What is a Belly?
Bellies are low spots in a sewer line. Sewer lines made from PVC are more susceptible to this type of defect, however it can affect lines comprised of any material. Bellies can form over time when the piping is not properly bedded when installed. Bedding the sewer line is the process in which the area around the pipeline is prepared before installation to prevent later problems. The only way to repair a belly, is to manually repair the line. They are also known as “low spots” or “sags.”
What does Having a Belly in the Sewer Line Mean?
When a belly has formed, the sewer line will hold water just as a p-trap holds water under a drain in your home. Some bellies do not cause any harm or inconvenience to the home or sewer system, however problems can still occur.
What Problems Arise From a Belly?
If paper or other solids settle in the sag, they can buildup and result in a “soft blockage”. These can be inconvenient, but are easily solved by a plumbing professional when they insert a manual sewer auger. You may also see specialists use electrician’s “fish tape” or a garden hose attached to a hose bibb and vacuum breaker. Each of these are pushed through the sewer clean out to break up the blockage. Generally after this process, additional water is fed into the sewer line to make sure the solids travel all the way to the main sewer.