Our Company

What is Invisible Excavations’ service area?
Invisible Excavations serves several counties surrounding Cleveland and Akron Ohio, including Cuyahoga, Erie, Lake, Lorain, Mahoning, Medina and Summit. If you are slightly outside of this service area, please call 216-749-3478 to see if we may still be able to accommodate you.
Does Invisible Excavations have a payment program?
Yes, we offer a payment plan. We understand that many cannot afford the upfront costs associated with pipe lining – especially if you encounter a problem unexpectedly. To accommodate all customers, Invisible Excavations offers financing.

Diagnosing Sewer Line Problems

Is the sewer line leading away from my home my responsibility, even if the broken part is under the city street or sidewalk?
Homeowners and small business owners are fully responsible for the maintenance and repair of all home plumbing, including the lines that travel from the main building to the sewer main.
How often should I have my sewer line inspected?
We recommend having sewer lines inspected prior to purchasing or renting a new home, so you can negotiate repairs instead of unexpectedly facing a pricey problem.

We also recommend having sewer lines inspected prior to a kitchen or bathroom renovation or addition to ensure the new system can handle the additional flow.

Just like with other home systems, regular maintenance can help to prevent unwanted problems. Periodic cleaning of sewer lines can help to prevent clogs or backups. Grease, hair, food and other debris can gradually build up over time and cause a backup. Environmental factors, such as shifting ground or tree roots can also cause pipe leaks or backups.

What are the signs of a broken sewer pipe?
Signs your sewer line may need repair include:

• Slow Drains
• Blocked or Backed up Drains
• Foul Smells
• Gurgling Ppipes
• Pooling Water
• Mold
• Increased Rodents or Insects

If any of these warning signs appear, you should have your sewer lines inspected by an expert right away to avoid more costly future repairs.

There's a terrible smell coming out of my drains, but everything still seems to be woking properly. What could be wrong?
A bad smell could be an indicator of a multiple problems, including but not limited to:

Sewer Line Break or Backup
Grease, hair, food and waste can naturally build up and cause blockage over time. Similarly, if tree roots start growing into the sewer line, they can trap grease, food and waste instead of allowing them to flow smoothly down and out.

Infrequent Use of Drain
Your home is designed with pipes that vent sewer gases out the top of your house. If a sink or drain is not used frequently, the P-Trap under the drain lacks enough water to block sewer gas from escaping. Without enough water, the sewer gas seeps back through the line into the house instead of up and out the roof as it should.

To uncover what exactly is causing the odor and how to best eliminate it, you should call a plumber to schedule a sewer camera inspection.

I've already had a video pipe inspection of my sewer line. Can you use it?
In almost all cases, we need to perform our own video pipe inspection prior to providing an estimate for trenchless sewer line repairs or replacement.

Not only do we want to provide you with a fair and honest estimate, but also we want to ensure that the problem is correctly diagnosed. Most video inspections from conventional plumbing companies do not meet the criteria that we need to make an accurate assessment.

We are more than happy to review your existing video and let you know what additional information we need.

Fixing Sewer Line Problems

How much does trenchless sewer line repair cost?
Our team cannot provide this quote without a proper video inspection of the sewer line in question. Each sewer line repair or replacement job is unique, so only once we have identified the problem and the best possible methods for repair can we answer this question.

In most cases; however, trenchless sewer line repair costs are considerably less expensive than traditional sewer line repairs that require digging. The trenchless pipe lining process is much less intrusive, so you won’t have to spend as much in repairs to your home or yard – repairs that are often required with traditional methods.

How long does trenchless sewer line repair take?
Trenchless sewer line repairs can take as little as one day, but most residential jobs typically last 2 – 3 days from start to finish.

Using Trenchless Technology

How long do sewer lines last?
Most sewer lines should last at least 40 to 50 years.

However, the integrity of the sewer line and overall system depends on a number of variable factors including:

  • How and when the pipe was originally installed
  • How the ground has shifted over time
  • What surrounds the sewer system, i.e. tree roots

Most homes over 40 years old have sewer lines made of clay or iron, which degenerate much more quickly than newer technologies.

The trenchless sewer repair and replacement methods used by Invisible Excavations guarantee that your new sewer line will last over 50 years.

How long do cured in place pipes last?
The trenchless sewer repair and replacement methods used by Invisible Excavations guarantee that your new sewer line will last over 50 years.

