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2019-06-15 16:33:18
Lake Oswego Real Estate Sewer Bellies

Looking over my transactions from the past several years, I have found that 90% of all my listings and/or sales have had issues with sewers. Many of those sales have had at least 1, 2 or even up to 3 sewer bellies.


A sewer line belly, sag, or low area, can be identified by a pipe holding water after flow has stopped AND after other causes of pooling water such as debris build up and channeling have been ruled out.

Sewer line bellies or low areas become problems when debris collects and causes a blockage or backup. 

Many homeowners give little thought to the intricately installed sewer lines extending from their home to the main municipal sewer collection lines.

The homeowner's sewer lines move waste, such as dishwater and toilet refuse, down pipes for eventual treatment and disposal. However, anomalies along the sewer line, such as bellies, can cause sewage problems for the homeowner.

Tree roots can cause a couple of problems for your sewer lines - they can grow into the pipes and cause holes and blockages or they may wrap around your sewer line and crush the line. All the sludge and debris could flow back into the house should there be blockage and/or a belly.

Also, grease is a pipe's worst enemy.  Many homeowners casually pour their old, used grease from cooking down the drain.  This is the worst thing you could do.  That grease will eventually turn solid which creates a blockage in your pipes.


I recommend to all my buyers when purchasing they have a sewer scope inspection. It costs around $100 for a sewer scope (costs may vary with different companies) but it is an insurance against future costly repairs.  A camera is used to detect any damage from inside the house and the outside of the property.


This depends where the bellies are located.  If the bellies are located on the property, the homeowner is responsible.  When purchasing a home, after a sewer scope is performed and shows bellies, those type of repairs should be negotiated with a seller.  If the belly is on City, County or another municipalitie's property, they should be contacted for repair.


The best case scenario is to have the sewer pipes lines replaced.  However, some homeowners are opting to have their sewer lines hydro jetted instead at a much lower cost. Sewer line replacement can be quite costly running into the thousands of dollars.

The principle of hydro-jetting sewer lines involves the use of extremely high-pressure water to obliterate blockages. Threaded deep into the sewer pipe at the end of a thin, flexible water line, the head contains tiny jets that dispense hot water at knife-like pressure up to 4000 p.s.i.

Hydro jetting is similar to power washing to clean dirty and clogged pipes. It uses streams that are as strong as 60,000 PSI to dislodge and carry away the debris.  Hydro jetting has proven to be significantly effective in residential housing by removing silt within home plumbing pipes.


Plumbing experts say as a good preventive measure, you should have your sewer lines cleaned every 18-22 months.  If you are experiencing problems more often than that, you may need to call a plumber and schedule a sewer scope of your pipes.

A sewer repair may be something that you as a homeowner or homebuyer will be facing.  However, one of the only ways to determine if there is an issue in your sewer line is to pay for a sewer scope.

With our aging housing supply, it will not be unusual to see more sewer bellies.  In fact, the house doesn't even have to be very old to find blockages.  There have been several sales that I have had where the homes were not that old.

Don't wait until costly repairs are needed.  If you think there may be an issue with a sewer line, get it taken care of sooner rather than later.  I recently had an inspection of my own sewer line and had no damage.

Thinking of Selling Your Lake Oswego Home?

Prices are still increasing in Lake Oswego. Interest rates are low and there is still buyer demand. If you want to know the value of your home in today's real estate market, please call me at 503-804-9685.


There are links above to search for real estate.  Or check out my website where you can search or you can use my mobile phone app as well. My website and mobile app provide you with access to all listings available on the RMLS™ system regardless of who the listing agent or brokerage may be. Listings are updated frequently throughout the day giving you the information you need, when you need it.

Moving to Lake Oswego?

Want to know more about Lake Oswego? I'd love to be your buyer's agent, please give me a call at 503-804-9685.

I have worked in Lake Oswego as a Real Estate Broker since 1978 and have lived in Lake Oswego since 1988 and know all the neighborhoods! I am ready to assist you with all your real estate needs! 'There is no substitute for experience.'

ALL ABOUT.....Lake Oswego Real Estate. Copyright 2008-2019. Betty Jung. All Rights Reserved. Use of this article, photos and images without permission is a violation of Federal copyright laws.

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