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Sewer Line Belly and Pipe Channeling Explained

Sewer Line Belly vs Pipe Channeling

What is a Sewer Line Belly?

A sewer line ‘belly’ is defined as a pipe holding water due to inadequate slope percentages at one or more sections of the lateral drain. A belly in a sewer line is often caused by geological events (soil movement/erosion), foundation settlement, inadequate soil compaction during installation, or a combination of various factors. Often, pipe bellies do not cause immediate or complete failure of the sewage system, however, bellies become problematic when/if debris collects and causes system blockage or backup.

What is Sewer Line Channeling?

Sewer line channeling occurs when running water cuts a course into the bottom of a sewer line over time (similar to the formation of a ravine, canyon or gully). In many cases, by the time a sewer line channel has become a problem, the bottom of the pipe may be in a state of failure. Failed or significantly deteriorated pipes (often discovered in dated cast iron drain pipes) provides an access point for tree roots, soil, and insects which typically lead to additional issues and complete drain line blockage.

Channeling in pipe. Pipe Rot.

What Are the Repair Options – Bellies?

Often, pipe bellies do not cause immediate or complete failure of the sewage system, however, bellies become problematic when/if debris collects and causes system blockage or backup. In most cases, it is not possible to determine if pipe settlement has stabilized or is ongoing. Due to this limitation, the possibility of increasing drainage flow disruption and future repair needs at seemingly inconsequential bellies/sags can not be ruled out. Professional opinion and repair/replacement recommendations to address pipe bellying will vary from one specialist to the next and is often decided on a case-by-case basis (primary repair option is pipe excavation and replacement).
Due to the inability of a home owner or maintenance specialist to regularly monitor portions of buried plumbing, a proactive approach to addressing sewage system issues is considered to be a best practice and proper preventative maintenance care.
Typically, recommendations to address pipe bellies are based on the degree of drainage disruption, the likelihood of increasing/future issues, and various additional factors relating to plumbing issues/concerns. Professional investigation by a plumbing and/or building science  specialist will likely be required to verify issues and determine what courses of action are available and warranted. 

What Are the Repair Options – Channeling?

Channeling is often associated with dated pipe material (cast iron). Professional opinion and repair/replacement recommendations to address pipe channeling will vary from one specialist to the next and is often decided on a case-by-case basis. The primary repair option is pipe excavation and replacement, however, in certain cases there may be alternative repair options (see link below). If channeling has occurred due to excess deterioration and failure of dated pipe material at multiple locations, full replacement of sewage piping and updating to PVC is likely the most feasible option.  

Portions of this post was originally published by Pipelining Technologies INC. Click HERE for links to published info.

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This systems manual is a document meant to inform the homeowner, occupants, and/or property staff the basis for operating and maintaining the building’s mechanical, electrical, and plumbing systems.  It is intended to be useful in the day-to-day operations of the property.  This document contains a brief overview of the systems, a detailed description each system along with operational information, and a comprehensive matrix of system components.  Following this document is a summary of recommended  maintenance procedures/practices that should be followed to extend the life of the installed products.


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  • Steps to clean 315I Undercounter Icemaker
  • How to clean a 315I ice maker
  • How to clean out an Undercounter Ice Maker model 315I
  • Part 7002609


Sub-Zero recommends cleaning and sanitizing all surfaces that come in contact with the water system every six months.

  • 315I cleaner, part number 7002609, is not available through the online accessory store
  • Cleaning solution for the 315I can only be purchased through a Factory Certified Parts Distributor.

To clean the 315I Ice Maker:

  1. Open the door and turn the ice maker control knob to OFF.
  2. Scoop out all of the ice and discard it or save it in an ice chest or cooler.
  3. Pour four ounces of Sub-Zero ice maker cleaner into the ice maker reservoir.
  4. Turn the ice maker control to ON, the cycle takes about two hours.
  5. After the cycle completes, pour hot water 95˚F–115˚F (35˚C–45˚C) into the ice storage bin to melt the white, frosty ice that formed.
  6. Mix some ice maker cleaner and hot water use it to scrub any mineral scale off the ice storage bin liner.
  7. Rinse the liner with hot water.
  8. Make a sanitizing solution one ounce of household bleach and two gallons of hot 95˚F–115˚F (35˚C–45˚C) water.
  9. Using the sanitizer, wipe the ice storage bin interior after the ice making system is clean and the ice storage bin is empty.
  10. Pour some of the sanitizer down the drain and allow it to air dry.
  11. Use a clean cloth and wipe the interior of the ice storage bin with the sanitizing solution.
  12. Replace the ice removed in step 2 if desired.
  13. Wash the ice scoop regularly with soap and water.
  14. See also:

Refer to the product use and care guide for further information.


