Collapsed sewer line under a home

We have generally good sewer lines, but we recently had a section of sewer line collapse underneath a home.

I’ve never had this happen before, and want to be prepared to best handle it. Does anyone have advice on generally the best practice for handing a collapsed sewer line under a home? Can a new one usually be directionally bored? Have you hired a plumber for this repair before, and if so how did they handle it?

I had a sewer line under a home break at the buried coupling underground. I do not know of any easy way to repair it. Having about 20" ground clearance I crawled under and started digging. Made a trolley to allow my helper to remove the dirt from under the home. Dug down 5’ made the repair and filled it back in. God awful job, took 3 days, but not the first or last time I will dig under a home. That’s why we make the big bucks.


At our park we had a water riser go bad under a trailer. It was about six feet under the trailer. We used our little Kubota bx backhoe to dig as far and deep under the trailer as we could. We then hand dug under the trailer with a shovel and a cheap electric jack hammer with a spade bit from Amazon ($300ish total). I dug the hole extra deep with the backhoe so my helper could hand shovel the extra dirt spoils where I could remove them with the backhoe.

One day to dig. One week for the plumber to show up and then another day to fill in the dirt. Took about a week using water till the dirt finally completely settled.

If you end up trying to dig it out in house it will be well worth the money to buy the jackhammer. Shoveling dirt is relatively easy… Breaking it up is hard. I just looked up jackhammer on Amazon. Cheap Chinese jackhammer with spade bit $229.99 (Oct 2019) with shipping. I have had mine for about ten years now and it is still going strong. the only things I’ve done is add oil and motor brushes. Guy in pic is helper.


Hi Noel,

Depending on the extent of the issue, if its an orageburg problem where the poor quality of the old pipes have concaved you might be able to use a Picote product to run a new pipe in the current line. again, This will simply depend on how serious the current issue is. Good luck