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Ask a Reading Plumbing Expert: When Is Excavation Necessary?

Constant Cabling May Not Do the Trick

If you haven’t thought about your main sewer line in a while, don’t worry – you’re not alone. They are located underground, hidden and out of sight so it’s easy to forget that it’s even there.

Well, at Essig, we want to make sure you start thinking about it before it’s too late. Left unchecked for long periods of time, a sewer line will come face to face with it’s worst enemy – tree roots. These vicious stranglers get into your line, grow, and expand until all you’re left with is a back up, or worse – a broken line.

Once the roots have settled nicely in your line, a simple cabling job will not suffice. We will try, of course, because we want to exercise each repair option before thinking about replacement.

If, however, our continuous efforts are met with resistance, replacement will become your only option. And, unfortunately, with replacement comes excavation of your property. While they are used as our last resort, they are sometimes the only option available.

How We Know You Need Excavation

  1. If we pull the cable out of the line for inspection and there’s mud, clay, or a shiny surface on the cutting head, that means the sewer line has broken. When a line breaks, rain and groundwater wash mud and clay into it causing a clog, so you will have two problems on your hands instead of just one.
  2. If your drain collapses or shears.
  3. If the tree root infestation is too large that water jetting won’t clear it.

Rest assured that when you choose Essig, we’ll do everything we can to avoid replacement and excavation. You can count on us to successfully clear away your sewer line troubles!


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“We would definitely recommend Jared and Essig, and will not hesitate to call again if we need any plumbing help in the future. We were lucky that it turned out to be not as serious as we had feared, and he provided an easy solution to the problem.”
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