If you think you might have a sewer problem, don’t ignore it. We can tend to procrastinate and put it off, hoping that we are wrong because we think that sewer repair or replacement is a huge process of ripping up our homes or landscapes in order to fix it. However, this is not true. There are methods known as ‘trenchless techniques’ that can be used to fix and replace pipes, while living the foundation of your home intact. It’s a fantastic technology that was put in place about a decade ago and has been gaining popularity since then. Here are the types of methods that are used in order to repair and replace pipes and sewer lines:
Camera Drain Inspection
Before even starting with trenchless methods, this is the method used to find out with you even have a problem at all. All that is required is for the plumber to attach a waterproof camera to a flexible rod. He will then feed the rod and camera through your drains and down in to the pipes. The rod is flexible so that it easily curves around corners and through joints. The plumber will have a screen that he can watch as he feeds the line through the drain in order inspect the pipelines. He can use that to find out if there are any clogs, obstructions or breakages within the pipe lines. Usually, he will not fix anything on the same day but will offer you a copy of the footage of you pipes so you can get a second opinion if you feel it’s necessary. If damage is discovered, the next step moves on to the trenchless methods below.
Cured In Place Pipes (CIPP)
Cured in place pipes, or CIPP, is one of the methods that is used to replace a pipe. CIPP is a pipe within a pipe type method that is used to rehabilitate pipes that need it. CIPP can be used for water, sewer and gas pipes as well as chemical lines.
How it’s Done
A felt tube made out of polyester or fibre glass is wrapped in a new pipe liner and soaked in resin. It is then either inverted or pulled through the broken pipe to where the damage is. Either water or air pressure is used to inflate the liner. The resin helps it to stick to the existing pipe line, covering the damaged area. That is allowed to set and harden and the repair is done.
If the entire pipe needs to be replaced, the same method is used except the liner is cut to the entire length of the pipe and as it hardens, the liner expands, literally crushing the existing pipe to allow for a bigger pipe diameter within the new liner which allows for better water flow.
There are two methods used in order to put the liner where it needs to be. These are called the pull in place method and the inversion method.
Pull in Place
This technique is done by digging only two holes. One at each end of the pipeline. The rod is then inserted in one hole and pulled through the pipe using remote controlled heavy machinery until the rod is in place and made to set and harden to make the repair.
This method requires only one hole to be dug. Then the line is literally inverted into the pipe and pushed into place.
Why Homeowners Love it
Studies have shown that homeowners will happily pay for trenchless methods in order to repair and replace pipes. Here are a few reasons why:
- It takes literally hours or at the longest, days, to complete as opposed to weeks and months of traditional methods.
- Because of the less time and manpower needed, trenchless methods can be less expensive.
- There is no need to rip up landscapes, foundations or divert traffic.
- There is no real construction zone to speak of.
Now that you know how easy it can be to repair and replace pipes, call your plumber and let him take a look at what’s going on down there. You may be pleasantly surprised to find that it’s a simple fix that only requires a few hours of your time.