Sewer line condition

lemonlimeNovember 6, 2013

Can any of you experts weight in?

Is there any level of small cracks that is acceptable when it comes to concrete sanitary sewer line? We are looking to buy a home and the sewer scope revealed an area with a couple of small cracks. The line otherwise looks clean with no root invasion at all. It is just this one 6" to 8" area where there are visual cracks.

Of course the sellers say it's totally normal in a 50+ year old home.

We are having the engineering company that oversees the upkeep of the municipality's sewers take a look at the video and images.

The engineer I initially spoke with said that if there is no root invasion and no holes or major shifting cracks, that this would not raise a red flag with her.

Sorry for the lengthy post, but I would not have guessed that anything less than perfection would be ok for a sewer line. We don't want to replace it anytime soon or have any contamination issues so are being ultra cautious.

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klem1

It isn't uncommon to see cracks in this type tiles that still serve well for years. You can wait without risk of contamination to replace until if roots invade causing slow drain or you see wet areas in yard. The tile can and do last indefinatly.

    Bookmark   November 6, 2013 at 2:57PM
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jcalhoun

What is the pipe made of?

If it's terra cotta pipes sometimes the cracks are just superficial, they don't go all the through. The joints on this clay piping will normally be where root intrusion becomes an issue.

PVC shouldn't crack unless it's thin wall that has been exposed to impacts or excessive weight.

Either way, if the cracks go all they way through then you should consider replacing it.

    Bookmark   November 7, 2013 at 6:16AM
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lemonlime

The pipe is made of concrete apparently.

It's hard to tell whether the cracks go all the way through. They don't look that deep, maybe more on the surface, but that's pretty much the gist of the problem -- by the time you dig it up to diagnose it, you may as well replace it.

If they are minor surface cracks, and there is no root invasion, then it seems like we should just keep an eye on it (annual scoping) to see if it gets worse. Does that seem like a common sense plan?

    Bookmark   November 7, 2013 at 2:56PM
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jcalhoun

Yeap.

    Bookmark   November 8, 2013 at 3:52AM
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