When a sewer or main drain is damaged, the homeowner has at least two options. They can have the area where the damaged pipe lines dug up and have it removed and replaced. The other option is trenchless sewer line repair. This repair doesn’t require the yard to be dug up, for plants and shrubbery to be removed, for driveways to be jackhammered or for the homeowner to pay to have the street in front of the property cordoned off and dug up. It also doesn’t require the homeowner to pay to repair damages to publicly owned property.
Finding a Contractor
A plumbing contractor who does trenchless repair needs to be extremely skilled. This is because the pipe that is to be replaced can’t be seen, or can only be seen via a camera. The contractor has to allow for changes in the pipe’s direction, the location of utility lines, where and whether water might pool and even the type of soil. In the end, the job has to be up to code and pass inspection by officials from the municipality. The homeowner needs to know that the contractor is not only licensed and insured, but has experience in doing this kind of pipe repair work.
How Trenchless Pipe Repair Works
A sewer or main drain pipe can be repaired through lining it or bursting it. With pipe lining, the contractor digs an access hole. Then, they blow a resin coated tube into the old pipe and inflate it. The resin is hardened by ultraviolet light, steam or hot water and creates a new pipe within the old, damaged one. The new pipe, though a bit smaller in diameter than the old one, has no joints to be infiltrated by tree roots and resists corrosion. The smaller diameter won’t affect the pipe taking waste away from the building. Pipe lining is only done on pipes that are straight and have not collapsed, but can be done on pipes that vary greatly in size.
In another type of trenchless pipe repair, the old, damaged pipe is burst. Contractors pull the new pipe through the old one via pulling a cable attached to a winch. The new pipe has a bursting head which is smaller in diameter than the bursting end and is fitted with fins that help break the pipe. As the new pipe is pulled forward, the old pipe ruptures outward. This repair requires making more than one access hole on both sides of the pipe. The first is the insertion pit and the second, where the new pipe bursting head emerges, is called the reception pit.
Trenchless pipe repair costs more than repair that requires extensive digging and depends on the type of soil, the type of materials and the depth of the pipe. On the other hand, the homeowner won’t have to pay for excavating then filling in the street or their property, which can cost many thousands of dollars.
Experts claim that both pipe lining and pipe bursting work just as well when it comes to repairing a damaged sewer line.