Is Getting Your Sewer Line Cleaned Yearly a Scam?
Anyone who’s had their sewer line cleaned knows the routine: when it’s over, the plumber says you should have it cleaned yearly. Of course, very few people actually do that, and opt instead to wait until there’s a problem again before making that call. Is yearly cleaning really a scam that plumbers use?
The Sewer Line Problems
For a sewer line cleaning, most problems stem from the same source: roots. Plants need water to survive, and your sewer line, if it has even the most minor leak, is a great source for them. They’ll slowly force their way into the sewer line, and once there, begin growing quickly to fill the interior of the pipe, completely filling the pipe with roots in a little as a year. Additionally, as the initial root that got into the line grows, it will increase the size of the leak, and the roots inside can put further pressure on the pipe, weakening it.
As the sewer line fills with roots, you’ll see slower and slower drain times, and eventually it will begin backing up. And, with the potential widening of the crack, even further damage can occur, up to and including sewage percolating up into the yard around the break. That last part is not just messy, it’s also potentially a health hazard if children play in the area or people track the sewage tainted water and soil into the house.
There are other sewer line problems that can occur, though, that may or may not be related to tree roots. Slowly collapsing pipes (common with older style of pipes like Orangeberg) or slowly narrowing passages inside of cast pipe, combined with an obstruction like towels, feminine hygiene products, or other oversized materials. A good drain cleaner can often put off replacement of narrowed pipes, depending on the amount of damage that exists.
What About The Cost?
Drain cleaning services normally cost between $75 and $90, though there is some variance depending on the situation. A sewer line replacement costs roughly $1,800, though you’ll need an estimate to make sure – location, depth, where sheds are located, etc. can all make a huge difference.
In the case of a break or a large crack in the sewer line, you’ll have no choice but to have it repaired or replaced. In the case of nothing more than just tree roots, maintenance cleaning of the sewer line costs a whole lot less.
So, is it a scam?
If you’ve called to have your sewer line cleaned once, then it’s probably not a scam – regular maintenance can prevent expensive replacements, or at least move the cost of replacement to a much more convenient time. But, it’s not a cure-all for every problem – follow the advice of a trustable plumber. We, of course, recommend ourselves. 🙂