How to Save up to $5,000, or Why Should I Clean Out My Sewer Lateral?

Plumbing is a hidden issue. The ‘out of sight, out of mind’ principle is at work here, so unless there is an obvious plumbing problem where one is either seeing or (ugh) smelling the effects of the problem, it simply goes undetected. The costs, though, of having to repair one’s plumbing only add to the figurative ‘stench’ – So, in this post, you will learn of two ways to minimize your expense in maintaining your plumbing lines.

In Los Angeles County, and especially Santa Clarita, County Code 20.24.080 states that it is the owner’s responsibility to maintain his sewer lateral.

According to the 7th Edition of the Annual Report for the Consolidated Sewer Maintenance District, there are two primary problems that impact the sewer lateral: 1. Grease Deposits and 2. Root Intrusion.

There is one main factor involved in preventing grease deposits from building up. That factor is to not pour grease down your sinks. Like arteries, if too much grease is poured into the system, the system gets clogged up. The publication recommends waiting until the grease has cooled and then disposing of it in the trash.

In order to prevent root intrusion, one must insure that no cracks are in the lateral line, and that there are no plants of note over the lateral line. This inspection can be performed by a plumber using a video service. The roots intrude because they can detect the nutrient rich material seeping through extremely small cracks in the pipes, especially at the joints of the pipes.

These are the only two preventative measures to keeping your lateral line clean.

Otherwise, one will need to hire a plumber in order to clean a lateral line. This could cost around $100 an hour to diagnose and perform the service. One of the resources that a professional uses in order to assess the nature of the situation is the book at this link ( Existing Sewer Evaluation and Rehabilitation MOP FD- 6, 3e ) which tells of how existing sewer lines can be evaluated (By the way, I am providing this affiliate link to you as a service should you want to pursue gaining more info about this aspect of the discipline of maintaining plumbing lines – I get a small commission, but at no additional cost to you, if you decide to purchase the book from this link).

Additionally, here is another link that the City of Downey has made available for homeowners to insure that they are minimizing the need to have expensive lateral line repairs.

So, when you are in the process of utilizing an Architect for remodeling services, insure that the new landscaping of your home doesn’t run over the sewer lateral, and that any old landscaping that is above the lateral is removed and replaced with some other aesthetically pleasing element.

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