Marin – Sewer Line Contractor

  • Company Information
  • Contact Information
  • Areas Served | Services | Key Brands
(415) 890-6856

Serving all of San Francisco and Marin County including San Anselmo, Larkspur, San Rafael, Mill Valley, Novato, Corte Madera and Sausalito.

Services include residential & commercial sewer line inspections, diagnoses, repairs and replacements.
License 909818 | DCID4159270287

Search Diamond Certified Companies

Researched Articles
Why Trust Diamond Certified Sewer Line Contractors Rated Highest in Quality?

You are the customer. If your goal is to choose a sewer line contractor that will deliver high customer satisfaction and quality, you’ll feel confident in choosing a Diamond Certified sewer line company. Each has been rated Highest in Quality in the most accurate ratings process anywhere. And you’re always backed by the Diamond Certified Performance Guarantee. Here’s why the Diamond Certified ratings and certification process will help you find a top-rated sewer line specialist and is unparalleled in its accuracy, rigor and usefulness:

1) Accuracy: All research is performed by live telephone interviews that verify only real customers are surveyed, so you'll never be fooled by fake reviews.

2) Statistical Reliability: A large random sample of past customers is surveyed on an ongoing basis so the research results you see truly reflect a Diamond Certified company’s top-rated status.

3) Full Disclosure: By clicking the name of a company above you'll see the exact rating results in charts and read verbatim survey responses as well as researched articles on each qualified company.

4) Guaranteed: Your purchase is backed up with mediation and the Diamond Certified Performance Guarantee, so you can choose with confidence.

Click on the name of a Diamond Certified company above to read ratings results, researched articles and verbatim customer survey responses to help you make an informed decision.

More than 200,000 customers of local companies have been interviewed in live telephone calls, and only companies that score Highest in Quality in customer satisfaction–a 90+ on a 100 scale–as well as pass all of the credential-based ratings earn Diamond Certified. By requiring such a high score to qualify, the Diamond Certified program eliminates mediocre and poorly performing companies. Read detailed information about the ratings and certification process.

How to Choose
Marin County Sewer Line Contractors Come to the Rescue

If you get lucky, your sewer line problem will be a minor one. It may simply be a clogged drain or stopped-up toilet that is easily fixed with an over-the-counter remedy.

But sometimes the problems don’t go away or they come back repeatedly. Perhaps your toilet blocks up time and again, you have wastewater backing up into the tub, or you smell sewer smells in your yard or home. You may even see bits of toilet paper in the yard. All of these are indications that you need the help of a sewer line contractor.
...

Read More »
Expand

If you get lucky, your sewer line problem will be a minor one. It may simply be a clogged drain or stopped-up toilet that is easily fixed with an over-the-counter remedy.

But sometimes the problems don’t go away or they come back repeatedly. Perhaps your toilet blocks up time and again, you have wastewater backing up into the tub, or you smell sewer smells in your yard or home. You may even see bits of toilet paper in the yard. All of these are indications that you need the help of a sewer line contractor.

Repeated wastewater backups and main line clogs may require sewer line repair or replacement.

No matter where you live in Marin County, whether in San Anselmo, San Rafael, Larkspur, Mill Valley, Novato, Sausalito, Fairfax, Belvedere or elsewhere, handling sewer line problems is no fun.

So what should you do?

The articles below will get you started in researching, interviewing and hiring a local sewer line contractor to solve your problems.

When You Need to Hire a Sewer Line Company
The sewer line is the main plumbing pipe that carries wastewater from your house to the public sewer system.
You may find it an unwelcome surprise as a homeowner, but you are responsible for the sewer line from the house to where it connects with the public system—typically where the sidewalk hits up against the property line. If you find that you do have a sewer line issue, and it affects more than a small segment of the line, it makes sense to get in touch with your city or area government to see where the city takes over responsibility for the pipe.

You may need to coordinate with the city so that you fix only the segment of the sewer line that you are responsible for. You want to save yourself both the cost and the liability of working on more of the sewer line than you are responsible for.

What makes a sewer line go bad?

Like everything in your house, the sewer line has a life expectancy and will need to be replaced periodically. Sewer pipes made from clay or other vitreous material are especially likely to get damaged.

But other forces are at play, too. The freezing and thawing of the earth can affect the pipes in the ground, causing them to shift or to sag. Sagging, or bellying, occurs when earth is pushed out from underneath the pipes. At times, poorly installed pipes are offset – they don’t lie straight, so it’s easier for blockages to form. Trees and shrubs are constantly seeking out water, and their roots can penetrate the pipes. Even very fine roots can make it easier for blockages to form, wreaking havoc with your sewer line. Dumping lots of grease down a drain over time can make it easier for blockages to form.

How Significant is my Sewer Line Problem in Marin County?
If you do believe you have a sewer line problem, don’t wait on bringing in the expert advice you need. A sewer line contractor or a plumber who takes care of sewer lines will be able to help you. Your sewer line contractor should identify the problem first.

Many sewer line repair companies should have a camera they can use to view the interior of the sewer line and locate exactly where the problem is. At times, your sewer line contractor may need to jet the pipe to clean it first before using the camera. The camera should be used so that the contractor is not guessing about the problem.

