According to the site HomeAdvisor, the national average to repair the main sewer line into a home or business is approximately $2,500. This does not include costs incurred with evasive measures such as digs and pipe extraction/replacement. When this takes place, the process can take anywhere from $7,000 to $25,000. There’s also the mental and physical cost of having your home or business shutdown in order for the repair to take place.
Now, this is Scenario ZZ and may not happen to you. In fact, you may be able to have the repair of your sewer line done through a non-evasive procedure that pulls a new part of the line into place or relines a broken pipe to create a new one inside it. While the cost of this is much lower than a dig, there’s still the matter of determining where the problem is. This is done in many cases with a smoke pump tester.
This device is used when you begin to see signs of sewer line problems. These include a bubbling or gurgling sound from the toilet, slow flowing drains, and the aroma of rotting food around drains. If all of these have occurred, then you or a plumbing company need to find the source of the problem.
The process of testing is simple. A tool like a power or a ripcord smoker from a place like Hurco Technologies is used. Liquid smoke is poured into the machine and, when activated, the liquid turns into smoke which is inserted into the sewer line. Under pressure, the smoke begins to fill the main line and any of its connections. The smoke continues to follow the path of the leak to the ground surface where it reveals the source of the problem. From there, it’s up to the plumbers to determine the next step in the repair process.
If you have concerns about your current sewer line operations, look to see if the smoke test is something you can do before you call the repair shop. If not, make a call to your local, reliable plumber as soon as possible in order for them to come out and get it fixed before it gets worse.