How to Find Out Where Sewer Lines Are Place Outside
June 2, 2020
Locating your sewer line on the outside of your house is not always an easy task but, with a little knowledge, it can be done quickly. First, it is important to locate the sewer trap on the inside of your house. In most cases, the sewer line exits the house in a straight line with the sewer trap, and slopes down towards the city sewer line—which is usually located below the roadway.
If the sewer trap is not located directly on the inside of the front foundation wall of your home, you may need to investigate to confirm that the sewer line exits out the front of the house, and where it is connected to the city sewer.
Typically, the sewer line will run straight forward for the entire length of the pipe until it connects to the city sewer. In some cases, the sewer line may take a turn due to interference with other utility lines or faulty installation from a previous plumber. If neighboring houses were built at the same time, the developer may have connected a group of homes to one sewer in order to cut costs—meaning your sewer line may not connect directly.
Next, you should locate the city sewer manhole in the roadway, which is usually labeled “N.Y.C. SEWER”. The city sewer also runs in a straight line—like the house sewer—unless there are any obstructions or another reason for the pipe to turn. Your sewer line will connect to the city sewer at the spur. It is important that your sewer line has proper pitch in order for the sewage to flow with gravity. If your sewer line is running flat or back pitched, you are at jeopardy of experiencing re-occurring sewer backups.
The NYC DEP provides mapping records which are referred to as “spur maps”. These records will not include the homeowner’s sewer line but should include the location of where your spur connection is located in the street. A spur map can help if there is any confusion locating your sewer line or the direction in which it travels.
The final method to assist in locating a sewer line is with a locating device that is installed inside the sewer and traced from above ground. Many plumbers have great success when locating a sewer line. However, certain devices will lose the connection if the pipe runs too deep or if there are other utilities interfering in the roadway.
It is common for a homeowner to become aware that their sewer line does not run straight when they are in the middle of a sewer line repair in NYC and determine that the pipe is not where it is supposed to be.
These scenarios can be very challenging to resolve if not dealt with extreme caution and a certain level of expertise. If you are having any trouble locating your sewer line ,it is important to contact a licensed plumber.