Being a homeowner is a very fulfilling and exciting experience, one that can teach you patience and how to handle dire emergencies as well. We may sometimes take for granted our heat and air conditioning, our running water, or even the proper functioning of our septic system, until the time comes to repair them. Undergoing problems with a septic system and line are no walks in the park. They require the skills and expertise of a certified repair specialist. Here is the first timer’s guide to surviving sewer repair.

1. Determine the cause

A good general first step anytime you begin to have issues with your waste disposal systems is to immediately attempt to determine the cause. The reason for this is simple. Issues with waste or septic systems can cause collateral damage if not addressed immediately. It never hurts to attempt to quickly troubleshoot the situation so you can avoid further damages or at least minimize them. You could try calling a repair service company and asking for advice before they send out a technician or you can investigate online or with previous homeowners or neighbors for tips.

2. Do any DIY repairs if possible

Sometimes short term repairs or quick fixes can be used to stop the underlying issue from getting worse. This may simply be shutting off certain valves, sealing up leaking pipes, or avoiding the use of certain plumbing systems in particular bathrooms. Whatever the case, these stop gap measures may confine the problem and allow you time to wait for a skilled technician.

3. Follow plumbing codes

Each state will have their own state or local building codes that must be followed for construction and repairs alike. This applies to general construction, electrical, and even plumbing. If you are attempting any quick DIY repairs to tide you over until a technician arrives, make sure you are following code. Overall, it is better to avoid repairs that are out of your depth and to let a certified technician handle repairs from the start.

4. Shop around for the best prices

Depending on how much time you have it is usually a wise idea to shop around for the best prices. By looking online or getting recommendations from your local home owners association and neighbors you can likely find a quick short list to call on. While talking to the technicians make sure to explain the issue in as much detail as possible. Don’t allow too many opportunities for them to tell you, “price depends on what we see.” If you have followed tip one, you should be able to describe in more detail what you think the main issue is and secure at least a more accurate price range.

5. Avoid uncertified technicians

This seems obvious however many times repair services don’t always have the proper certifications or approval through the better business bureau or other state and local oversight establishments. You may find a lower price up front, but this could get you into trouble down the road.

These five tips will help you figure out a plan the next time you have issues with your septic and plumbing systems.

The First Timer’s Guide to Surviving Sewer Repair