The cured in place pipe will not corrode and is resistant to deposits from water by-products. The cured in place pipe does not have any fittings – it is one piece – which makes it resistant to tree root invasion (tree roots usually work their way in through cracks in pipe fittings).

Can any sewer be lined using the trenchless technology?
About 95% of sewer lines can be relined using the trenchless CIPP technology. If the existing pipes have not completely collapsed, pipelining can restore virtually any type of sewer line including clay, cast iron, PVC, plastic and concrete.

There are; however, two other trenchless methods that may be used when CIPP is not an option: trenchless pipe bursting and directional drilling.

We start every job by completely inspecting the sewer line with a video camera, so that we can accurately diagnose the problem and discuss the possible repair or replacement options with you.

How long of a sewer line can be lined with the CIPP trenchless technology?
We can reline a sewer pipe up to 300 feet long. Watch the video below to see the before and after of a 300 foot sewer relined with CIPP. Notice that the new pipe does not have any joints like the old one does, guaranteeing 50 plus years of no leaks or root invasions.

What materials are used in trenchless sewer repair and replacement?
For trenchless sewer repair, we install cured-in-place-pipe (CIPP). The benefits of this material include:

  • Corrosion resistant
  • Leak resistant
  • Root infestation resistant

For trenchless pipe bursting and directional drilling, we install HDPE pipe. The benefits of this material include:

  • Corrosion resistant
  • Leak resistant
  • Scale and biological build-up resistant
  • High strain allowance, virtually eliminating breakage due to freezing temperatures
  • Flexibility requires fewer fittings
Can you shoot the CIPP liner through fittings?
Yes, the cured-in-place-pipe (CIPP), or “pipe within a pipe” liner can be shot through existing pipefittings.

Covering More Than Sewers

Can you fix water or pool lines?

Yes, Invisible Excavations does more than trenchless sewer line repair and replacement. Call us today to see how we can best help you: 216-741-5131.

Sewer Pipe Inspections

Is a sewer line inspection part of a home inspection?
While a sewer line inspection is not always a guaranteed part of a home inspection – depending on the inspection package you choose and the company you hire – a sewer inspection should be a mandatory part of your house inspection checklist.

A sewer inspection is one of the most important components of a home inspection, regardless if you’re a first-time or seasoned buyer. The bottomline is: sewer line inspections are relatively inexpensive, but sewer repairs can be very expensive.

What is a CCTV pipe inspection?
A closed circuit television video (CCTV) pipe inspection is a robotic, remotely controlled technology used to evaluate your sewer pipe.

The CCTV cameras are inserted through existing sewer entry points and can fit in pipes anywhere from 1-1/2” to 72” in diameter. Using special software, the camera can relay a full, precise picture of a sewer pipe – including the pipe’s condition and any damages in the pipe.

How much does a sewer pipe inspection cost?
On average, sewer camera inspections usually cost between $250 and $350. Actual costs can depend on the length of your pipes, extent of damage, and other factors.
How long does a sewer inspection take?
On average, sewer line camera inspections take one hour to scope the lines of a single-family residence. The length can vary depending on the size of the home/sewer line system, ease of access to the pipes, and other factors.
Is a sewer line inspection necessary?
They are absolutely vital. In fact, we won’t take steps to unclog a blockage until a video inspection is done because we need to first find, diagnose and pinpoint exactly where the issue is so we can correct the problem in a fast and efficient manner.

Drain & Sewer Line Cleaning

How do you maintain sewer lines?
While maintaining sewer lines is not always top-of-mind for most homeowners, the care and keeping of clean, clear sewer pipes is essential to maintain a smooth running home and avoid extravagant expenses due to a sewage backup.

Maintain a sewer line by:

  • Never pouring grease or cooking oil down a drain.
  • Using enzymatic cleaners every month.
  • Being mindful of what you’re putting down your drains.
  • Putting new lines in if your sewer lines are old or are invaded by plant roots.
  • Ensuring your lines are clear, not getting clogged with plant roots and are damage-free via a video pipe inspection from a professional plumber once a year.
How often should sewer lines be cleaned?
It is recommended that you have your sewer lines cleaned every 18-22 months. However, if you’re experiencing problems, it’s important to not wait and have them cleaned more often than that. A licensed plumber can check your pipes via a video pipe inspection.
How do I find my main sewer line cleanout?
Every home will have their main sewer line cleanout in a slightly different spot. Typically, the main sewer line cleanout is a 4-inch-diameter pipe with a screw cap.