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Weekly Pool Maintenance:

  • Check the water levels to ensure that the pump can work efficiently
  • Test the water and adjust the pH if necessary
  • Test the chlorine levels in the pool water
  • Test and adjust the alkalinity
  • Test oxidizer and stabilizer levels and adjust if needed
  • Inspect the pool water and check for clarity and algae growth
  • Remove any leaves or debris from the bottom of the pool and skim the surface of the water to remove debris
  • Add the appropriate amounts of weekly chlorine
  • Check the filter pressure and backwash if necessary
  • Shock the pool at least once every 2 weeks to eliminate contaminants and restore clarity to the water

Monthly Pool Maintenance:

  • Test the calcium hardness and adjust accordingly
  • Test the total alkalinity
  • Clean the filter using chemicals
  • Inspect equipment such as pump and filter for proper functioning
  • If your pool has a liner, inspect the liner for holes and tears and make any necessary repairs
  • If you have a concrete, gunite, or fiberglass pool, inspect for cracks.
  • Check all other pool equipment including ladders, handrails, diving boards, etc. to make sure nothing is loose and it is working properly

Annual Pool Maintenance:

Winterize and close your pool by doing the following:

-balance the water levels: pH, total alkalinity, calcium hardness

-lower the water levels to avoid freezing and blow out the lines to remove any excess water

-run the filter continuously for about 24 hours

-drain the pump and filter to remove any water

-Thoroughly clean the pool by vacuuming and removing all debris

-Remove skimmer baskets, ladders, and other exterior pool equipment

-Cover the pool

Whether you complete these tasks yourself or hire a professional, proper maintenance is an essential part of owning a pool. Regular maintenance will help to keep your equipment working properly and it will also help you to achieve a clean pool that is healthy and free of bacteria. This is the best way to extend the life of your pool and get the most enjoyment out of it.

General Pool Maintenance Tips

Check your Filtration System

The filter system removes debris by trapping small particles that get into the pool and do not dissolve. The filter system components are the pump and the filter. The pump is the electrical component that drives the pool water through the filter. Most swimming pool filters use sanddiatomaceous earth (DE) or cartridge elements to filter the water. Be sure to operate and maintain your filter according to manufacturers specifications including procedures to routinely clean and/or backwash it.

Clean your skimmer/pump basket

Your skimmer and pump basket are designed to collect large debris before it reaches the filter. You should empty out and clean these baskets frequently. Failure to remove collected debris often results in poor water circulation, inhibiting maximum filtration efficiency.


Vacuuming your swimming pool helps to ensure a clean, healthy water environment.
Most manual pool vacuums attach to the skimmer and use the pump pressure to bring debris off of the bottom of the pool through the filter system. *Note: There can be no air in the vacuum hose when using a manual vacuum. Air can be driven out of the vacuum hoses by either submersing the vacuum hose under water or by placing the vacuum hose over one of the return fittings before hooking it up to the skimmer.

Leaf Skimming

Use a Leaf Skimmer attached to your vacuum pole to gather up leaves, insects and other floating debris on the surface of the water. By removing the debris before it reaches your filter system or the bottom of your pool, you can save time, increase filter efficiency, and prevent staining of the pool bottom.


Use a wall brush to clean and scrub pool walls and bottom. Brushing the pool will allow debris and dirt to be caught in your pool’s filtration system as well as prevent algae growth and staining due to stagnant dirt. Brush your pool as needed or as part of weekly maintenance.

Keep Surrounding Deck Areas Clean

A good practice in maintaining a clean pool is to keep the deck and surrounding areas free from loose leaves, dirt, and debris. This dirt and debris will either be brought into the pool by the users or blow into the pool where it will have to be cleaned out. A regimen of regularly hosing down the deck or raking the surrounding yard is recommended to prevent needless pool water cleaning.

