Drain Excavation Ottawa: What You Want to Know

Root filled drain removed during drain excavation service on residential home in Ottawa
Drain excavation is a process that involves digging up the ground around underground pipes to complete repairs or replace severely broken sections of drainage systems. When it comes to serious plumbing repairs, it's a common solution used by many plumbers. However, there are other options for fixing damaged sewers beyond drain excavation in Ottawa.

It's important that property owners in Ottawa know about all their options for completing major plumbing repairs. Depending on your specific situation, there may be solutions that require a less invasive process and shorter time commitment than digging a trench. With expert information about which methods are best for fixing your buried drainage lines, you'll be able to make the best choice for your property.

Of course, your local Ottawa plumbers will always be the best people to call when it comes to fixing collapsed sewers and broken water mains on your property, but not all plumbing companies use the same solutions and techniques. At Mr. Rooter Plumbing of Ottawa, we're dedicated to helping people with their plumbing problems, both with professional plumbing services and expert advice. With a full understanding of all the services related to drain excavation, Ottawa homeowners and business owners can fully understand the situation affecting their property and make the right choices for completing repairs.

What is Drain Excavation?

Drain excavation is a technique for repairing buried drain lines that involves digging up the surrounding area to access buried pipes. It's often considered a last resort option, and it's usually only reserved for situations where digging a trench is the safest, most effective option.

There are many more advanced, convenient, and safer options available for repairing sewer lines in Ottawa. However, there are some situations where those options are not suitable solutions, and those services are not offered by all professionals in Ottawa.

Drain excavation is also simply a more traditional method used for repairing main drain lines. Before there were more advanced tools and techniques, digging away the surrounding area was the only possible way to fix damaged underground sewer systems.

Sewer and Water Installation:

If you are building a new home or need new sewer and water mains, you may also need drain excavation service as part of that major installation project. In that case, there are not as many alternatives available, as the solutions created to avoid the challenges involved with digging are generally only used for repairs and replacements in existing pipes.

Drain Excavation Ottawa: What to Expect

Safety Inspections

If you do suffer from damage that must be fixed with drain excavation in Ottawa, you should know that the process could be quite lengthy. Before any digging can begin, it's important to complete a full survey of the area surrounding your drain, to ensure that any nearby utility lines will not be damaged during the excavation process. It may also be necessary to perform additional structural and safety inspections for the areas and structures near the dig site, as shifting soil could affect nearby structures and cause significant damage.

Ongoing Repairs

The method of excavation used to access your buried drain will play a significant role in the amount of time required for your repairs and the level of disruption in your daily life. In most cases, several days are required for effective, safe drain excavation.

Ottawa properties with fewer nearby utility lines may benefit from the use of mechanical excavation equipment like a mini excavator—a machine with a hydraulic arm that's operated by a single person and created for use in smaller worksites. Sometimes, it's necessary to complete the digging process with hand tools, in order to avoid nearby utility lines, which will significantly lengthen the amount of time that your repairs will take.

It's important to remember that excavating services are only one part of drain repairs. You will also have to account for the time required to complete stages of the job beyond just getting drain excavation in Ottawa. Repairing or replacing the damaged sections of your sewer drain also takes time. It's important to ensure that proper care is taken during the entire process so that your plumbing does not fail as a result of mistakes made during repairs or installation.

Landscaping and Property Repair

Once your repairs are complete, you'll also have to fix any damage created as a result of the initial drain excavation process. Ottawa plumbers don't always handle this type of property repair, so you may have to hire an additional company to complete any necessary landscaping and property repairs—or your chosen plumbing company may hire subcontractors to complete that work.

What Type of Equipment is Used for Drain Excavation in Ottawa?

Mechanical Excavation Equipment:

The types of mechanical equipment used for drain excavation include backhoe loaders, mini excavators, and bulldozers with hydraulic digging arms attached to the back. The exact equipment used for drain excavation in Ottawa depends on the size of the dig site, the amount of digging required, and the proximity of nearby utility lines.

Manual Excavation Equipment:

You probably already have a basic understanding of the types of tools used for manual digging. Basic hand tools include shovels, spades, rakes, pickaxes, and even trowels. This type of equipment is generally used for precise digging and moving soil near areas directly adjacent to your drain in order to avoid causing additional accidental damage.

What Are the Signs that You Need Drain Excavation in Ottawa?

Any kind of major damage to your main drain line may require excavation. However, many common types of sewer damage in Ottawa can be fixed more easily with specialized tools and techniques. In some cases, it's not possible or safe to use those advanced methods, in which case drain excavation may be required.

Situations Where Drain Excavation in Ottawa May Be Required:

  • Completing repairs and replacements for older pipes
  • Replacing multiple damaged sections of a pipe, or the entire line
  • Replacing pipes that have been entangled by tree roots

Some Ottawa plumbing systems with severe damage or issues like tree root penetration can still be fixed with alternative methods, so it's best to base your decisions on the recommendations of experienced plumbers. In fact, any time that you notice serious issues with your waste lines in Ottawa, calling professional plumbers for Ottawa plumbing repairs is usually the best response.