Most cleanout pipes have a square knob or indentation on the top. Look for a pipe that is sticking out of the ground outside your home – usually between the foundation and the street. A lot of homes have the cleanout on the side of the home, closest to the bathroom.

If you’re still having trouble locating it, a professional plumber can help you locate your main sewer line cleanout.

How do I unclog my main sewer line?
Because main sewer lines can become clogged for various reasons, there isn’t one true answer as to how to unclog a main sewer line. However, when a main sewer line does become clogged, it is vital the matter is solved quickly and accurately to minimize additional damage and cost. For this reason, a professional drain cleaning plumber should perform a video pipe inspection to identify the issue and enact the best unclogging solution right away.
What can I pour down a drain to unclog it?
Just because chemical drain cleaners are abundantly sold in stores across the country doesn’t mean they’re safe or effective over the long term. Chemical drain cleaners are bad for the environment and can cause damage to piping and sink finishes because they are so acidic.

Instead, you can try pouring the following down your drain to unclog it:

  • Boiling water
  • Dish soap and hot water
  • Baking soda and vinegar
  • Baking soda and salt
  • Salt, borax, and vinegar

If these methods don’t prove effective, you may have a bigger clog lurking. Call a professional plumber to remove the clog before it disrupts your home’s plumbing system.

How effective is hyrdo jetting?
Hydro jetting is an extremely effective method used by licensed plumbers to remove even the most stubborn clogs and open sewage lines. Water is blasted at high pressure into the plumbing lines at about 4000 psi.

Hydro jetting will completely clean out your pipes and is more effective than snaking (as drain snakes only break up clogs but leave any build up on pipe walls).

It must be noted that hydro jetting is only recommended to be done by a professional plumber.

Does hydro jetting work on roots?
Yes. Hydro jetting can remove tree roots and hair, silt, sand, scale, debris, grease, food buildup and more.

Water Lines

What are the signs of a possible water line leak?
These include:

  • A sudden spike or gradual increase in water usual without any rhyme or reason.
  • Large puddles of water in the yard.
What does it cost to have a water line repaired or replaced?
Replacing or installing a new water line depends on:

  • Access to the water line
  • Depth of the water line
  • Type of pipe

Our team can access your situation and provide a more accurate quote.

Can I fix my water line myself?
While there are resources that suggest you can fix a water line yourself, it’s almost always highly recommended to contact a professional plumber because water pipe leaks can be hidden underground, behind walls or beneath floors – necessitating special equipment and expert knowledge of water lines and repair methods. A professional plumber can always save you invaluable time and money on your repairs or replacement costs.

Sump Pumps

How many years does a sump pump last?
On average, sump pumps have an average life expectancy of about 10 years.
How often should you replace your sump pump?
If your sump pump is 10 years or older, it’s probably time to replace it.

If you don’t know the age of your sump pump, it’s important to have it inspected, cleaned, and/or maintained. From there, the licensed plumber you hired can tell you if it needs replaced.

Some signs you need to replace your sump pump include:

  • It’s making strange noises
  • It vibrates excessively when running
  • It runs all the time
  • It has irregular cycling
  • It runs for a long time
  • There is visible rust
  • It is between the ages of 7-10 years old
What causes a sump pump to fail?
While the most common cause of sump pump failure is an electrical power outage, sump pumps also fail because:

  • The sump pump is the wrong size
  • Installation wasn’t done correctly
  • The pump has a mechanical issue with the switch
  • The pump has received little to no maintenance
  • There are frozen or clogged discharge lines
  • There is a product defect
Should sump pumps run all the time? What do I do if my sump pump keeps running?
No, sump pumps should not run all the time. If your sump pump keeps running (and there’s no water) you probably have a float switch that’s stuck in the ON position.

Try to:

  • Unplug the sump pump.
  • Clear the pit of obstacles like rocks or dirt.
  • Move the float to ensure it can move up and down freely.
  • Move the sump pump to the center of the pit.
  • Plug the sump pump back in to see if it still runs constantly.

If your pump is still running all the time, it’s time to call a licensed plumber for professional help.