Additional Maintenance Information:

IRC Code Information – Pool/Spa:

IRC (International Residential Code) code information regarding pools and spas can be viewed at the following link: IRC Pool Code 

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Click HERE for Control Manuals and Documents

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What is a Pipe Camera Assessment?

The pipe camera assessment is designed to provide the inspector with additional information regarding portions of the plumbing system which are not visible during the standard inspection process. To accomplish this, a high resolution camera attached to a 100′ push rod is inserted into the drain system (typically at a clean out – access point to plumbing drain pipe). Portions of the drain/sewage piping are viewed using the pipe scoping camera to determine if detectible indicators of pipe issues, damage, or functionality failures are present.

What Does the Inspector Look For?

During a pipe camera assessment, the basic items and indicators that the inspector is looking for includes, but is not limited to:
-Type of pipe material
-The presence of problematic or dated material
-Indicators of tree root entry
-Indicators of pipe separation
-Indicators of pipe ‘fall’ or slope issues
-Indicators of pipe ‘bellies’ or ‘channeling’ (low spots/deterioration of pipes)
-Indicators of blockage/foreign objects in pipes
-Indicators of improper pipe connections

Do All Buildings Need a Pipe Camera Assessment?

The short answer is no. We do not recommend a PCA for new construction or any home which remains under a builder/contractor warranty. Additionally, if the home is scheduled for static testing or specific inspections by plumbing specialists, a PCA is not recommended. Although pipe issues may be present at any property, some site specific factors will increase the likelihood of issues at buried plumbing. These factors include, but are not limited to:
-Systems surpassing 20 years in age
-Structures containing dated or problematic plumbing material
-Large trees/root systems near structure/buried plumbing material
-Structures having undergone foundation settlement and/or repair
-Structures in areas of known expansive soils and elevated ground swell
-Structures having undergone significant structural alteration/additions
-Structures having undergone unprofessional or unpermitted updates/repairs
-Structure with current plumbing issues and/or known previous issues








The limited plumbing camera assessment is not designed or intended to diagnose specific issues, isolate exact locations of areas of concern, or determine the degree/significance of damage (if discovered). Rather, this limited assessment is intended to provide additional, basic information in regards to plumbing material and signs of possible functionality issues or material damage. All noted information and concerns should be assessed, verified, and remedied as needed by a licensed plumbing professional. Multiple limitations to the camera assessment are present and additional issues may go undiscovered during the limited assessment.
Multiple assessment limitations reduced the ability to fully investigate the system and additional issues/concerns, both minor and significant, may be present. The camera assessment process is not designed to be intrusive, destructive, or all encompassing. Rather, the plumbing camera assessment is intended to provide additional, basic information in regards to the buried drain line material determine is obvious, physical damage is present at the areas viewed through the camera. No work or information which requires specific licensing outside of those held by the operating inspector has been, or will be performed. This 3rd party assessment and report has been provided to the client and representing agents for the purposes of due diligence, filing of available information, and additional client protection. The assessment process and report do not, in any manner, represent a guarantee of warranty of the above mentioned property or associated system conditions. For a full analysis of the plumbing system, please call a licensed plumbing specialist.

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Below is some additional information that may be helpful when discussing foundation concerns with clients and potential buyers.


stair-step-crack-foundation-jacksonvillefoundation_cdeca3b2f65135adc62c105069dfa9ad_3x2_jpg_300x200_q85 UnknownEvidence of foundation issues in not always as obvious as the pictures provided, however, there are several common visual signs to look for when viewing a structure.
A few common signs of foundation issues include, but are not limited to:
-Gapping Cracks at Foundation Wall: Cracks With Gap Wider Than a Nickel
-Stair Stepping Cracks at Brick/Stone: With Gaps in Crack Wider Than a Nickel
-Separation at Window/Siding Connections: Uneven Separation at Exterior Framing
-Issues Opening/Closing Windows
-Issues Opening/Closing Doors
-Doors ‘Ghosting’: Swinging Open/Closed On Their Own (Uneven)
-Diagonal Cracks (With Gaps in Cracks) at Interior Drywall
-Significant Cracks/Damage to Tile Flooring
-Known Issues with Plumbing: Backing Up of Sewage
Some additional factors that must be taken into account are:
-Age of Structure
-Size of Structure
-Area/Soil Type of Structure Location
-Natural Slope of Surrounding Land
-Grading and Drainage Issues
-Foundation Type
-Any Known/Disclosed Factors
-Survey Information Taken or Available


foundationcrack-hairline_400 hairline-garageSHRINKAGE CRACKS
Common shrinkage cracks at exposed slab flooring (porches, garages, etc.) can often be mistaken as signs of foundation issues to the untrained eye. Hairline cracks due to material curing (drying) is common on all slabs (both pictures show common shrinkage cracking).

