Your sewer pipes play a crucial role in your building’s sanitation system by safely and quickly sending waste to the municipal sewage system or septic tank. Unfortunately, they are susceptible to corrosion, cracks, and other sorts of damage.
Sewer line repairs can be complicated procedures that take days and involve lots of moving parts. Many people don’t fully understand the complete cost of traditional methods of sewer line repairs. Because these pipes are installed deep underground, the traditional method of plumbing repair requires digging up trenches to get to the pipes. Therefore, not only does the traditional method of repair take days to complete but can leave you with a torn-up landscape, driveway, and other structures on your property. This can end up costing you an extra few thousand dollars in landscape and terrestrial repairs.
Fortunately, technology in the past decade or so has introduced new methods of sewer repair. Trenchless sewer repair is made possible primarily thanks to two new techniques for replacing underground sewer and drain pipes: pipe-pulling and pipe-lining.
Pipe Lining (or Cure-in-Place Pipe)
Pipe lining, also known as “cure-in-place pipe,” requires a single access point to enter the old or damaged pipe. Using a flexible tube coated, your certified plumber will line the interior of the pipe with resin such as epoxy. The lining is then held in place by inflating the flexible tube. This resin hardens to create a new protective layer in the old pipe that is jointless and resistant to corrosion. After about three to four hours, the flexible tube will be deflated and removed, leaving behind a fortified sewer pipe. A final inspection is performed by inserting a camera into the pipe to check for quality.
This method will reduce the diameter of your pipes by about a fifth to a quarter of an inch, but your sewer lines will still be usable. A main benefit of this method is that the finished product is, in fact, much more durable than traditional pipes. This is because epoxy, the lining used to coat the inside of the pipe, is special engineered to withstand pressure, chemicals, and impact.
Pipe Pulling (or Pipe-Bursting)
This next technique self-describes itself pretty well. Pipe pulling involves pulling a new pipe through the old pipe, breaking up the old one while simultaneously replacing it with the new pipe. This method involves more digging than pipe lining, but far less than the traditional method. By digging a hole at the beginning and end points of the damaged or old pipe, a new pipe with a large, cone-shaped installation head can be lowered into place and pulled through the space of the older or broken pipe.
Again, while this method requires some excavation and some restoration work will still be necessary, it is far less destructive than the traditional method. Trenchless sewer pipe repairs can be 25 to 40 percent more expensive than the traditional method but will save you a lot more in restoration costs and time.