Adam and Jennifer F. loved the first home they bought together, a historic 100 year old house in a quiet Wichita neighborhood – but they didn’t love the sewer line problems that came with it.
The couple bought the home knowing that the sewer line would need attention, and Adam and a friend rented equipment and spent hours cleaning out the line. The couple believed that would keep the problem from worsening until they were able to implement a more permanent fix.
However, within two years, the couple noticed they once again were experiencing drainage problems.
“I thought, ‘I just fixed that,’” Adam said. “I didn’t think it had been long enough to have another problem.”
But it was – one of the features of the backyard the couple loved was an enormous tree, easily as old as their home, but the sewer line passed beneath it. The tree’s roots sought out the warmth the line emitted, especially during the colder months. In addition, the line was an old clay pipe and offered little resistance to the encroaching roots.
To compound the problem, at some point between the house initially being built and Adam and Jennifer purchasing it, an outbuilding had been erected at the rear of the property, directly over the sewer line. The line would have to be replaced using an auger to dig beneath the outbuilding without damaging the foundation or completely re-routed to avoid the tree and the building.
The cost would be thousands of dollars – an expense the young couple simply couldn’t afford. Fortunately, Adam had assisted a local church, and the pastor put him in contact with Sunflower Services, a HomeServe USA network contractor.
Sunflower recommended replacing the clay pipe with sturdier, more resistant PVC and rerouting it to avoid the tree and outbuilding to prevent continuing root encroachment and make the line more accessible if it should ever need repair in the future. The problem was the $7,000 price tag, representing a significant portion of their annual income.
Sunflower Services employees knew just what to do and contacted HomeServe to see if the couple could have their job covered through HomeServe Cares, the company’s charitable arm. HomeServe, a leading home warranty company providing plumbing and electrical warranties throughout the U.S. and Canada, agreed to cover the cost of the repair.
HomeServe also offers low-cost water and sewer service line warranties through Utility Service Partners’ National League of Cities Service Line Warranty Program in partnership with municipalities and utilities. The program also has been endorsed by several state leagues, including the Kansas League of Cities.
As for Adam and Jennifer, everything is back to normal, thanks to Sunflower Services and HomeServe.
“It’s draining just fine now,” Adam said.