Sewer line problems are often caused by tree roots, which grow in through the joints between old clay pipes and clog them up. If you stay on top of the problem and have the pipes rootered out every year, chances are you will never have a major problem or clog. On the other hand, you could also locate which trees are likely to blame and have them removed, thus saving you the hassle of rootering. The following are some methods for finding your sewer line location so you can solve this problem.
This is the least accurate method, but it works well for providing a general idea of where the line is located. Begin by locating the sewer pipe in your home. You can do this by one of the following methods:
Find where the pipe leaves your home. In some cases, pipes leave the home at ground level and then turn to go underground.
Locate the vent pipe on top of your home. This should indicate where the main pipe leaves the home below.
Look under the crawlspace to locate the sewer pipe, and then trace it to see which direction it leaves your home.
Once you have the location and basic direction it is heading figured out, determine where it likely connects to the main city sewer. In some neighborhoods this can be obvious. There may be a manhole cover for each connection or you may even have patched pavement in front of each house where sewer line connection upgrades have taken place in the past. For others, you will need to guess. After determining this, trace a line from where the pipe leaves the house to where it likely connects to the main sewer to determine a rough location for the pipe.
One of the simplest ways to check for the location of the pipe is with the city planning or zoning office. Some planning offices may have detailed lot drawings which will show the exact location of all underground utilities on the property. These may be available for free or for a small administrative fee. Keep in mind that these drawings are not always completely accurate, though. Sometimes minor changes from the plans occur during construction, such as moving a pipe a few inches to avoid an obstruction. Still, they will provide a general idea that may be able to help you with your tree root issue.
A pipe locator is a tool on a cable that is sent down the pipe. Then, a second tool is used from above to ping off of the locator in the pipe. This will show the exact location of the pipe along with a fairly accurate gauge of its exact depth. Locators can only locate the pipe they are put down, so they are not used for finding buried utility lines. If you want accuracy, hire a locating contractor or firm to use this technology to find your sewer line location.
For more information, talk to a business such as Spearhead Locating Services Inc.