Serious Drain Repair Warning Signs:

  • Frequent, recurring clogs
  • Backups in multiple rooms or fixtures
  • Gurgling noises when you flush your toilet
  • Flushing your toilet causes a backup somewhere else
  • Running your washing machine causes your shower or toilet to back up
  • Visible sewage backups

What Are the Alternatives to Drain Excavation in Ottawa?

As you can probably guess, when it comes to major excavations, few people prefer drain excavation. Ottawa property owners and plumbers alike have greater success with trenchless sewer line repair and replacement techniques. These advanced technologies were created to complete repairs and effectively replace pipes without the consequences that come from digging a trench to uncover a buried drainage pipe.

The key aspect of all trenchless techniques is that they are non-invasive. There are several types of non-invasive plumbing tools and techniques, but they all provide exceptional results without the stress that comes from the negative aspects of traditional drain excavation in Ottawa.

Common Non-Invasive Plumbing Techniques Include:

  • Plumbing video camera inspection
  • Hydro jetting
  • Pipe relining
  • Pipe bursting

Plumbing Video Camera Inspections

Plumbing cameras are so widely used that it's likely you could receive video inspection service even if you are still getting traditional drain excavation in Ottawa. Video inspections are used for all types of plumbing jobs because they provide greater insight into the interior condition of pipe walls

Using flexible, waterproof cameras, plumbers can get video footage of what's going on inside lines that aren't easily accessible. Of course, if there are clogs, tree roots or other kinds of debris jamming your waste lines, the camera may not be able to get a complete view of the problem. If that's the case, it may be necessary to clean out your sewer main.

Hydro Jetting

If you've ever seen a pressure washer in action, then you already have a basic understanding of hydro jetting. Just like pressure washers, hydro jetting equipment uses high-pressure water to blast away dirt and grime. The key difference is that hydro jets are designed to clean sewage pipes and other plumbing lines.

Hydro jetting is far more effective than traditional methods used for clearing sewer mains, such as rodding and using augers. It's faster, more efficient, and provides lasting results that just don't come from older tools and techniques. Perhaps the biggest benefit is that if you need sewer cleaning as part of an inspection or major repair project, it significantly cuts down on the time and labor required.

Is Hydro Jetting Safe?

Hydro jetting is safe for most plumbing systems in Ottawa. However, if your drains are quite old or an inspection reveals a significant amount of damage, the force of the jetting could cause damage. Those are also both common situations where excavation may be the only option for completing repairs.

At Mr. Rooter Plumbing of Ottawa, we use HydroScrub® jetting equipment that's safe for all residential and commercial plumbing systems in good condition—and we'll always complete an inspection to confirm that your drain is capable of handling the force of jetting before we begin.

Pipe Lining

This is one of the most common non-invasive services offered for pipe rehabilitation in Ottawa. Rather than digging a large trench, pipe lining only requires small access holes to be dug in your property. Using those access holes, a new liner is pulled through your existing drain pipe and cured to its walls. The results are like having an entirely new pipe installed inside your existing line, without all the complicated digging and installation that comes with excavation jobs.

There are many types of pipelining, such as CIPP, fold and formed installation, and slip liner installation, but they all provide similarly exceptional results. The entire process can be completed in a matter of hours, but it could be up to two days before your pipes are usable again.

Because pipe lining is so much faster, simpler, and easier than traditional excavation options, it's also much more cost-effective. It reduces both the labor involved for actual repairs and the services needed to dig a trench and repair your landscaping.

Pipe Bursting:

For total replacement, pipe bursting is the best non-invasive option. Bursting uses specialized equipment to destroy the existing sections of your line and push them into the surrounding earth. As it breaks apart the existing drain line, it pulls a replacement section into place, completing the entire replacement process in one step.

One of the major advantages of that bursting process is that it's possible to install larger pipes. In some cases, it's possible to increase capacity by as much as thirty percent. An advantage that bursting has over lining is that it doesn't require any preparatory cleaning either.

Bursting equipment is far more convenient than the excavation systems used for digging trenches, however, it does not completely eliminate the need for digging. With bursting, it's often necessary to excavate and expose any connected branch pipes or isolated utility lines near your drain line, to ensure that they are not damaged.

The Advantages of Non-Invasive, Trenchless Repairs

  • Faster than traditional methods
  • Reduced damage to landscaping
  • Less disruption to your life
  • Improved overall plumbing efficiency
  • Fewer overall project costs

Do You Need to Know More About Drain Excavation in Ottawa?

The experts at Mr. Rooter Plumbing of Ottawa can answer all your questions. Our knowledgeable team has experience with all kinds of plumbing repairs in Ottawa, from burst pipes behind walls to slab leak repair below homes. We can provide all the information—and services—you need for drain excavation and alternative trenchless solutions.

Call us today to learn more about our Ottawa plumbing services or schedule an appointment with our team. We provide guaranteed plumbing services and respectful, friendly courteous service for property owners and businesses throughout Ottawa and beyond, including nearby areas like Stittsville and Russell.