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. Continue Reading →