Fixing a Broken Sewer Pipe under the House  


If you have encountered a broken sewer pipe under your house, you already know how challenging this problem can be. If it is not addressed immediately, it can very easily lead to further damage to your sewage system as well as health hazards for your family.  

Fortunately, with the advent of advanced plumbing technologies, fixing a broken sewer pipe has now become much easier compared to the past. Gone are the days when underground sewer problems required digging up the property and shutting down the sewage system for a few days. While excavation may still be the only option in certain instances, modern plumbing techniques have drastically minimised the need for time-consuming and labour-extensive excavations.  

Before finding out the ways to fix a broken underground pipe, it is important to be aware of different factors that cause sewer line-related problems.  

Common Causes of Broken Sewer Lines 

In addition to natural wear and tear and aging of pipes, several other factors may lead to a cracked sewer pipe.   

  • Invasive tree roots are one of the most serious concerns for underground sewer pipes. As trees always look for moisture, sewer pipes are often an attractive alternative.  Even the slightest of cracks allow roots to penetrate through the pipes. As the roots continue to grow inside the pipe, they can very easily cause pipe fracture and leakage.  
  • Poor soil quality can also lead to underground sewer problems. If the soil contains expansive clay, it tends to swell and contract with changes in moisture content. This creates structural stress on pipes. Also, the pipe may rust over time if it is surrounded by acidic soil.  
  • Indiscriminate dumping of fats, grease, and oil, as well as toilet paper and paper towels, can reduce the waste flow area within the pipe. These build-ups clog the pipes and put them under severe pressure, which often leads to cracking and breaking of pipes.  
  • Sewer lines may also crack or rupture because of natural disasters such as floods, earthquakes, and tornadoes.    

Ways to Fix a Broken Underground Sewer Pipe  

If you notice signs such as wet grass around exterior walls, musty odours, or slow-draining sinks and toilets, you probably have broken sewer pipes under your home. Now, the next task is to find out the exact location of the leak. This entire job should be handled by a professional with adequate experience working with CCTV cameras, specialised listening equipment, and other leak detection devices.  

Depending on the location and nature of the problem found by the plumbers, you have a few remedial options. Open trench repair is a traditional method that involves extensive digging and requires more time and manpower. However, nowadays, trenchless repair methods such as pipe lining and pipe bursting are highly preferred.  

In pipe lining, an epoxy-coated sleeve is installed within the old, existing pipe to form a new pipe inside it. On the other hand, pipe bursting involves using hydraulic machines to burst the old underground pipes and pulling a new pipe through them.  

If you are facing any sewer pipe-related issues, please get in touch with us at Austeck. We are one of the most trusted names in Australia for all types of pipeline inspection and rehabilitation.