Pipe bellies and pipe channelings are two common causes of backup plumbing. It’s not unusual for our emergency plumbers to diagnose a faulty pipe as having one of these two problems. Both are somewhat similar but indicate very different problems with the sewer line.
A belly in the pipe basically refers to a sag in the pipeline. The sag causes a dip, which in turn causes water and other debris to accumulate in that area.
A pipe belly is often caused by geological events, such as an earthquake, soil erosion, or foundation settlement. The sag usually occurs right at the fitting and rarely ever in the middle of a solid pipe.
Pipe channeling occurs when a section of the bottom of a pipe has completely eroded away. The erosion leaves an opening for tree roots and insects to make their way into the pipe. This can cause a backup and/or lead to impurities in the water. Pipe channeling is especially common in horizontally positioned cast iron pipes. Cast iron has a lifespan of about 25-30 years before corrosion begins to occur.
Why the Confusion?
It’s easy to confuse the two terms. The two, in fact, share very similar symptoms. It’s not unusual for a plumber to misdiagnose a pipe as having a belly when it’s actually channeled, or vice versa. A thorough and accurate diagnoses normally requires the use of a jetter, which our residential plumbers use.
We Replace Bellied and Channeled Pipes
A properly functioning sewer line should have a positive slope, meaning the pipe is slightly angled downwards. A belly or channeled pipe can compromise this and inhibit water flow. Call South County Plumbing to get a faulty pipe back into a positive slope. Our home and commercial plumbers commonly diagnose and repair bellied or channeled pipes.
Edited by Justin Vorhees
Bellied or Channeled Pipe Repair or Replacement
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