Digging under houses

I have to replace a sanitary sewer line underneath a house. Besides importing munchkins from oz, has anyone come up with an easy(er) method to dig the trench?

How deep is the sewer line?

If it’s deep enough and under the home, you may have to bore an entirely new sewer line, or pull the home off the lot to excavate down.

I had a sewer line collapse at the end of a sewer run, 17 feet under a house. We had to pull the home off, destroy the foundation, dewater the area, excavate 17 feet, fix the sewer, backfill, repour the foundation, and redo the home set. All while putting the resident up in a hotel. Stick that in your proforma.


How about rerouting it around the house, not under it. Our water and sewer lines are 60 years old and run under the back 1/3 of the homes. One side of the park failed, and they capped it off and replaced with trenching along the shoulder of the road in front of the homes. Today’s code in my state doesn’t even allow utilities to run under homes.


Also, check with a plumber. They have ways of repairing pipes by shooting a lining into it from a cleanout.

I’m lucky. It is only 4-6’ deep.

Oh man, I am sorry to hear that.

We’ve been there too. Nothing like digging a 6’ deep hole so you can “tunnel” under a house to replace a 4" x 8’ piece of broken ABS. $$$$

Have you tried to call out one of those Epoxy liner companies?

Do you have the option to route the line alongside the house? This means reconnect where it stubs down to an area along the skirting and then trench alongside the home to the nearest lateral.

You’d still need to locate a place (hopefully not under the home) to cap the old unused connection.

If this is a main line then yea that’s a bigger issue…


I’m replacing the main sewer run to serve 13 houses. Nine of the houses have already been hauled to the dump. Four occupied houses remain on the run. I would prefer not to zig-zag the system back and forth. Good design says to stay as straight as possible, common sense says that it might not be possible. I am also replacing the main water line on the same run, so it too will be under the existing houses. It’s easier to fix the run right now, rather then replace the houses and then try to fix it. Thanks all for the help and the shared misery.

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Back hoe just to the edge of the home a little past the skirting toward the under belly of the unit where it’s convenient for the existing plumbing. Stub your new line in and reroute plumbing to new stub in. Pretty easy.

funny… in retrospect :slight_smile:

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I have special line in my Quickbooks for such events:

Other Expenses: NON-NOI and One Time Expenses: FUBAR Repairs