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SEPTIC SYSTEM INSPECT DIAGNOSE REPAIR
SEPTIC CARE INSTRUCTIONS
SEPTIC D-BOX INSPECTION
SEPTIC DRAINFIELD FAILURE DIAGNOSIS
SEPTIC DYE TEST PROCEDURE
SEPTIC FAILURE SIGNS
SEPTIC INSPECTION & TEST GUIDE
SEPTIC LIFE EXPECTANCY
SEPTIC SUPPLIES & PARTS
SEPTIC SYSTEM DESIGN ALTERNATIVES
SEPTIC SYSTEM DESIGN BASICS
SEPTIC SYSTEMS, HOME BUYERS GUIDE to
SEPTIC SYSTEM SAFETY WARNINGS
SEPTIC TREATMENTS & CHEMICALS
SEWAGE BACKUP PREVENTION
SEWAGE EJECTOR / GRINDER PUMPS
SEWER GAS ODORS
SEWER LINE REPLACEMENT
SINKHOLES, WARNING SIGNS
SOAKAWAY BED FAILURE DIAGNOSIS
SULPHUR & SEWER GAS SMELL SOURCES
TOILETS, INSPECT, INSTALL, REPAIR
TRAPS on PLUMBING FIXTURES
TREATMENTS & CHEMICALS, SEPTIC
VIDEO GUIDES: Septic Videos
WATER CONSERVATION MEASURES
WATER SOFTENERS & CONDITIONERS
WATER SUPPLY & DRAIN PIPING
WATER, WELLS, WATER TANKS: TESTING GUIDE
WASHING MACHINES & SEPTIC SYSTEMS
WASTEWATER TREATMENT BASICS
WINTERIZE A BUILDING
This article describes we determined that a sewer pipe or "drain line" had to be replaced. The line which was replaced in this sewer drain line article runs from the building exterior to a septic tank located downhill from the home. Sketch courtesy of Carson Dunlop Associates (above) shows common defects found in clay sewer piping: tree root invasion, silt infiltration where pipe hugs open due to settlement and pipe shifting, or broken, collapsed pipe sections. Our clay sewer pipe article (below) diagnosed a broken sewer line that was crushed from above. The pipe was shallow, not protected from damage, and was broken when a heavy lawn mower drove over the line.
We present an actual sewer line replacement case study, illustrated with photos of each step in the diagnosis and replacement of a blocked sewer line. Technical reviewers are welcome and are listed at "References." This is a chapter of Inspecting, Testing, & Maintaining Residential Septic Systems an online book on septic systems. Also see Backups and Clogged Drains diagnosing septic backups and septic system failures versus clogged drains.
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Using a wrecking bar and shovel we flipped over the section of sidewalk to expose, no surprise, a wet area below the sidewalk, showing that not only was our sewer line blocked, worse, it was broken. This was not a big surprise.
We were working on a 1920's home which still, as far as we knew, had its original clay piping between house and septic tank. The second photo is a close up showing the sewage leak where the drain line was not only blocked, but broken below the sidewalk.
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