Monday, April 29, 2013

Side sewers Seattle-Tacoma

| Common problems with your sewer |


Seattle-Tacoma side sewer problems and info


                Thanks for viewing again one of our many posts here. Let's start as to what makes a private side sewer? Now most people believe that the sewer is in the street which is true, but most are not sure or do not know that that is the cities property and also called the sewer main or main sewer. Now each home has a branch line called a side sewer which connects your home to the main sewer. This part of the sewer which runs through your property is called the side sewer. The responsibility to maintain the side sewer is the property owner is which it receives use. The City's responsibility is the maintenance of the sewer main, including the tees, wyes, and risers at the main.           
                                                      Original side sewers for your private property for most homes built before the 90's or 80's are made of orangeburge (a paper like material with an orange color), clay, cast iron, or concrete. This older less efficient material is a hazard and will eventually give out. These types of materials are can crack, shift out of place, and/or be subject to root intrusions, or body and other wastes erosion's. These common problems along with plants, trees, etc can result in blockages, leaks, foul odors, and potential flooding.


(Root Intrusion over several years in an old concrete line)


         Clogs and leaks are not the only common problems that occur with the old sewer lines. In addition most side sewers lack a sewer clean-out or lack the right kind or clean-out. Clean-outs provide the proper access for clearing blockages, clogs, and also a better, cleaner, and easier access to video scope/ inspect the sewer line. A clean-out is a pipe that extends vertically from the side sewer to ground level or close to the surface. Clean-outs are most uncommon it homes built in the 80's. Clean-outs are an essential part of the sewer system and are current plumbing code, and must be installed or present on any main side sewer line repair or replacement.  

Check out one of our sewer inspections here:



  • "Should I have my sewer line inspected and by who?"

                            Now that we have established the most common problems of the sewer we can ask another question, "Should I have my sewer line inspected and by who?" Well your answer may vary, and the reason why maybe some of items we have already discussed. If your side sewer pipe fails and a sewer clog is caused, sewage from your private property to back up in your drain pipes. This may possibly end up to the surface and escaping into your property starting from the closes fixture (Toilet, sinks, bathtubs) or floor drain that is near the sewer lines entry to the property flooding the place. The raw sewage entering the property can cause major health issue, major damage to your property, and a potentially expensive mess. 

                                      This kind of problem can be avoid with a simple sewer video inspection by your trusted smart plumber before they cause serious problems such as these. A $149.99 Drain Cleaning with a FREE Sewer Inspection is a lot cheaper than a hazardous sewage flood and clean up later. This gives you and idea of where you are at in the sewer repair process, especially if you are on the home or business owners that has a building built around the 80's or earlier.  The city whether it be Seattle, Tacoma, Federal Way, or Burien recommends that the property owner investigates their property and condition taking into consideration the age of their sewer line. If the sewer line is more than 30 years old it does not have PVC pipe running from the building to the City sewer main connection.  The answer to the previously asked question " Should I have my sewer inspected?" would be yes, recommended by both the City and Acqua Plumbing. If you have experienced flooding sewage into the property then the inspection is a little far gone and a repair should be made right away. 

  • " What is the cost of sewer line repairs or replacements?"                

                 This brings us to our next point and probably the most important question " What is the cost of sewer line repairs or replacements?" The answer to this is simple but maybe hard to take in, the answer is yes they can be, especially if you do not choose the right contractor. Not just any contractor can perform a sewer repair and most will not tell you this. This requires a separate Bond, and sewer specialist license, in addition if you were to go the route of trenchless technology (Check out trenchless in the link we provided) this requires yet another separate license. You want to make sure you have the best, experienced, and educated sewer contractor with your repair, you can simply ask to see their license, and they should be visible as Acqua Plumbings' is here! On average sewer repair cost range from $950 for a simple clean-out installation to a complete sewer line replacement costing $15,000 and more. The cost entitles many different factors and variables depending on each individuals situation.  


  • " When am I required to repair or replace my sewer line" 

                     This answer is fairly simple, once sewage is clogged to the point that there is no flow at all, sewage is flooding into the building, yard or exiting the plumbing system by other means, this is considered a public health hazard called Sanitary Sewer Overflow. Sanitary Sewer Overflow is illegal and can be subject to fines, penalties, and even red tagged ( Building being condemned for no access/ unlivable). When this occurs the city will notify you the property owner and will have a set amount of time for the property owner to make repairs to the sewer system and reduce the health hazard. If the repairs are not met in the amount of time given additional fines, or even water shut-off by the local health department may occur. In consideration to all of this there are many signs that the sewer system will give off before such a situation happens. If you start to notice debris around your bathtub or shower drain, foul smells from the drains in your home, bathtub or shower possibly draining slowly, even a area in the yard that smells foul and has a dampness to it when the weather is dry.


    In light of the items we have discussed today hopefully the answer you chose for all your questions is Acqua Plumbing, the smart plumber. Acqua Plumbing, that's A C Q U A 24 hours a day the Smart Plumber is on the Way!! Is always here to be your friendly, trusted, experienced, and most educated Sewer and Plumbing contractor in the Seattle-Tacoma area. We are #1 customer service in our industry. We hope our post today gives a little insight to you our customer, and helps with your future property endeavors, and we are always here to help. 

Call us today 253-353-4602

Thank you,
Acqua Plumbing Staff

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