Look around your property for cleanouts. You many have more than one. They are very useful when you need to work on your sewer line. A cleanout is a capped, or lidded, pipe that gives access to your sewer line. You can look for the clean out in your yard, particularly near to where the bathrooms are located.

A small number of houses have the cleanouts inside, perhaps behind the toilet, though this is not usual. When you don’t have a cleanout, the sewer line contractor will have to access the sewer line through an interior fixture, such as a toilet, or through a roof vent. These latter methods are more costly than using a cleanout.

You may be able to opt for a sewer line repair once the problem is identified. Or you may be up for a complete sewer line replacement. In general terms, if the problem is located in a specific area, it may be possible for the sewer line contractor to patch the pipe. The patch will replace the damaged area of the pipe with a new piece of pipe. In some cases, a patch makes perfect sense.

Keep in mind, though, if it seems as though you will have to keep patching the sewer line, that effort can be as costly as or more costly than replacing the entire sewer line, since you have to keep opening and closing the access every time you have a patch applied. The decision to patch or replace really depends on the severity of the damage; your sewer line contractor should be able to assess and offer recommendations.

What Does it Take to Fix my Marin County Sewer Line?
You may feel a bit of dread at the thought of a sewer line repair. You might have an image of your yard or driveway being torn up, with trenches all over the place, with a project that goes on and on. On occasion, you will need a trench for a repair. But fortunately, there are also other techniques that your sewer line contractor may be able to undertake.

One such option is CIPP, or cured-in-place-piping, which is an alternative to trench repairs. This trenchless sewer repair process begins with a hydro-jetting, where highly pressurized water is used to clear the pipe. A PVC-saturated liner is then fed down the pipe, using a machine. Once the liner has been set in place, a bladder is sent down to puff out the liner while steam molds the PVC liner to the walls of the existing pipe. Once the new piping is cured, the bladder is removed. The new liner forms a strong pipe that resists cracking, roots, and other stresses.

It’s possible that the CIPP process can be performed with no excavation in some cases, using access from cleanouts or from manholes in the street. In other cases, some excavation may be required, but it is significantly less than the full-trench approach.

Another trenchless replacement technique is called pipe bursting. In the pipe bursting technique, two holes are typically needed at the start and end of the sewer line’s length. A bursting head is inserted. The bursting head is a device that will break apart the existing pipe in the ground. As the bursting head moves forward breaking up the pipe in front of it, it drags a new pipe along behind it. The new pipe follows the same path as the pipe being burst apart. Most often, the old pipe that was burst apart is left in the ground.

What Else Affects my Marin County Sewer Line Repair?
In most cases, your choice between trench or trenchless sewer line replacement or repair will be reached in concert with recommendations from your experienced sewer line contractor. You should always work with a licensed sewer line contractor or plumbers.

Some companies advertise specifically as sewer line contractors and some advertise as plumbers who work on sewer lines. Either way, the company must have a California state contractor’s license and display that number in its advertising. The plumber’s license is called a C36, and the sanitation system contractor’s license is called a C42. All licensed contractors are tested by the state and must be bonded.

No matter where you live in Marin County, whether in San Anselmo, San Rafael, Novato, Larkspur, Mill Valley, Woodacre, Tiburon, Sausalito or beyond, ask your sewer line contractor about permits. Most areas require permits for sewer line work. Your contractor should be able to help you with the process of getting the permit.

Besides a licensed sewer line contractor and a permit, you need to make sure the materials used in the repair or replacement are appropriate. Most areas have codes that dictate the types of materials allowed. Some specific kinds of pipes may be banned for use as a sewer line – many places do not allow clay pipes because they break easily, for example. In other cases, specific types of plastic are ruled out. Your sewer line contractor should be able to knowledgably discuss with you the kind of pipe being used and its conformance with your local codes.

There are a few unfortunate circumstances that will drive costs up. Sometimes trees have to be removed and the stumps ground out, if the trees run along the same line as your sewer pipe. Obviously, this will add to the sewer line replacement cost. In most cases, your gas and clean water lines should be placed well away from your sewer line.

If you have an older home or home not built to code, the gas lines may be too close to the sewer line. If this is the case, you could incur extra costs as the sewer line repair contractors will have to be much more careful.

Another consideration is how far away the hook-up to the public sewer system is. If it is far from your property line, you may end up digging into the road to reach it, which will increase costs.

Sometimes a sewer line contractor will tell you they can save the tree or shrub that is causing the problem with the sewer line. If the trees or shrubs are causing the problem with their roots, at least some of the roots will have to be removed. Be sure to take the time to question your sewer line contractor closely about how he or she plans to save the trees or shrubs. Also ask about the possibility of future root intrusion, if you do want to save the trees or shrubs.

Marin County Septic Tanks and Sewer Conversions
Some houses do not use the public sewer system but use a septic system instead. In a septic system, the sewage is piped out of the house and stored in a tank. The tank must be occasionally drained, at the homeowner’s cost, so that it can be refilled.

