Sewer Knowledge

tree-root-image-2We all like to flush the toilet and move on with our day, but a fully functioning sewer is essential for this to happen. Most new sewer systems using new PVC piping will last a lifetime, providing the homeowner with uninterrupted sewer service for years.
But if you live in the Seattle area, many of the existing sewer systems, made of sections of clay or concrete are reaching the end of their useful life span and are causing havoc. Everyday you can see many trucks on the road, doing their best to keep Seattle’s sewers operational.

tree roots in sewer pipeHow to read a sewer card:

Please click on the diagram to get specific instructions on how to read a sewer page


tree roots in sewer pipeWhat you should know:

· In the City of Seattle, homeowners are responsible for their own sewer system all the way to the City main line, which is deep in the middle of the street.

· A sewer camera can be used to check the condition of the sewer line and locate where any issues may be.

· A sewer camera should be run before purchasing a house…you may be taking on a lot of liability that you are not aware of…and if the sewer goes out…your house is inhabitable until it is fixed.

What can be done:

· When a back up occurs a tell-tale sign that the sewer has issue is when more than one fixture is backing up…like when you flush the toilet and it comes up in the bathtub or nearby floor drain.

· Typically, a sewer snake machine can be run down to clear out and the line. Once it is clear and camera can be run down the line to see what caused the back up.

· If there is a break or collapse in the line…it will need to be dug up and physically repaired.

· If it is full of roots they can be cut out and maintained or the problem can be fixed once and for all.

o if you are a reactive person, you can wait for it to happen again…and it will, or you can get on a maintenance schedule and cut out the roots every so often.

o If you are more of a proactive person, you may be able to reline the system, and rehabilitate the line to like-new condition or maybe needs to be replaced completely.

Other Important things to know:

Gene Johnson Plumbing has been a Registered Side Sewer Contractor for over 20 years

We often are called out to give a free estimate or even called out to give a second opinion.

Since most of us do not have ‘sewer repair’ as a line item in our budget, we offer financing through Wells Fargo.

You can easily apply by going to our home page and clicking on the “Apply Now’ button.


In any case we are just a phone call away. We can have a well experienced technician out to look at your solutions and give advise on how to take care of your issue.

And once our work is complete, your sewer will work well again and be the least of your worries for years to come.

Link to City Sewer Plot Look Up