Sewer pipes don't last forever. The ravages of time, seismic shifting, and other influences can cause sewer lines to slowly disintegrate and become unusable.
Not too many years ago, the only option for handling a failed sewer line was to dig it up and replace it. However, a relatively new technology known as trenchless pipe repair, sometimes called pipe relining, makes sewer line replacement a lot less complicated and potentially less expensive.
Below is more information about trenchless pipe repair and how it can benefit you.
What Is Trenchless Pipe Repair?
Trenchless pipe repair allows plumbers to refinish the interior of failing sewer lines without having actually to remove existing pipes. The process is trenchless because plumber doesn't need to conduct an extensive excavation to reach an affected pipe. As a result, there is less need for disruptive and invasive digging, and your lawn and landscape should remain largely intact.
In a trenchless pipe repair scenario, the plumber accesses the interior of a failing line, cleans it and inserts a liner that effectively provides a brand new pipe for sewage transit. Once you finish the process, you restore the line, and little above-ground evidence remains of the job.
What Is the Process for Trenchless Pipe Repair?
Trenchless pipe repair involves several steps including preparation and installation of the liner. While the exact sequence varies depending on the particular method and materials employed by the plumber, here is a general step-by-step procedure:
1. Access the Failing Sewer Line
The first step for any trenchless pipe repair is to gain access to the interior of the failing sewer line. Some homes contain a drain cleanout, which is a vertical or angled access line that permits plumbers to insert drain-cleaning tools into the mainline easily. Drain cleanouts can be useful in that they may provide a ready access for installing a pipe liner.
For homes without a drain liner, a small hole may need to be dug to reach the affected sewer line. This hole doesn't need to be particularly wide; it just needs to be large enough to permit access to the sewer line.
2. Prepare the Sewer Line
Once the sewer line is accessed, the plumber will cut an opening into the line and begin preparing the interior for the liner. That means you will cut and remove invasive tree roots, and you will also need to clear all other obstructions from the pipe.
In addition, the interior will be scoured using mechanical and water-powered tools to provide a fresh, relatively clean surface. After cleaning, the plumber may use a robotic camera to inspect the interior of the pipe to ensure it is ready for the liner.
3. Install the Pipe Liner
The plumber will begin the liner preparation process after cleaning the interior of the sewer line. Liners are usually made from a fabric sewn together to form a sleeve in the exact diameter of the existing pipe; you then cut this sleeve to length, depending on the amount of pipe that will need to be relined.
Next, the fabric sleeve is dipped into a special epoxy that saturates the threads and forms the hard shell of the liner once cured. The saturated sleeve is then positioned in front of the opening to the sewer line and will be either blown or pulled into position, depending on the exact method used.
Compressed air will inflate the sleeve liner and hold it against the pipe surface until the epoxy cures.
4. Inspect the Relined Pipe and Restore Service
The next step in a trenchless pipe repair is to inspect the interior of the newly lined pipe. A robotic camera can verify the new liner is fully expanded and free of kinks or other obstructions. If the pipe is clear, the plumber will then seal off any access openings and restore service. Any holes that were dug for access purposes will also be refilled.
If you have any questions about trenchless pipe repair, be sure to contact Brad's Plumbing for assistance. Their team will evaluate your sewer pipes and provide you with advice regarding your next steps.