the case of this Oregon homeowner, a sewage back up destroyed his entire home, costing him over $300,000. The best thing we recommend is to prevent a sewage line back up in the first place.
Service Line Protection Endorsement
If you're looking for broader coverage than the standard homeowners insurance policy provides for sewer lines, you'll have to purchase a service line protection endorsement. Unfortunately, not many insurance companies offer this endorsement, so you may need to switch insurers if it's a coverage that is important to you. Below, we list the companies with the best service line protection endorsements.
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During the Winter is is very common when we get phone calls from frozen busted pipes! Definately not a fun experience either. Working in the cold during the winter is hard for anyone! Especially when that means, busted pipes, with no water! Over all not very fun. We want to give everyone some advice to help prevent something like this happening! Bursts pipes can cause major damage to property and equals a lot money to fix the problem.
We found a perfect explanation from Consumereports.org that will help!
"Once the temperature starts dropping outside, you should take measures inside to keep your pipes warm and water running. Research conducted by the Building Research Council at the University of Illinois shows that the “temperature alert threshold” is 20° F, especially if you have uninsulated pipes running through an uninsulated space.
Some of the steps experts recommend may go against your better instincts of conserving water and heat, but the extra expense is nothing compared with a hefty repair bill. Here’s what to do:
Keep garage doors closed, especially if there are water supply lines in the garage.
Open kitchen and bathroom cabinet doors to allow warmer air to circulate around the plumbing, especially if your sinks are on an exterior wall. (If you have small children, be sure to remove any harmful cleaners and household chemicals.)
Let the cold water drip from a faucet served by exposed pipes. Running water through the pipe—even at a trickle—helps prevent pipes from freezing.
Keep the thermostat set to the same temperature during day and night. Again, during a cold snap is not the time to set back the thermostat at night to save a few bucks on your heating bill.
If you plan to be away during cold weather, leave the heat on in your home, set to a temperature no lower than 55° F.
For the long term, add insulation to attics, basements, and crawl spaces. Insulation will maintain higher temperatures in those areas. And to prevent drafts, seal cracks and openings around windows, doors, and at sill plates, where the house rests on its foundation.
How to Thaw Frozen PipesIf you turn on a faucet and only a trickle comes out, you may well have a frozen pipe. “If you suspect the pipes are frozen, be careful when thawing them out because if the pipe has already burst, the water will come flowing out and flood your home,” says John Galeotafiore, who oversees Consumer Reports’ testing of home products and power gear.
If a pipe has broken, turn off the water at the main shutoff valve, which is usually at the water meter or where the main line enters the house. If the water is still running and no pipes have burst, you can take the following steps. (Of course, if you suspect a more serious problem, call a plumber.)
Turn on the faucet. As you heat the frozen pipe and the ice plug begins to melt, you want the water to be able to flow through. Running water through the pipe, as cold as it is, will help melt ice in the pipe.
Apply heat to the section of pipe using an electric heating pad wrapped around the pipe, an electric hair dryer, or a portable space heater (kept away from flammable materials), or by wrapping pipes with towels soaked in hot water. As tempting as it may be, do not use a blowtorch, a kerosene or propane heater, a charcoal stove, or any device with an open flame; the high heat can damage the pipes or even start a fire.
Apply heat until full water pressure is restored. Check all other faucets in your home to see whether you have additional frozen pipes. If one pipe freezes, others may freeze, too.
Lets stay Warm, and Keep our pipes warm too!
