Sewer Line Replacement Work In Brooklyn, Queens, Manhattan And Bronx

Opinion & Expertise, Sewer Line Replacement
February 21, 2012

by David Balkan

Sewer repair
Sewer repair
Excavation for a sewer repair in Queens

NYC sewer line replacement work should be thought about carefully by a property owner before choosing between sewer contractors. In most cases a complete sewer replacement is more advisable than a sewer repair.  There many other points to consider, which we will explain in detail below.

Why do a complete sewer line replacement?

The advantages of a complete sewer replacement are many. Typically a complete sewer line replacement will last for well over 50 years, be guaranteed unconditionally for 10 years, and require no maintenance whatsoever. In addition the sewer replacement job itself is more straightforward than a sewer repair because there is no guesswork in determining where the exact point of the problem is.

Some of the other advantages of a complete sewer line replacement are:

  • Back-pitched sewer pipe can be corrected with a replacement – A repair can typically not accomplish that.
  • There is very little chance of excavating in the wrong area which can waste thousands of dollars.
  • There is no expense to diagnose the point of the problem and location of where the house sewer runs which can sometimes exceed $1,000.00.
  • There is the confidence in knowing that the sewer problem is solved once-and-for- all.

Cost difference between a sewer repair and replacement

Typically a sewer repair will cost around 60% or more of a complete sewer line replacement, yet only result in less than 50% of the sewer pipe being replaced. You should always request two prices to verify the price difference, but typically dollar for dollar the complete job is the best job dollar-for-dollar.

Another important but frequently overlooked issue is the length of the guarantee. A sewer repair will only usually be guaranteed for between one and three years – A far cry from a 10 year unconditional guarantee for a sewer line replacement.

Why not put a liner inside the house sewer?

Sewer Lining
DOB Letter – Pipe lining is not legal in NYC

Sewer linings are not legal in NYC – that is the simple truth. If that is not enough of a reason consider the failure rate, percent of failed installations, and final cost when all ‘extras’ are tabulated. Various NYC agencies and enforcement bodies have investigated and gone on record against illegal sewer liners and the resulting faulty and failed  installations across NYC.

 What is the best sewer pipe to use?

Domestic Pipe
Domestic Extra Heavy Cast Iron

Depending on the location where the sewer pipe is installed and the type of building numerous materials can be used. Legal materials for a house sewer in NYC include PVC, ductile iron pipe, extra heavy cast iron pipe, and clay pipe when encased in concrete. In almost all cases extra heavy cast iron pipe is the favored material to use.

Most reputable NYC sewer contractors strictly use domestic extra heavy cast iron for it’s proven reliability, uniform quality, and being assured of it’s source of manufacture – not port of import.

How to choose between different sewer contractors

plumbers association

There are numerous trustworthy ways to find a reputable sewer contractor. Word-of-mouth from a friend or neighbor and a recommendation from your local plumber are two great ways. But there are other ways to feel more sure of your hiring decision:

  • Check on-line reviews.
  • Check Better Business Bureau ratings.
  • Check NYC licensed master plumber status.
  • Ask for references.
  • Check on trade association affiliations.

A final note

You are the customer – Never be shy about asking questions and expecting knowledgeable and educated answers. Sewer work in Brooklyn, Queens, Manhattan, or the Bronx costs thousands of dollars – Never be in too much of a rush no matter how urgent the sewer problem seems.

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David Balkan

David Balkan is the CEO of Balkan Sewer And Water Main, the largest and most trusted service in New York City. David is extremely active in various NYC plumber organizations being the Chairman of the Subsurface Committee in the Master Plumbers Council, and Vice President of the Subsurface Plumbers Association. In addition David’s expertise is respected by officials of New York City agencies such as the NYC DEP, NYC DOB, and the NYC DOT. He frequently provides valuable input on a variety of industry related matters.

Dave Balkan

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