Modern plumbing is an innovation that does not seem to get the credit it deserves. Most of us were raised with indoor plumbing; since it has always been in our lives, it makes it difficult to appreciate as it is so hard to think of life without the convenience and luxury of indoor plumbing. There is a semblance of irony in the fact that plumbing is often only considered once issues have coalesced to the point where costly repairs are necessary. Here are some ways that homeowners ought to think about plumbing in order to avoid inevitably costly repairs to their plumbing and sewer pipes.
The Cost of Visible Leaks
Many homes are subject to potential water damage and significant water loss due to unassuming leaks. A single faucet that drips at a rate as low as one drip per minute can lead to over 100,000 gallons of wasted water per year; naturally this water loss is accounted for in monthly water bills. It is estimated that a majority of toilets in homes have some kind of leakage linked to improper installation or pipes that loosen over the years — these too can account for significant home water loss. Taking measures to correct these easy-to-fix pipes and leaks can help homeowners save hundreds or even thousands of dollars per year on their water bills. While visible leaks account for significant water loss, it is unfortunately the leaks that homeowners do not see that really contribute to high water bills.
What’s Going on Underneath Your Home?
Prior to the 1980s, many homes had sewer lines composed of clay piping installed. Although modern PVC piping is now used, these old clay sewer lines are susceptible to erosion and penetration from tree roots. In their continuous search for water sources, tree roots have been known to infiltrate sewer lines, cracking pipes and causing extensive leaks while potentially clogging pipes. Most tree roots settle within the top 12 inches of soil, although the area of a tree’s roots is often twice the diameter of a tree’s canopy; this has lead many homeowners to the false conclusion that their sewer pipes remain uncompromised. As a general rule of thumb, if the sewers of one’s home is over 40 years old, it may be time for a replacement or at least a sewer camera inspection to determine the state of one’s sewer line.
Sewer Line Repair
Homeowners typically dread sewer repair and replacement due to the cost, inconvenience, and damage to one’s yard. Despite being around residentially for decades, a majority of American homeowners are still unaware that many companies offer trenchless sewer pipe repair options. These trenchless options typically cost 30 to 50% more than conventional digging, although many homeowners justify the added cost as they do not have to account for expensive and variable yard work to repair the damages made to one’s yard through excavation. Trenchless repair options include a cured in place pipe (CIPP) that is installed by coating a bladder in a resin that is activated by hot water or air; this bladder is inflated so that the resin adheres to the interior of an existing pipe, providing a hard coating that seals a pipe like new. A trenchless replacement option is pipe bursting, where a piston is fed through the existing pipe; a boring head is dragged through the existing pipe as new pipe is simultaneously laid — this effectively destroys the old pipe while fitting in a new pipe. These trenchless sewer repair and replacement methods are able to spare homeowners from needless excavation of old lines while providing a service life of around 50 years. For those looking for a an alternative to existing sewer replacement, consider trenchless sewer repairs to spare your yard from unnecessary landscaping repairs.