Farrell, M. H. (n.d.). How to Prevent Your Pipes From Freezing. Retrieved from https://www.consumerreports.org/home-maintenance-repairs/how-to-keep-pipes-from-freezing/
There have been plenty of times where people have sent us in to re-fix, or even fix and replace a whole water line because the water line was not checked out correctly. When you get a leak in your water line, PLEASE, whatever you do have them double check your waterline to see if it worth to make minor fix or to replace the whole waterline itself. We understand the financial struggles. With Integrity Water and Sewer we will completely honest on your water lines and sewer lines. We always check to make sure if it worth it making that minor fix or if you might have to consider replacing the whole line because of how old or damaged it is. The finances to us are not the biggest worry in our books. We do our best to plan something out! We truly care for our people and do not want to drain your pockets! Water and sewer line problems? Call Integrity Water and Sewer, we are the right company for you!!!
Danny Arguello 720-499-5359
Constantly watering your lawn yet? With all the water we use during summer it is important to pay attention to your water gage to check if there is any leaks, and not losing any water pressure. We suggest to once in a great while, check how your water lines are doing! Make sure they are still in great condition, and if not, when you might need to replace. To check your water meter;
Is your irrigation line broken? First locate where exactly the brake is in order to fix it. Now to determine whether it is in the main "constant pressure" or in lateral zone line. The main pipe delivers pressurized water from main water source to the lateral zone lines. If there was to be a break in the main water line, you'll see water leaking or "pooling" in a large quantity, that is even if the water system is turned off. If in the lateral lines there is a break, you will see only when the system is on, it will pool and surface as well.
How to Fix it? Well, there are few ways to fix it. For main line break turn off the system. Dig where the water is pooling and determine what the type of pipe is, such as; PVC or smaller type of pipe. Dig and remove the soil around the pipe. If your line break is in a poly pipe that is usually used for lateral lines, expose 1 to 2 feet of the pipe length and remove 2 to 3 inches of soil on either side of the pipe section. For a PVC pipe, which is usually used for main lines, expose at least 2 feet of the pipe length and 6 inches on either side of the pipe. Inspect the pipe damage to determine what caused the line break. Possible causes include frost and frozen water damage, cracks or holes caused by lawn aerators or other equipment, damage from deep-growing roots, bad installation or defective pipes and fittings, or punctures from digging animals. Purchase a new length of PVC or poly pipe, at least two new fittings and any other materials that need replacing, such as sprinkler heads. Select the correct fitting and pipe sizes that match your existing system.
Replacing a Poly Pipe for a Lateral Line Replace a broken poly pipe with a barbed fitting. Measure the new fitting.
Measure a length of the damaged pipe that is the same length as the new fitting and mark the measurements on the broken pipe. Try to ensure that the damaged area is in the center.
Cut the damaged section of pipe using pipe cutters, following your measurement marks. Thread the barbed ends of the new fitting pipe into the cut ends of the lateral line.
Place a pipe clamp on either end of the fitting and crimp the connections closed.
Replacing a PVC Pipe Cut and remove the damaged section of PVC pipe using pipe cutters. Cut the pipe at least 2 or 3 inches beyond the damaged area on either end of the pipe. Remove any pooled water from around the PVC pipe. Dry and wipe the cut ends of the piping clean using a rag. Insert one end of the telescoping repair coupling to one of the cut ends of PVC pipe to test the fit, which should be snug. Remove the repair coupling and apply cement glue to the outside of the repair coupling’s ends and inside of the PVC pipe’s cut ends. Insert one end of the telescoping repair coupling to one cut end of the PVC pipe. Extend the repair coupling to the other cut end of the PVC pipe and insert it. Allow the glue to dry and set before testing the system.
This can always be tricky, accidents can happen when replacing water or sewer lines with there being so many pipe lines in the ground! So be aware of where your lines can be before doing any work, or even be okay with possibly having to fix it afterwards!
While your preparing your lawn for summer maybe you are weeding, roto tilling or planting be sure to call your county to get an idea of where your utility lines are in your yard. That way you don’t accidentally cut a gas line!
Do I Really Need to Call? YES! Don’t make a judgment call; make a phone call to 811. Homeowners often make risky assumptions about whether or not they should get their utility lines marked, but every digging job requires a call - even "small" projects like planting trees and shrubs.