Sometimes, a city or other local government mandates that users to move from a septic system to a sewer system. Or the homeowner may decide to make the switch once the city sewer is available, since the public sewer system can be more convenient than pumping a septic tank. If you need to convert from a septic system to the public sewer system, a sewer line contractor can help.

View/Print
Know What You Want
What Do You Want from Marin County Sewer Line Contractors?

You may not always know right away that you need a sewer line contractor. But if clogs, blocks and backups keep occurring, you will want to call in a professional sewer line company representative to give you a diagnosis.

As you prepare to call in a sewer line contractor in Marin County, there are some questions you should ask yourself....

Read More »
Expand

You may not always know right away that you need a sewer line contractor. But if clogs, blocks and backups keep occurring, you will want to call in a professional sewer line company representative to give you a diagnosis.

As you prepare to call in a sewer line contractor in Marin County, there are some questions you should ask yourself.
You will be better prepared if you have a list of questions. That way, you know what questions you have to focus on, and you will feel confident that all of the sewer line companies you’ve talked with can and have addressed the same questions.


The following list of questions might be helpful.

  1. Do I want a Diamond Certified sewer line replacement company that is rated Highest in Quality and backed by the Diamond Certified Guarantee?
  2. Is there a pattern of recurring problems with my sewer line, or is this the first time I’ve experienced problems?
  3. Do I know whether my house has cleanouts or not? And where they are located?
  4. How long has the problem been happening?
  5. Is the problem based around a single fixture, or are multiple fixtures involved? For example, is the toilet backing up into the tub?
  6. Are there external signs of a problem, such as toilet paper in the yard?
  7. Do I use the city sewer system or do I have a septic tank?
  8. Are there trees or bushes growing along the area where the sewer line runs?
  9. Is it important to me to save any trees or shrubs that are affecting my sewer line?
  10. Are my sewer lines isolated or are they close to gas lines or clean water lines?
View/Print
What to Ask on the Phone
Asking Marin County Sewer Line Contractors Questions on the Phone

Use the phone to perform initial interviews as you begin searching for a sewer line repair service or sewer line replacement company in Marin County.

The phone will allow you to screen sewer line contractors, to see how they treat potential customers, and to get a baseline of how knowledgeable they are about sewer line replacement without having to waste time interviewing mediocre candidates in person.
...

Read More »
Expand

Use the phone to perform initial interviews as you begin searching for a sewer line repair service or sewer line replacement company in Marin County.

The phone will allow you to screen sewer line contractors, to see how they treat potential customers, and to get a baseline of how knowledgeable they are about sewer line replacement without having to waste time interviewing mediocre candidates in person.

If you draw up a list of questions, then you can write down and compare the answers you get. You’ll know you’ve asked the same questions of all the companies you’ve interviewed, so there will be a better opportunity to make a side-by-side comparison.


Some of the questions that you might want to consider include the following:

  1. Has your company earned and maintained a Diamond Certified rating?
  2. Will you help me secure any permits that I need to complete the plumbing work?
  3. How long has your company worked on sewer line repair or sewer line replacement?
  4. Can you tell me about options that would avoid opening a trench in my yard?
  5. I think some tree roots are causing the problem, but I don’t want to destroy the tree. What are my options?
  6. How will you identify where the problem is and what exactly it is?
  7. Do you have cameras that can observe the length of the pipe?
  8. If you need to jet the pipe clean before using a camera, will it cost extra?
  9. If you do open a trench, who is responsible for fixing the landscaping after the trench is closed again?
  10. What materials will you use to replace or repair my sewer line? Are they to code? Are they environmentally sound? How long will they last?
View/Print
What to Ask in Person
Asking Marin County Sewer Line Contractors Questions in Person

Once you’ve made some initial phone calls, you should be able to narrow down your list to three to five sewer line contractors who can meet your sewer line repair needs and offer the customer service you want.

In most cases, you will meet your Marin County sewer line contractor in person when the company comes to write an estimate. All sewer line repair and replacement situations are unique, so the sewer line contractors will almost certainly need to see your property and any landscaping in the work area to get a good idea of potential causes of the problem....

Read More »
Expand

Once you’ve made some initial phone calls, you should be able to narrow down your list to three to five sewer line contractors who can meet your sewer line repair needs and offer the customer service you want.

In most cases, you will meet your Marin County sewer line contractor in person when the company comes to write an estimate. All sewer line repair and replacement situations are unique, so the sewer line contractors will almost certainly need to see your property and any landscaping in the work area to get a good idea of potential causes of the problem.

The contractor will probably also want to see the sewer pipe layout and where the city sewer hook-up is in reference to your line.


It makes sense to expect good sewer line contractors to take a look before offering an estimate. When the sewer line contractor comes, you may want to ask some questions so that you get a good idea of how the contractor decided on the recommendations made. Having questions prepared in advance can be helpful in the midst of a stressful situation.
Some questions like the following might make sense.

