What Causes A Belly In Sewer Line?

If you think you have a belly in your sewer line, you need to address this issue as soon as possible. A sewer belly is an area in the sewage system where wastewater accumulates and stubbornly stays put due to an uneven pipe slope. This can clog up the pipes, leading to serious plumbing problems or even sewage backups in the home. What Causes A Belly In Sewer Line?

To determine whether you have a belly in your sewer line, it’s best to contact a professional so they can perform a sewer video inspection. This will help them identify any areas of blockage caused by the belly and then advise on the best way to repair it. Act fast before it becomes an even bigger problem!

belly in sewer line

What is a Belly in Sewer Line?

A sewer main belly, or low area, is an area in the sewer line where the pipe’s angle drops below the correct sewer pipe slope that was designed to move water and waste. This creates a standing pool of water inside the sewer pipe, where waste will accumulate over time.

Homeowners should be mindful of bellies as they can cause major damage due to sewage backups which can overflow onto properties if left unresolved. Overflowing sewer lines are not only wasteful, but also lead to catastrophic property damage and expensive repair costs.

Why Your Sewer Line is Bellied

A waste water pipe’s correct angle and slope are essential to facilitate waste water flow. If the angle or slope of the pipe is not sufficient, a belly could form, meaning standing water is trapped in the lower portion of the pipe due to its lack of proper gradient.

This situation is caused by geological events or human error, as poor installation or soil compaction can contribute to it forming. A distinguished feature of bellies that occur because of natural causes is their location: they usually happen at the fitting where two pipes connect, making it unlikely for cast iron pipes to bend outside these fittings.

How to Fix a Belly in Sewer Line

If a sewer camera inspection reveals sewer line bellies, then this is a sign that the poor soil compaction or settling foundation could have caused the pipe’s slope to be off. Excavation and replacement is often used to correct the pipe’s slope, as anything less will not solve the deeper problem of increasing debris and water levels collected in the belly.

To fix it for good, excavation and replacing will be needed to rectify the sewer line’s bellies for good.

What is Sewer Line Channeling?

Sewer line channeling is caused when running water cuts a course, usually due to foundation settlement or a pipe with an improper slope. This can facilitate improper flow, and unfortunately, by the time it is discovered the bottom area of the pipe may be partially or completely missing. When this happens, it can mean only one repair option – digging up and replacing the entire segment of pipe.

Homeowners should always take proactive steps to guard against such problems, but if left undetected for long enough a drain specialist or experienced plumber will detect them as soon as they investigate your sewer line belly.

What Causes A Belly In Sewer Line?

How Do I Fix Sewer Line Channeling?

Trenchless pipelining is proving to be a smart and reliable choice for fixing sewer line channeling. The foundation settlement can cause disruptions to the proper slope of pipes that facilitate flow and damages further along the pipe. This is why trenchless pipelining may be the only repair option without destruction to property like excavating would typically cause. It can be a bit pricier, but it offers an environmentally-friendly option while resulting in fewer disruptions.

What is the Difference between Sewer Line Belly and Sewer Channeling?

Sewer channeling can be a serious issue that isn’t always easy to diagnose, as it may be initially mistaken for a sewer line belly when tree roots have infiltrated the pipe and caused increased soil erosion. This soil erosion in turn can lead to damaged sections of the wastewater pipe, which sediment then begins to accumulate in.

As debris collects and tree root growth continues, conventional repair methods like replacement of the damaged sections are often necessary to prevent costly repairs down the line. If left unresolved, channeling in sewer lines can quickly become catastrophic.

In the aftermath of WWII, many parts of America saw a surge in post-war development. Unfortunately for some communities on the eastern side of our nation, this boom involved using Orangeburg pipes to construct their sewer lines – an option proven unreliable after just 30 years due to its tar paper structure buckling and decaying over time. Fortunately us northern Californians were spared from these precarious materials by relying primarily on cast iron or clay piping before switching mainly onto plastic during the 1960s/70s when other states had already retired it altogether.

How to Repair Bellied Sewer Pipes?

Our team of experts are well-versed in the trenchless pipe bursting repair method, but for some line bellies we may utilize an open digging technique. With this traditional approach to rehabbing, our specialists fill and fortify weakened joints after excavation is complete. Then they refill any space with materials that comply with local codes before compaction seals it off – a surefire solution no matter how unique each case might be!

When looking to repair or replace sewer lines, Cured-in-Place Pipe Lining (CIPP) can sometimes be a lower cost option. However, this method is not always approved in the San Francisco East Bay as it carries risks such as potential toxicity and contamination of water supplies due to chemicals used during curing. Although not currently an offering at Pipe Spy, slip lining has been known to offer solutions for some pipe replacement situations – though these tend only be granted permission under extraordinary circumstances with no other feasible alternatives present.

Final Thoughts 

If a sewer line is sagging or has been damaged in any way, it can be a difficult and expensive process to put in a sewer repair. The cost of fixing the sewer depends heavily on how deep the sewer line damage is and the slope downward.

To figure out what is causing a sewer line backup or blockage, it’s important to note that this sagging sewer line or damaged pipe can affect your sewer system. Pipelining can be an effective method to fix these kinds of sewer problems without causing too much damage. Knowing why you might have a bellied sewer line can help you determine which repair solutions work best for your problem and budget.

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