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Can Clay Sewer & Drainage Pipes Be Repaired?

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Although most of us imagine PVC or metal pipes running and under throughout our homes, the truth is many homeowners probably have clay pipes for their sewer lines and other drainage systems. There are a few advantages to clay pipework systems, including the relative ease of repairs with the right equipment and know-how.

If you want to try to repair a broken clay sewer pipe in your property, here is a quick breakdown of what to do:

  1. Gather your tools, which should include two rubber seal couplings, a grinder or grinding saw, and an appropriate length of replacement pipe to replace the damaged section. Be sure to confirm the replacement pipework has the same interior diameter as the preexisting clay pipe.
  2. Use the grinder to cut away any broken edges of the clay pipe. Always wear all necessary safety equipment, like gloves and goggles, when handling a power tool. Never attempt to use a power tool without proper training or instruction. Do not do anything that jeopardizes your health and wellbeing.
  3. Attach the rubber seal couplings over each end of the now-smoothened clay pipe.
  4. Make any cuts to your replacement pipe to get it to the right length. Remember: measure twice, cut once. Sanding the edges of the replacement pipe is also helpful.
  5. Carefully insert the replacement pipe into the rubber seal couplings. Do not use too much force, as you could potentially bend, chip, or break the clay pipe again. If it is not fitting, it is probably not the right length.
  6. Tighten the couplings until each firmly hold onto the new pipe. Any amount of wiggle is too much.
  7. Refill the hole in the ground – assuming the broken clay pipe was underground – with the appropriate soil or filler, such as small pea shingle or sand.

Professional Help for Intimidating Plumbing Projects

Do not forget that the first rule for working on or repairing your plumbing is never to attempt a plumbing job you are not confident you can complete correctly. Trying to fix your clay sewer line can become a nightmare if you make the situation worse. Depending on what section of the pipe needs a repair, you could potentially make a blunder and cause sewage to leak into the surrounding soil, creating a foul smell and requiring even more plumbing work.

When in doubt, leave your clay pipework repairs to Hart Services. Our Tacoma plumbing company is backed by positive community and client reviews, offers competitive pricing, and is staffed by the friendliest service technicians around. Call (253) 331-1206 or use an online contact form if you want to schedule a free job estimate.

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