  1. Do you think you can perform trenchless replacement here? Or will a trench be required?
  2. If we cannot find a cleanout, or I know I don’t have one, what fixture or other option will you use to access the sewer line?
  3. How close is my property to the city sewer hook-up? Will there be extra costs to connect to it?
  4. Can you help me locate a cleanout?
  5. Do you see any problems with the current landscaping and the run of the sewer line? Do I need to consider removing brush or trees?
  6. How long do you think the job will take?
  7. Can you access the site with whatever equipment you need to perform the repair?
  8. How quickly can you start the job?
  9. If you are making a repair, not a replacement, will that area of the pipe be more vulnerable to future damage?
  10. Why are you recommending a replacement – can you just repair the portion of the sewer line that is damaged?
View/Print
What to Ask References
Questions for References of Local Sewer Line Contractors in Marin County and the Greater Bay Area

It’s best to choose a Diamond Certified sewer line contractor because all certified companies have passed an in-depth ratings process that most other companies can’t pass. If you want quality from a sewer line contractor in Marin County and the greater Bay Area, you can have confidence choosing a Diamond Certified company.
...

Read More »
Expand

It’s best to choose a Diamond Certified sewer line contractor because all certified companies have passed an in-depth ratings process that most other companies can’t pass. If you want quality from a sewer line contractor in Marin County and the greater Bay Area, you can have confidence choosing a Diamond Certified company.

Diamond Certified reports are available online for all certified companies. And you’ll never be fooled by fake reviews. That’s because all research is performed in live telephone interviews of actual customers.

If you can’t find a Diamond Certified sewer line contractor within reach, you’ll have to do some research on your own. If you do, it’s wise to call some references provided by your sewer line contractor. Keep in mind, though, that references provided to you by the sewer line contractor are not equal in value to the large random sample of customers surveyed during the Diamond Certified ratings process.


That’s because references given to customers from companies are cherry-picked instead of randomly selected from all their customers. So the contractors will likely give you a few customers to call that they know are satisfied.

If you do call references on your own, specifically ask for a list of the company’s 10 most recent customers. This will help avoid them giving you the names of only customers they know were satisfied.

  1. How long has the sewer line repair or sewer line replacement been installed? Have you noticed any problems after the service visit?
  2. Did your contractor clearly explain why a replacement was required instead of a repair?
  3. What was the issue? How could you tell you needed a sewer line repair or replacement as opposed to removing a one-time block?
  4. Did you have an open trench repair? Or did you use trenchless repair methods?
  5. Did you have problems with tree or brush roots? Did you remove the tree or brush as part of the solution, or are they still in place? If they are in place, are they likely to cause further problems?
  6. For any trenches or openings made on your property – were they properly filled after the job was finished? Were you satisfied with the state your property was left in?
  7. I don’t have a cleanout. Do you? If not, how was your sewer line accessed?
  8. Did the sewer line contractor work with the proper authorities to help you get any required permits?
  9. Did the sewer line contractor explain the materials being used, how long they should last, their environmental impact?
  10. Were you satisfied with the sewer line contractor’s work? Why or why not?
View/Print
Review Your Options
Hire a Good Sewer Line Contractor in Marin County

Before deciding on the best sewer line contractor in Marin County for you, it’s important to consider the following questions....

Read More »
Expand

Before deciding on the best sewer line contractor in Marin County for you, it’s important to consider the following questions.

  • Does the sewer line contractor provide a written estimate of the work to be performed?
  • Can the sewer line contractor offer alternatives to open trenches in my yard? Or make a sound case for why the trench method is required?
  • Is the sewer line contractor concerned with first correctly identifying the source of the problem before making recommendations?
  • Does the sewer line contractor assess the problem professionally, using cameras and other tools to identify the exactly problem?
  • Is the sewer line contractor licensed by the state of California?
  • Does the sewer line contractor find it important to work within code, using the proper materials?
  • Does the sewer line contractor work with the city or other entity to get a permit as required?
  • Is the sewer line contractor as committed to saving my landscaping, where possible, as I am?
  • Is the sewer line contractor committed to restoring my property to a decent condition that we agree upon?
  • Is the sewer line contractor familiar with the city sewer system hook-up and how my line will connect to the city system?
View/Print
Review Your Options
Verify Your Marin County Sewer Line Contractor’s Performance Against the Estimate and Invoice

The written estimate and contract must outline the extent of what will happen to your property. Get the estimate and contract written in as much significant detail as possible. For example: “open two holes, insert PVC liner, steam liner into place, remove bladder after liner is cured,” is better than:” install trenchless replacement.”
...

Read More »
Expand

The written estimate and contract must outline the extent of what will happen to your property. Get the estimate and contract written in as much significant detail as possible. For example: “open two holes, insert PVC liner, steam liner into place, remove bladder after liner is cured,” is better than:” install trenchless replacement.”

The additional details ensure you know what is covered and what is not. You are then in a better position to check off what has been completed and what has not been. Don’t be timid about examining the work, if you want to.


Cameras should allow you to see into the pipes to be sure that they are no longer blocked, or that the new liner runs the complete length of the pipes.

Always make sure the written contract covers how your property is to be restored after the repair – for example, all holes refilled and leveled. Make sure that your property is in the state you expected it to left in before you pay your final invoice.