drywall-hairlinewall-crack1 SETTLEMENT VS. COMMON CRACKS
Under normal circumstances, small drywall cracks with little or no separation are considered common and cosmetic in nature. Often, these cracks will be horizontal or vertical and follow a drywall joint (left photo). Diagonal cracks with notable gaps at the damage area may indicate a presence of foundation issues (right photo).

The following link provides a report produced by Texas A&M AgriLife extension. Information and recommendations in this report will aid in protecting a structure built on expansive clay foundations.

Maintenance of Existing Foundations on Expansive Clay/Problematic Soils


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Article 250—Grounding 
and Bonding
250.30(A)(4) Electrode

Section 250.30(A)(4) has been revised and simplified, and Exception No. 1 was deleted. There is no longer a hierarchy of electrodes that must be used for grounding separately derived systems. The revision clarifies that the building grounding electrode system must be used when establishing a grounding electrode for a separately derived system. If installed outdoors, the grounding electrode for the separately derived system must comply with 250.30(C).

250.104(A) Metal Water Piping

Section 250.104(A) has been revised by adding “if or sufficient size” to (A)(3) and (A)(4). The wording “that is interconnected to form a building frame” has been added to subdivisions (C) and (D). The minimum bonding conductor or jumper sizes must be in accordance with Table 250.102(C)(1) rather than 250.66.

250.122(F)(2) Multi-conductor Cables

Section 250.122(F)(2) has been revised and arranged in a list format. The revisions address minimum sizes for equipment grounding conductors (EGCs) in multiconductor cables in 
parallel arrangements. A single EGC in each cable can be connected in parallel at each end and connected to a full-size EGC sized based on the overcurrent protection device for the entire circuit.

Article 300—General Requirements for Wiring 
Methods and Materials
300.5(D) Protection From Damage

Electrical metallic tubing (EMT) has been added to the list of raceways permitted to provide physical protection for direct-buried conductors and cables emerging from grade EMT, and associated elbows, couplings and fittings are permitted to be installed in concrete, in direct contact with the earth, approved as suitable for the condition. Section 358.10(B) requires that, where EMT is used in this manner, it must be where protected by corrosion protection and approved as suitable for the condition.

300.5(G) Raceway Seals

The general requirements of first-level subdivision 300.5(G) are now correlated with sections 225.27 and 230.8. Where necessary, spare or unused raceways shall also be sealed. The type of sealants applied must be identified for use with the cable insulation, conductor insulation, bare conductor, shield or other components.

300.22(B) Ducts Specifically Fabricated for Environmental Air

A new exception in 300.22(B) correlates requirements for wiring in ducts specifically fabricated for environmental air between the NEC and NFPA 90A. NFPA 90A permits cables that are “directly associated with the air distribution system” and not to “exceed four feet.” This revision correlates existing requirements within the NEC. For example, in Chapter 8, first-level subdivision 800.113(B) contains the same permission.

Table 310.15(B)(3)(c)

Table 310.15(B)(3)(c), containing rooftop temperature correction factors, has been deleted. Raceways or cables must be installed a minimum distance of ⅞-inch above the roof. Where installed less than ⅞-inch above the roof to the bottom of the raceway or cable, use a temperature adder of 60°F.

314.27(E) Separable Attachment Fittings

New subdivision (E) permits a new product referred to as a “separable attachment fitting.” This product is a listed locking support and mounting receptacle used in combination with compatible attachment fittings designed for the support of luminaires, paddle fans and so forth. These devices are designed to facilitate quick and easy interchange of luminaires or other equipment.

328.14 Installation

Section 328.14 requires type MV cable to be installed, terminated and tested by qualified people. NECA 600 2014, Standard for Installing and Maintaining Medium-Voltage Cable, has been added to the Informational Note. It provides valuable information on installation requirements, guidelines for qualified installers, cable splicing and more.