How do plumbers fix leaky pipes

Detect and fix leaking sewer pipes

Leaking sewer pipes often lead to unpleasant surprises - most of the time the leaks go unnoticed until the leaking water has already caused enormous damage. At you can find out how you can act against leaky sewer pipes and what you have to pay attention to!

If the sewer pipes are leaking, the only thing that can help is renovation. © hrohmann /

If the sewer pipes are leaking, it is important to act quickly: Otherwise massive damage to the building and the structure can hardly be prevented. The penetrating water can have a strong influence on wooden components and walls: the walls get wet, the walls discolour and wooden parts also suffer from the water supply. While a defective pipe allows water to constantly seep out, with a leaky sewer pipe this is often only the case when the fittings or the toilet are operated. This means that this deficiency is often only noticed much later. Homeowners and apartment owners should therefore pay particular attention to this aspect, but such a defect also raises questions for private individuals.

How do leaky sewer pipes arise?

If the sewer pipe is leaking, one of the first steps is to investigate the cause. This is the only way to effectively counteract the problem.
In many cases, a leak occurs on the pipe if it has been laid outdoors and is covered with earth. The heaped earth settles in the course of time and can cause the sewer pipe to sink, which in turn creates the leaks.
Another natural reason is the penetration of tree roots. These can damage the pipe and lead to leaks.
Furthermore, mistakes in construction or in the laying of pipes can of course also be the cause of leaks. If the individual pipe sections are not properly connected to one another, the pipes can become detached from one another when exposed to stress in the area of ​​the socket. This in turn allows water to escape.
Other reasons can be a leaking shut-off valve or a screw connection that is not tightly seated. Last but not least, the age and the natural wear and tear of the pipe system play a role - regular renovations prevent this problem.

The causes of a leaky sewer pipe can therefore be quite diverse. It is therefore all the more important that a specialist deals with the problem, because this is the only way to find individual solutions. A specialist in the sanitary field can, for example, inspect the pipe with a special camera in order to precisely localize the defect and identify the cause.

What is the expression of a defective drain pipe?

Leaky sewer pipes can show their effects slowly or suddenly. This depends, among other things, on where the leak is in the pipe system. The closer the pipes run to the living space, the sooner the damage is usually noticed - in old houses, for example, where the pipes often run under suspended ceilings, problems with the sewer pipes are particularly noticeable. Here the water often drips from the ceiling.
Furthermore, of course, damp masonry also indicates water damage caused by a leaky sewer pipe. Here, dark spots can form on the wallpaper or the wall paint.
In some cases, the damage only becomes noticeable when the outflowing water has already reached the neighboring rooms. This is the case, for example, if the leaky pipe is on a tiled wall in the bathroom or kitchen - here the moisture cannot penetrate through the tiles to the surface and remains invisible. As a result, these deficiencies can be particularly fatal.

Procedure in the event of a leaky sewer pipe

If you suspect there is a leaking sewer pipe in your living space, you should contact your landlord if you are a tenant yourself. If you own the living space, the route should lead directly to a specialist - independent attempts to repair the defect usually lead to even greater damage.

The professional checks what is the cause of the leak and localizes it. After the pipes have been cleaned, the actual repair measures can begin, although these naturally also depend on the extent of the damage.
In many cases, a so-called liner can be used, which is inserted as a new sewer pipe within the original pipe. No excavation of the ground is necessary here, so this method entails significantly lower costs and less effort.
In some cases, however, it makes more sense to have the damage repaired directly on the existing pipe. Inside the house, the floor or the wall must then be pried open; in the outside area, the earth is excavated until the pipes are exposed. The damage can then be examined directly on site and appropriate countermeasures initiated: If the sewer pipe is leaking because the connecting link between the pipe parts is not tight, the socket can be replaced. Here it is advisable to also examine the remaining components of the pipe. The damage is often not limited to just one area of ​​the pipe system - as a rule, other pipes also have defects that can be repaired on this occasion.

The specialist company can then use the Also insulate sewer pipesin order to keep the noise level from the flowing water inside the living spaces as low as possible.

Coverage and prevention

Especially for tenants, a leaky sewer pipe raises the question of who will pay for the costs incurred - the landlord or the tenant himself? Basically: The owner of the house or the property must ensure that the condition of the sewer pipes is checked regularly! If damage occurs, the owner's building insurance is usually liable - unless the damage was caused by negligence or willful intent on the part of the tenant, e.g. improper disposal of leftover food or other objects through the sewer pipe.

The leak test of the pipes by a specialist company for wastewater technology is now also required in federal states such as North Rhine-Westphalia and Lower Saxony by the so-called "Canal TÜV". Defective sewage pipes can not only damage the building itself - the quality of the groundwater can also be impaired by the dirty sewage. It is therefore all the more important that property owners always keep an eye on the condition of the sewer pipes.

Leaking sewer pipes can cause problems in the short and long term if they are not discovered and repaired quickly enough. The outflowing water, which penetrates the building fabric and the surrounding area, can damage the building and impair the groundwater. A specialist company can fix the leak, but it is advisable to prevent this scenario - property owners should have the sewage pipes checked regularly in order to discover defects early.