View/Print
How to Work With
Before Deciding to Hire a Marin County Sewer Line Contractor

When you are thinking about which Marin County sewer line contractor to hire, be sure to do a little preparation. Ask two or more contractors for written estimates. Don’t work with a contractor who won’t provide you with a written estimate.
...

Read More »
Expand

When you are thinking about which Marin County sewer line contractor to hire, be sure to do a little preparation. Ask two or more contractors for written estimates. Don’t work with a contractor who won’t provide you with a written estimate.

Look for sewer line contractors in your area who show expertise and experience in working with sewer lines and situations like yours. Be sure the sewer line contractor is licensed. You can verify that the license is current and that there are no complaints against it by going to the Contractors State License Board (CSLB) website.

Find out a physical address for the company and verify that it is real. It’s best to have several ways to contact a firm, and a brick and mortar presence can always be your last resort. If a contractor is only available by mobile phone, carefully consider how legitimate the company is.


Once You’ve Decided on Your Marin County Sewer Line Contractor
You and your Marin County sewer line contractor need to be on the same page. Be sure you ask about how the problem was diagnosed. A camera will most often be used to pinpoint the exact problem. Don’t accept “guesstimates.” A proper contractor will take the time to locate the specific problem. If the sewer line contractor suggests several steps – such as jet cleaning the pipe before the camera is used - always ask whether there are additional charges.

Ask your Marin County sewer line contractor if a trench is required or if you can use less invasive methods. If you want trenchless techniques, ask about them. If a trench is required, be sure your sewer line contractor clearly explains why a trench is the only method that will work.

Be sure to agree with your sewer line contractor about the expected state of your property after the repair. Do you want holes and trenches filled and level, for example. Make sure you understand what part of replacing the landscaping, if any, the sewer line contractor will perform. They most likely will only be responsible for filling the trenches, but make sure you understand what they will and won’t do.

Do you have trees or shrubs close to your sewer line? Do you want to save the trees or shrubs? Can the sewer line contractor remove roots that are causing the problem, for example, without killing the tree? Do the trees or brush have to be removed completely to prevent further recurrences of the problem?

Be clear about whether you want to save a tree or whether you are fine with it being removed. In some cases, you may have no option but to remove the tree. Again, it’s important to discuss your expectations with your Marin County sewer line contractor, whether you live in San Anselmo, San Rafael, Novato, Larkspur, Mill Valley, San Marin, Woodacre, Corte Madera, or Sausalito.

Making the Job Easier for a Marin County Sewer Line Contractor
Steps you take can make the job go more easily for your Marin County sewer line contractor. If possible, locate your cleanout or cleanouts. If you can, discover where the gas pipes and clean water lines are so that you are sure they are not placed near your sewer line.

If the sewer line contractor will be working from a cleanout in the house, clear the path to it. If there are weeds obstructing an outdoor cleanout, try to remove them before the job begins.

Make sure your expectations are outlined in the written estimate and contract. For example, if you expect trees to be saved, get it in writing. Get as much as you can in writing before the job starts – don’t come up with new issues in the middle of the project. Be available to answer your sewer line contractor’s questions.

If unexpected things crop up, the sewer line contractor will need to be able to get in touch with you to make decisions.

View/Print
Be a Good Customer
How Can You Be a Good Sewer Line Contractor Customer?

It's the sewer line contractor’s responsibility put in quality sewer lines using the best possible installation techniques. But you play a big part in the success of your sewer line contractor, too.

Here are a few simple steps you can take to be a good customer when hiring a Marin County sewer line contractor.
Be clear and upfront with the sewer line contractor. Let them know what you want from your sewer line contractor, the long-term outcome you’re expecting and specific ways they can satisfy your expectations....

Read More »
Expand

It's the sewer line contractor’s responsibility put in quality sewer lines using the best possible installation techniques. But you play a big part in the success of your sewer line contractor, too.

Here are a few simple steps you can take to be a good customer when hiring a Marin County sewer line contractor.
Be clear and upfront with the sewer line contractor. Let them know what you want from your sewer line contractor, the long-term outcome you’re expecting and specific ways they can satisfy your expectations.

  • Remember, a friendly smile goes a long way!
  • Before you hire a sewer line contractor in Marin County, restate your expectations and goals, and reiterate to the sewer line contractor’s representative your understanding of the agreement. Most problems with local sewer line contractors occur because of a breakdown in communication. By being clear about your expectations and theirs, you can avoid most conflicts.
  • Ask your sewer line contractor if you should call to check on the progress or if he will call you with updates.
  • Be sure your service representative has a phone number where they can reach you at all times while they’re working on the sewer line. The work will move along more smoothly if your sewer line contractor can reach you for any necessary updates, questions or work authorizations.
  • When your contractor contacts you, return calls promptly to keep the sewer line contractor on schedule.
  • Pay for the sewer line contractor’s work promptly.

Why would you want to be a good customer? Sewer line contractors in Marin County appreciate customers who are straightforward, honest and easy to work with.

Your good customer behavior sets the tone from your end and creates an environment conducive to a good relationship. Things may very well go smoother and any problems may be more easily resolved.

