Drain excavation


Drain Excavation

What is Drain Excavation?

Drain excavation is a process carried out when your home’s drain pipes are clogged. This isn’t the kind of clog that can be cleared with a toilet plunger, we’re talking serious clogs that will undoubtedly cause serious damage to your home’s plumbing system. The process involves digging up old pipes and repairing or replacing them. It can be a lengthy process but it is done to prevent further damage in plumbing that could result in a leak, burst, or flood. Most excavations happen outside the home seeing as most likely the clog has migrated (or originated) in a part of pipe that is inaccessible from inside the home.

When a drain needs to be excavated

Not every pipe needs to be excavated. Most drain clogs can easily be fixed with the proper plumbing equipment. Excavation is the last resort to serious drain clogs. Plumbers will try to explore every other option they have that involves a no dig approach. But sometimes all efforts will fail and they need to remove the pipe entirely. When this happens, there is no other option. It isn’t worth trying to fix yourself because while not every pipe needs an excavation, every excavation needs a plumber. So how can you tell if you need a plumber?


What are some symptoms that tell you you are in need of excavation, not just an unclogging procedure? The most telling sign is, along with the following symptoms, all efforts to clear drains go unsuccessful.

Slow draining

Clogged drains are indicated by water draining slowly.  That being said, there are ways to check and see if your pipe is mildly clogged or severely clogged.  If you plunge your toilet for example and the draining goes much faster it might not be too severe, but if that doesn’t work on your toilet, it’s time to give us a call.  Secondly, if it isn’t your toilet draining slow and your shower or sink instead, try out all these tips.  No avail? Give us a call as well.

Sewer smell

Are you noticing a sewer smell by your toilets and drains even when those spaces are clean? That might be because your sewage is backed up and the smell is making its way back into your house. Calling a plumber is your best option when you encounter this problem. Letting it be might bring more problems including sewage coming back into your house in severe cases.

Sinkholes in yard

Damaged pipes may mean water and sewage is coming out along your pipes. Just like how municipal sinkholes form from trapped moisture, that can happen in your yard as well. Call a plumber this is a big issue that should be handled professionally.

Portions of your yard are growing better

Raw sewage acts as a fertilizer, along with the large amounts of water that escape through broken pipes, it’s the perfect mix to grow your grass. This is a time you might not want to see your grass growing that well. It indicates there is a leakage issue within your plumbing and should be looked at more seriously before it gets worse.
For more information on what’s clogging your sewer and how to tell check this out

Risk factors

There are multiple risk factors impacting whether or not you need an excavation:

Pipe material

Depending on what material your pipes are made of, excavation may be the only option.  Certain pipes (especially sewage pipes) can be made of so many different materials.  Each of these materials react differently to specific methods.  For example many materials, due to corrosion, only support dig methods when they get clogged. Trying to fix a dig only pipe without digging it out will cause more problems than it solves.  You may even end up spending more money in the long run, or worse causing more damage.  Call a plumber to determine the best route to proceed with your pipes.

Soil requirements

Depending on the condition of your soil, whether it freezes or shifts pipes, certain no dig methods will not be an option. One specific problem occurs when pipelines shift so much that they separate. This can cause a clog, but it also means that plumbers won’t be able to use any other method than digging it out and prepping it so that doesn’t happen again.

Blockages that can’t be cleared

Believe it or not, the blockages that are hardest to clear aren’t man made ones. Over time and naturally, pipes corrode, this corrosion can build up and create an unwavering blockage. This blockage cannot be removed by any other method than excavation. That being said, in some cases, we can remove a mere portion of the pipe with the block rather than the entire pipe. While that’s true, sometimes replacement is inevitable.

Tree Roots

Tree roots are dangerous to the wellbeing of your plumbing. More specifically your home’s sewage pipes. When pipes are clogged by tree roots, they physically cannot be taken care of without excavation. The congestion created is unlike any other clog just because it is so strong (have you ever tried to pull a tree root out?) . Not to mention, tree roots in plumbing cause more issues when left alone, you could suffer flooding or sewage backup. All issues that will be resolved with excavation. For more information about how tree roots impact your plumbing check this out.

Reading this, did you relate to any of the reasonings? If you did, it might be time to call a plumber. Clogged pipes can mean disaster in the long run. Don’t let your pipes get any worse or cause permanent and expensive damage to your beautiful home. Call the Rooter team for a free estimate today!