Now that another winter has come and gone, many of us are taking the time for an annual checkup on our plumbing system. Of course, life sometimes gets in the way, and not everyone has a budget for preventative plumbing maintenance. Unfortunately, that means their pipes and sewer lines don’t get inspected until after something goes wrong, at which point your plumber might just hand you a “free” estimate for an incredibly expensive sewer replacement.
Most people experience the same emotions in this situation. First, there’s denial. My plumbing is fine, it’s probably just a clog. Then, anger. Maybe YOU need to be replaced, plumber. Bargaining, of course. What if instead of charging me $5,000, you instead charged me $500? Please? Depression, followed by acceptance frantically checking your homeowners insurance, immediately followed again by anger.
Unless you specifically bought such a policy, your homeowners insurance likely does not cover sewer line replacement, and as a homeowner, you are responsible for maintaining, repairing, and eventually replacing the sewer and water lines servicing your home.
Now, what? How can you avoid an insanely expensive sewer replacement? How can you avoid digging an ugly trench across your property, one that destroys your yard, sidewalks, and prized deck?
First, make sure you’ve gotten a sewer inspection, specifically a sewer camera inspection. If you still aren’t convinced, ask to see the video for yourself so you can inspect the damage firsthand, then ask if you can get a second opinion. Most sewers last for 40 years at least, although some can last much longer with the proper maintenance. Occasionally, trenchless repair options can repair a single broken portion of your sewer line, sparing you the need for a full-blown sewer line replacement. However, keep in mind that you may have to do this all over again if another section of the pipes break a few months from now.
And if your plumber doesn’t offer you trenchless repair options, then it’s definitely time for a second opinion. That’s because just like the name implies, trenchless repair doesn’t require any digging, which can save you thousands in restorative work to your landscaping.