View/Print
Top 10 Requests
Top Service Requests Asked of Marin County Sewer Line Contractors

You often call your sewer line contractors when you are at your most frantic. The best sewer line contractors in Marin County, whether in San Anselmo, San Rafael, Mill Valley, Novato, Larkspur, Sausalito, Fairfax, or Belvedere, respond promptly and with expertise.

Many even offer services designed to help prevent emergencies.

Waste in Bathtub
Sometimes, attempting to clear a toilet drain results in waste backing up into the bathtub. This is a sign that you need to have your sewer lines checked.
...

Read More »
Expand

You often call your sewer line contractors when you are at your most frantic. The best sewer line contractors in Marin County, whether in San Anselmo, San Rafael, Mill Valley, Novato, Larkspur, Sausalito, Fairfax, or Belvedere, respond promptly and with expertise.

Many even offer services designed to help prevent emergencies.

Waste in Bathtub
Sometimes, attempting to clear a toilet drain results in waste backing up into the bathtub. This is a sign that you need to have your sewer lines checked.

Hydro-Jetting
Hydro-jetting is a technique used to clear pipelines of grease or other debris that can build up over time. Some contractors recommend that hydro-jetting be an annual process so that the pipes remain clear, especially on rentals and commercial properties.

Sewage Smell Abatement
Unfortunately, one of the indicators of a broken sewer line can be a smell of sewage. Sewer line contractors and plumbers should come and assess the smell and the pipes before drawing up a contract to address the problem.

Toilet Flush Properly
When the toilet will not flush properly, it can be a sign of greater problems. Of course, sometimes a simple plunger can remove a temporary blockage. But if your toilet continues to backup frequently or you cannot plunge the matter away, you may need a sewer line repair or replacement.

Sewer Line Repair
Not every problem is going to require a replacement of the entire sewer line. Sometimes a pipe is cracked or broken in such a way that only a small portion of the pipe needs to be replaced. A sewer line repair is warranted in such cases.

Sewer Line Replacement
Sometimes the damage to the sewer line is so comprehensive that the whole line must be replaced. If you have old, clay-based piping, it will be replaced, not repaired, since the clay piping does not meet the current standards. When evaluating repair vs. replacement, keep in mind that having to place multiple patches on the pipe over time can add up.

Replace Septic System
If you have a septic tank, you are responsible for emptying it. Some prefer to not have that burden. In cases where the municipal system is available, you can have your septic tank replaced with a sewer line that connects you to the municipal sewer system and frees you from one burden.

Slow Draining Toilet or Tub
If the water drains slowly from your toilet or tub, there may be a blockage or damage to the sewer line. Of course, the first step is to try to remove any blockage. If that does not solve the problem, check for breaks and breaches in the sewer line.

Tree Roots
Trees seek out water and are attracted to your sewer pipe. On occasion, tree roots can penetrate the pipes. The root balls can create blockages that must be removed. The pipes must then be repaired or replaced.

Video Inspection
Cameras exist that allow your plumber or contractor to look down your sewer line for breaks obstructions. If other measures are failing, you might want to have someone examine your pipes with a camera so that you can identify the problem.

View/Print
If Things Go Wrong
Rely on the Diamond Certified Performance Guarantee

Diamond Certified sewer line contractors are backed by the Diamond Certified Performance Guarantee. If the sewer line repair company you’ve hired is Diamond Certified and you can’t resolve the issue by talking with the manager or company owner, contact the mediation department at info@diamondcertified.org or call 800-738-1138.

Simple Steps To End Conflict with Marin County Sewer Line Contractors...

Read More »
Expand

Diamond Certified sewer line contractors are backed by the Diamond Certified Performance Guarantee. If the sewer line repair company you’ve hired is Diamond Certified and you can’t resolve the issue by talking with the manager or company owner, contact the mediation department at info@diamondcertified.org or call 800-738-1138.

Simple Steps To End Conflict with Marin County Sewer Line Contractors
The first effort you should make to avoid conflict with your Marin County sewer line contractor is to have a specific, detailed, written contract. This should save you from many conflicts. If you do have a problem, try to resolve it by discussing the issue with your sewer line contractor.


If you can’t resolve the problem, you may report your sewer line contractor to the CSLB at their website. If you want restitution, the CSLB recommends small claims court.

The CSLB will investigate claims against contractors. It may cite and fine the contractor, or force them to finish a job, or to pay for someone else to finish the job. However, restitution in and of itself is not the CSLB’s focus.

View/Print
Glossary of Terms
Glossary of Terms Used By Local Sewer Line Contractors
Photo: Superior Plumbing & Drain Cleaning Services (2013)

You may not know that much about your sewer line – except that it works. But when it comes to speaking with your sewer line repair company, you’ll want to have a basic understanding of what needs to be fixed or replaced.

Use the glossary terms to help you better understand the proposed work on your sewer line repair or sewer line replacement.

ABS
A type of pipe. Black and rigid, this plastic should only be used for a drain line.

Also known as: acrylonitrile butadiene styrene...