How does a sump pump battery backup work?
A sump pump battery backup is a heavy-duty battery that’s attached to your sump pump. It should be installed in addition to, not replacing, your existing sump pump. The battery remains charged and if/when the power goes out, the battery will automatically activate the sump pump.
How many hours does a sump pump battery backup last?
Every home is different when it comes to how much water a sump pump will collect, and every battery backup is different (depending on amp/hour battery).

A good representation is if you have a 40-amp/hour battery and it’s projected to last up to 53 hours. But, if the water issue is serious enough, the pump may need to run once a minute. This will drain the battery sooner and only last about 12 hours.

Find the best battery backup for your home’s needs and your comfort level.

How often should you replace a sump pump battery?
Every battery backup system will differ. On average, however, batteries should be replaced every five years.
Can you add a battery backup to an existing sump pump?
Yes. In this case, the backup system will act as a sensor between the household electrical supply and your sump pump.

Essentially, the sump pump will need to be plugged into the battery backup unit and permanent battery cables will need to be wired from your battery into the unit.

Basement Waterproofing

Can you waterproof a basement from the inside?
Yes, absolutely. Interior waterproofing methods are great for small cracks, minimal leakage, or if exterior excavation is not possible. The two main interior waterproofing solutions are: interior waterproofing sealant and an interior floor drain system.
How do I stop my basement from seeping water?
Depending on how severe the seepage is, you will need to employ an interior or exterior waterproofing solution. Generally speaking, interior waterproofing can seal minor cracks or holes in basement walls, floors, and around windows and doors fairly quickly.

Interior waterproofing methods do not typically address underlying, root causes of moisture and water, as these are usually found on the outside. So, with extensive seepage issues, exterior waterproofing is usually the most effective way to waterproof a basement, block water from entering your basement, and prevent water from causing damage to the foundation structure.

How long does basement waterproofing last?
When you hire a licensed professional company to waterproof your basement, exterior waterproof sealants should last the life of your home. Most indoor waterproofing sealants come with extended warranties, but each one will differ and, typically, will not last the life of your home.
How much does it cost to waterproof your basement?
Since every basement is different and has differing water issues, an accurate quote cannot be given until the basement area has been inspected.

On average, basement waterproofing sealants and epoxies are fairly low cost when applied by a professional.

Extensive exterior basement waterproofing projects can cost thousands, depending on many factors.

Does insurance cover basement waterproofing?
In most cases, basement waterproofing is not covered by homeowners insurance, as it’s viewed as a home maintenance issue and not a sudden or accidental loss. But be sure to contact your agent to know for certain what yours does and doesn’t cover.

Storm Drains

What causes storm drains to back up?
Storm drains can back up for several reasons, including:

  • The storm drain systems around your home couldn’t handle the large amounts of water
  • There’s a clog in your storm drain or sewer pipe
  • Roots have invaded your storm drain or sewer pipe
What are signs a storm drain needs repaired or cleaned?
Cracked, collapsed or clogged storm drain pipes can start to:

  • Leak water into the surrounding soil
  • Display a buildup of water and be very slow to drain
  • Flood basements, nearby roads or parking areas
How do you clean a storm drain?
High-pressure hydro jetting is the most effective way to clear debris and buildup to clean a storm drain.
How often should storm drains be cleaned?
On average, storm drains should be cleaned once a year. It is recommended that they are cleaned before winter so freezing and ice don’t cause issues.

Frozen Pipes

Why do pipes freeze?
When temperatures drop below freezing (between 32-20 degrees or lower), and depending on where you live, how old your home is, and how well your home protects your water pipes, water inside the water pipes can transform from liquid to ice. When this occurs, pipes experience a significant amount of radial expansion pressure against their inside walls and a burst pipe can happen.
What are signs of frozen pipes?
  • Strange smells from the faucet or drain
  • Decrease in water pressure
  • Lack of running water or very little running water
  • Water is not at the right temperature
  • Frost on pipes
How do you thaw frozen pipes?
When attempting to thaw frozen pipes, it’s vital you do it correctly. Our tips include:

  • Locating the frozen pipe(s)
  • Opening the faucets
  • Beginning the thawing process by thawing closest to the faucet and working your way toward the blockage

Be sure to read more information about these tips on our frozen pipe repair page.

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