Sewer Line Backups And Options To Fix Them

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December 2, 2019
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Sewer Line

Closeup shot of man digging tree roots out of an old ceramic sewer pipe in a hole in the ground, pointing at the area where tree roots have invaded the joint in the pipe.

Sewer back ups stink!  And Pittsburgh has very old infrastructure. Many sewer lines have not been replaced or repaired in over 60 years!

Many times, the cause of a sewer line backup is simply someone flushing something down the toilets that they shouldn’t.  The biggest items found in clogged sewer lines are baby wipes, and feminine hygiene products. 

A piece of advice:  No wipes are flushable, even if they say it on the packaging.  They just do NOT dissolve quick enough to be flushed down the toilet without incident.

If you suspect a simple clog, your local sewer cleaner can use a snake to clear the clog.

If that doesn’t work, you may need to have them put a camera down the sewer to identify what the issue is.  You could have roots in the sewer, or worse, a broken/separated sewer line.  If you have roots, or if the sewer line has some debris, you might be able to get a hydro jet, which is simply high pressure water sprayed into your sewer line to move the debris through the line, or cut through roots.  This is usually a short term fix (6 months to 1 year).  Hydro jetting costs roughly $600-$1500, from our experience.

If you do have a broken or separated sewer line, you may be able to use a trenchless liner, but you may be required to dig up the sewer line and replace dozens of feet.  Depending upon the set up and obstacles this can be VERY expensive. 

We have replaced sewer lines or sections of sewer lines for $2,000.  If you have to dig up concrete or part of the road, you could be looking at a $15,000-$25,000 job.

Many municipalities have recognized that they have a very old sewer line infrastructure and they will not allow a transfer of a property without a repair or replacement of a sewer line if an issue is identified.  Many require sewer camera inspections.  If you don’t have $5,000-$10,000 to fix it, you may be stuck if trying to sell to a traditional buyer.

If you have sewer issues and do not have the money to correct, PGH Home Buyers can be a solution.  We buy houses as-is and can cover the cost of the sewer repair or replacement.

Contact us today if you are in over your head!