Read More »
Expand

You may not know that much about your sewer line – except that it works. But when it comes to speaking with your sewer line repair company, you’ll want to have a basic understanding of what needs to be fixed or replaced.

Use the glossary terms to help you better understand the proposed work on your sewer line repair or sewer line replacement.

ABS
A type of pipe. Black and rigid, this plastic should only be used for a drain line.

Also known as: acrylonitrile butadiene styrene

access panel
An opening near a plumbing or electrical fixture that allows the contractor service the fixture.

adaptor
A device that allows different kinds of pipes to be connected.

cleanout
A cleanout is a capped pipe that is designed to allow access to the sewer lines. Homes may have one or more cleanouts, and some homes have none.

Also known as: clean-out

easement
An easement allows someone who does not own the property in question to use that property in a limited way. For example, an easement may serve as a passage to a property.

coupling
A device that unites two pieces of pipe.

DWV
Drain, waste, and vent.

elbow
Refers to a piece of pipe that has two openings and changes the direction of the line.

Also known as: ell

fall
Refers to the pipe’s slope, which would be required for drainage to occur adequately.

Also known as: flow

fixture
Refers to appliances that supply and/or dispose of water.

Also known as: sink, toilet, tub

flux
In plumbing, refers to a paste that is applied when metal joints are soldered. The paste helps the joint resist rusting.

force main
A sewer line where sewage moves as a result of pressure, instead of gravity.

gravity sewer
A sewer where wastewater flows downstream – as a result of gravity.

I.D.
Refers the inside diameter of a pipe. The inside diameter is the measurement used to size pipes.

I/I
Infiltration and inflow occurs when groundwater gets into the sewer system.

Also known as: infiltration and inflow

pipe bursting
A technique used for sewer line replacement. A bursting head breaks up the old pipe and drags the new pipe into place behind the bursting head. It is an alternative to trenching.

pipe replacement
Usually refers to digging up an old pipe and replacing the entire length of the pipe.

point repair
A point repair addresses a specific point of failure in a pipe. The damaged piece of the pipe is replaced with a piece of pipe of the same diameter.

pump station
Pump stations accept sewage from a specified part of the sewer system, then pump the water on to the next section of sewer or to the next pump station.

PVC
A type of plastic, white or cream, that forms rigid pipes used where pressure is not applied, for example in waste or venting systems.

Also known as: polyvinyl chloride

riser
A riser is a  set of pipes and fittings that is vertically assembled and sends water upwards.

rough-in
In plumbing, the rough-in consists of putting the water supply lines and drain, as well as the waste and vent lines, in position so that they reach the fixture they are servicing.

service basin
The areas into which a city’s sewer system may be divided. Each service basin typically has its own pump station.

setback
A setback is an area behind, or set back from, the property line.

soil stack
The soil stack takes wastewater to the sewer line. The soil stack is the biggest vertical drain line that all branch waste lines connect to.

stop valve
A stop-valve is a device that works with a single fixture, allowing the water to that fixture to be turned on and off without affecting the water supply to any other fixture.

trap
In the drain line of a fixture, such as a toilet or tub, the trap is a curved section. It holds water to prevent sewer gases from going up the pipe and into the home.

union
A device with three pieces that joins two sections of pipe. The pipes can be disconnected without severing the pipe.

vent stack
The vent stack is the upper part of the soil stack and allows gases and odors to escape. It is located above the highest fixture in place.

WYE
A device, or fitting, that has three openings. It is used to make branch lines.

View/Print
Frequently Asked Questions
FAQ For Sewer Line Repair and Replacement Companies

Q: Why choose a Diamond Certified Sewer Line Contractor?...

Read More »
Expand

Q: Why choose a Diamond Certified Sewer Line Contractor?
A: Diamond Certified helps you choose a sewer line contractor with confidence by offering a list of top-rated local companies who have passed the country’s most in-depth rating process. Only sewer line contractors rated Highest in Quality earn the prestigious Diamond Certified award. Most companies can’t pass the ratings. American Ratings Corporation also monitors every Diamond Certified company with ongoing research and ratings. And your purchase is backed by the Diamond Certified Performance Guarantee. So you’ll feel confident choosing a Diamond Certified sewer line contractor.

Q: Do I have to dig up my entire yard to fix my sewer line?
A: There are techniques available today that will help you get a sewer line replacement or sewer line repair without digging up your yard. You can get your pipes relined, which creates a new pipe within the existing pipe. The new pipe lining is pulled through the existing pipe, then heated so that it creates a solid, resistant pipe. Another option is to use pipe bursting in which a bursting head breaks up the existing pipe in the ground and pulls a new pipe along behind itself.

Q: How much of the sewer line am I responsible for?
A: The homeowner is generally responsible for the sewer line that runs from the house to the edge of the sidewalk closest to house. Once the line reaches city property, like the sidewalk, it becomes the city’s responsibility, in most cases. You should check with your locality about the specifics of where the municipal responsibility picks up. Anytime your sewer line repair or replacement looks like it is hitting the sidewalk, you should call the municipal government to be sure where your responsibility stops.

