Excavating a drain is a dirty and often difficult job. It requires heavy equipment, skilled operators, and proper planning to ensure the safety of everyone involved. Here's what you need to know about drain excavation.

What is drain excavation?

Drain excavation is the process of digging a hole in the ground to access and repair a sewer line or other underground piping. This type of work is typically performed by a professional contractor with the proper equipment and training.

Why is drain excavation necessary?

Drain excavation may be necessary for a variety of reasons, including:

  • Repair. Drain excavating is done to repair a broken sewer line. Sewer lines typically break due to age, corrosion, ground movement, or tree root intrusion.
  • Replacement. In some cases, a sewer line may need to be completely replaced due to extensive damage or age. This requires drain excavation to remove the old line and install a new one.
  • Blockage. Occasionally, drain excavation is needed when a sewer line is blocked. This can be caused by a build-up of grease, soap, hair, or other materials. It can also be caused by tree roots that have grown into the pipe.

Additionally, drain excavation may be done to install a new sewer line or other underground piping. This is typically done when new construction is taking place.

How is drain excavation performed?

Drain excavation typically begins with a process called potholing. This involves digging a small hole, usually with a backhoe, to expose the sewer line. Once the line is exposed, the contractor will determine the best way to proceed with the repair or replacement.

In some cases, the entire sewer line may need to be replaced. This requires digging a trench from the house to the main sewer line. The old line is then removed and a new one is installed. In other cases, only a section of the sewer line needs to be replaced. This can be done by excavating a smaller hole and replacing just the damaged section of the pipe.

Who is responsible for paying for drain excavation?

The cost of drain excavation typically falls on the homeowner because most sewer lines are on the homeowner's property and are considered to be their responsibility. In some cases, the city or municipality may be responsible for repairing or replacing a sewer line that is damaged by age or corrosion.

It's important to check with your city or municipality to see if they have any programs in place to help with the cost of drain excavation.

Drain excavation is a complex process that should only be performed by a qualified professional. If you suspect that your sewer line is damaged, contact a reputable contractor in your area.