There are various possibilities as to why it’s necessary to repair or replace a sewer line. It may have cracks, or it may be old, broken, damaged, or clogged.
Issues with your sewer line can be caused by a number of things, including the intrusion of tree roots, mineral buildup, moving or changing ground, or collapsed joints.
When any of these scenarios take place, the first thing that would probably enter your mind would be to dig up your entire yard and do the necessary sewer pipe repair or replacement. However, the thought of having a plumbing service excavate your lawn or any part of your property to get to your pipes can be dreadful. Aside from the inconvenience and the long repair and restoration time, it also hurts to see your beautiful yard or lawn destroyed like that.
However, the traditional way of digging up your yard to deal with a damaged or clogged sewer line is so yesterday. You now have the option to repair or entirely replace your underground sewer pipes without tearing up your lawn. The technique is called trenchless sewer pipe repair, a less invasive method of repairing or replacing sewer pipes that leaves your property largely untouched throughout the entire process.
Types of trenchless sewer pipe repair
There are currently two main types of trenchless sewer pipe repair being offered by plumbing services: pipe relining and pipe bursting.
Both types require the use of specialized equipment, including a long, flexible specialty camera that will help them pinpoint the damaged part of a sewer line and assess how the damage affects the flow of water or sewage.
Pipe relining involves the installation of a cured-in-place pipe or CIPP within the already existing pipeline. The cured-in-place pipe will then close cracks, holes, and joints using a solid layer, which is typically 1/8 inch thick.
Let’s take a closer look at how this less invasive technique of repairing or replacing sewer pipes works. Trenchless sewer pipe repair involves the following steps:
- Plumbing professionals will snake their specialty camera into the nearest drain to help them find and fully understand the nature of the damage, as well as evaluate the state of the pipeline as a whole.
- The second step has to do with the thorough cleaning of the existing line of roots and mineral deposits. This is typically done by high-pressure hydro jetting.
- After that, a liner soaked in non-toxic epoxy is inserted and pressed into place by filling a bladder (also called a calibrated bladder or tube) with air. The epoxy lining will then begin to heat up and harden, a process which usually takes less than an hour.
- Finally, the plumbers will let the air out of the inflated bladder and remove it to do another video inspection. This final step is done to make sure everything is back in working order.
Pipe bursting, on the other hand, involves a bit more violence than simple pipe relining.
As its name suggests, pipe bursting requires the ramming—with the help of specialized equipment—of a cone-shaped bursting head through the old or damaged sewer pipe, effectively obliterating it.
While the bursting head is doing its job, a replacement pipe will also be pulled into place at the same time. To perform the entire operation, the plumbing professionals have to dig a small hole on each side of the sewer line.
Advantages of trenchless sewer pipe repair
Of course, the most significant advantage that trenchless sewer pipe repair offers is the fact that your lawn or yard will remain mainly untouched while the sewer pipes beneath it are being replaced. Even if you opt for pipe bursting, the minimal digging it requires will hardly make a dent on your property.
Trenchless sewer pipe repair also brings quick results, as each job only takes less than a day to finish.
Depending on the plumbing company, trenchless sewer pipe repair typically costs roughly the same as traditional sewer pipe replacement. However, the cost of the latter can double if the damaged pipes are directly beneath utilities, driveways, and other features you may have put up inside your property. They will have to be torn apart like the ground, and that is a cost that may just be too much to bear.
The pipes that are being used in trenchless sewer pipe repair are also expected to last up to 50 years.
A time-tested technology
The trenchless sewer pipe repair process of using a cured in place pipe was patented in 1977, and has been used by a good number of plumbing service providers since then. Indeed, trenchless sewer pipe repair is a technology that has stood the test of time. It has already been in use for decades not only for home sewer systems, but also for commercial buildings in many different cities.
If you have gone through the agony of seeing your property ripped apart because of damaged sewer pipes before, then trenchless sewer line repair offers you an alternative that will make those memories go away.
So if you notice signs that your main sewer line needs fixing, don’t hesitate to call a plumbing company that provides trenchless sewer pipe repair. You can be sure that the plumbers on staff have the skills, training, experience, and the right tools and equipment to ensure a neat and smooth sewer pipe repair or replacement.