Q: What makes a sewer line need repair?
A: Sewer lines get blocked and broken because of many reasons. If you drop things down the drain, they can form the basis of a clog that will not allow water and waste to pass. In addition, pipes can crack, especially old fashioned clay pipes, so clay pipes are no longer allowed. Tree or brush roots may get into the pipe and form the basis of the blockage. Or settlement of the land over time, or swelling or contracting of the pipes due to freezing or thawing may weaken the pipes and cause them to sag or crack.

Q: Should I trust someone who says he or she has “a good idea” of where a problem is occurring?
A: Plumbers and sewer line contractors today have very sophisticated technology, including cameras that can be used to view the inside of the pipes. Your sewer line contractor should use the camera to determine exactly where the problem is before starting to dig or repair the issue.

Q: Do I need a licensed contractor?
A: Yes, in California, you should get a licensed sewer line contractor to perform work on your sewer line. When you look for your contractor, you will see firms advertising as either sewer line contractors or as plumbers. Just make sure the firm has experience in working with sewer lines, and that they are licensed by the state of California – the license number should appear in their advertising – and that they are bonded and have worker’s compensation insurance for their employees.

Q: Do I need a permit for my sewer line repair or sewer line replacement?
A: In most cases, yes, you will need a permit for your sewer line repair or replacement. Your contractor should be able to help you get this permit. Be sure to ask about whether or not the firm helps with obtaining the permit.

Q: When do I need to do more than clear a block?
A: You can start to resolve wastewater problems by trying to clear a drain. Often, homeowners or plumbers will begin by trying to snake a pipe, or use other methods to clear it. If you cannot clear the blockage and get the fixture running again, or if the blockage recurs frequently, it may be time to check the sewer line. If you have sewage showing up outside, a bad sewage smell, or other obvious signs, it may be time to replace the sewer line.

Q: What’s the different between a sewage line and a septic tank?
A: A sewage line connects the individual house to a municipal wastewater system. The wastewater is carried through pipes to facilities that can process the wastewater. With a septic tank, the waste is piped from the house into a tank on the property and stored. Once the tank is full, it must be pumped dry before more can be added. If the municipality’s sewage system reaches the house with a septic tank, the house can be converted from a septic tank to the sewage system. Some sewer line contractors and plumbers specialize in these conversions.

Q: What is the environmental impact of using pipe relining?
A: The material used to reline pipes is epoxy-based and safe for the environment.

View/Print
Consumer Agencies
Sewer Line Contractor Associations and Professional Organizations

American Backflow Prevention Association (ABPA) (www.abpa.org/)
American Society of Plumbing Engineers (ASPE) (www.aspe.org/)
American Society of Sanitary Engineering (ASSE) (www.asse-plumbing.org/)
Contractors State License Board (CSLB) (www.cslb.ca.gov)...

Read More »
Expand

American Backflow Prevention Association (ABPA) (www.abpa.org/)
American Society of Plumbing Engineers (ASPE) (www.aspe.org/)
American Society of Sanitary Engineering (ASSE) (www.asse-plumbing.org/)
Contractors State License Board (CSLB) (www.cslb.ca.gov)

International Association of Plumbing and Mechanical Officers (IAPMO) (www.iapmo.org/)
NSF International (NSF) (www.nsf.org/)
Plumbing-Heating-Cooling Contractors Association of California (PHCC) (www.caphcc.org/)
Plumbing Manufacturers International (PMI) (www.pmihome.org/)
South Bay Piping Industry (www.sbaypipe.org/)
United Association (UA) (www.ua.org/)

View/Print
Industry Information
Marin County Sewer Line Contractor Information
Common Types of Sewer LinesTypes of Sewer Line Services Available in Marin County Cities Served Zip Codes Served
residential septic linessewer line cleaningAlmonte
Bel Marin Keys
Belvedere
Belvedere Tiburon
Black Point
Bolinas
Corte Madera
Dillon Beach
Dogtown
Fairfax
Forest Knolls
Greenbrae
Ignacio
Inverness
Kent Woodlands
Kentfield
Lagunitas
Larkspur
Lucas Valley
Marin City
Marinwood
Marshall
Mill Valley
Mission Rafael
Muir Beach
Muir Woods
Nicasio
Novato
Olema
Point Reyes Station
Ross
San Anselmo
San Geronimo
San Marin
San Quentin
San Rafael
Santa Venetia
Sausalito
Sleepy Hollow
Stinson Beach
Strawberry Point
Tamal
Tamalpais Valley
Terra Linda
Tiburon
Tomales
Woodacre
94901
94903
94904
94912
94913
94914
94915
94920
94924
94925
94929
94930
94933
94937
94938
94939
94940
94941
94942
94945
94946
94947
94948
94949
94950
94956
94957
94960
94963
94964
94965
94966
94970
94971
94973
94974
94976
94977
94978
94979
industrial septic linessewer drain cleaning
industrial sewer linesseptic line maintenance
residential septic linessewer line tree roots removal
residential sewer pipessewer line repiping
commercial sewer linessewer line repair
 sewer line replacement
 sewer line installation
 clogged pipe cleaning
 sewer pipe lining
 sewer line inspection
 trenchless sewer line replacement