Your home’s plumbing system includes various components. One that plays a central role in your system is your main sewer line.

Your entire plumbing system will be affected when sewer line issues occur. Sewer line bellies are an issue that homeowners can experience without warning. Note that a sewer line belly is a significant sign there will be an issue with your sewer line in the future.

When one section of a sewer line sags, it’s known as a belly. This can result in standing water and sediment build-up.

Causes of a Belly in a Sewer Lineold sewer line ready for repair

Poor planning and bad installation can be the cause of sewer line bellies, however, natural occurrences are usually the main cause.

Proper bedding, good materials and the correct slope are important for preventing sewer line bellies. If not, the sewer line may eventually settle lower into the ground in some sections and cause a sewer line belly to form.

Natural occurrences such as major tree roots, earthquakes, sun and heat, rain and even cold weather fluctuations can lead to shifts in your sewer line. This shift may result in a belly.

Identifying a Sewer Line Belly

With sewer lines being underground, a sewer line belly is not easy to spot.

Professionals use sewer camera inspection to identify any issues using video inspecting technology. A video camera is fed through the pipe. This gives plumbers a closer look at the sewer, allowing them to accurately identify the issue.

Since it’s hard to identify sewer line issues yourself, a good general rule is to have your home’s sewer line inspected every 2-3 years. You should also have it inspected if you notice something is off with your plumbing.

Left undetected, a belly can cause a sewer line to break. As such, if you notice issues like

  • sinkholes in the yard
  • a patch of extremely wet soil
  • a decrease in water pressure or volume
  • air, rust or dust in the flowing water, etc

you should consult a professional.

Sewer Line Channelling

Sometimes, a sewer line belly can be misdiagnosed by less experienced plumbers. What may look like a sewer line belly may actually be an entirely different problem.

Sewer line channelling occurs when the bottom of a pipe erodes away until it is completely gone. The erosion usually comes from external sources, like running water cutting into the sewer line.

When the erosion opens the pipe, the sewage leaks out and tree roots, insects and other obstructions can get into the sewer line.

Luckily, channelling can be repaired using trenchless methods like pipelining, providing an eco-friendly solution to the whole ordeal.

Repairing a Sewer Line Belly

sewer line being replaced after a section has a belly in it

Although homeowners prefer trenchless repair methods, this is simply not possible for sewer line belly repairs.

The only way to fix a sewer line belly is by using an open trench method, digging up the pipe and replacing the section that has sagged. The joints holding the pipes together are reinforced and the ground underneath is filled with the proper material to prevent future sewer line bellies.

Sometimes, Cured-In-Place pipe (CIPP) lining can serve as a trenchless and low-cost solution to sewer line bellies but only when the situation can be resolved by a pipe replacement. CIPP (also known as slip lining) is often used in extraordinary circumstances when typical solutions pose too many risks. Also, slip lining uses chemicals that can poison groundwater in the area and the wastewater in the pipe.

Sewer Line Replacement & Repair With Drain Pro Plumbing in Victoria, BC

Drain Pro Plumbing, is a trusted partner for sewer line inspection, repair and replacement in Victoria, BC and surrounding areas.

Our team of certified plumbing professionals is experienced and knowledgeable in all aspects of sewer lines. If you leave a belly in a sewer line, your sewer line will likely break down the line, leading to more damage to your property that will be expensive.

sewer line replacement using open trench method

Broken sewer lines can lead to potential health risks including:

  • Gas poisoning from methane gas released from the sewer line
  • Bacterial infections caused by E.Coli, salmonella
  • Respiratory problems caused by mould

Our team can diagnose whether you have a sewer line belly and give you a clear, well-informed assessment. Trust our experts at Drain Pro Plumbing to resolve your sewer line belly issues, contact us today!