Trenchless repair is quickly becoming the new way of sewer line replacement. The great thing about it, is it takes your floors and landscapes from being torn out in order to fix or replace pipes. This also saves you almost half the cost. Let’s talk a little more about trenchless repair and what makes it so great.
Why Trenchless Repair Methods are Needed
Sewers and drains often create such a mess for home owners and business managers alike. They leak or back up because of old lines, tree root intrusion or other obstructions and ground movement. It can cost property owners millions of dollars every year in property damages. Not only that leaking sewage can cause severe health risks from mold and bacteria contamination. If a pipe back ups and the sewer overflows, the waste will spill out in to the streets and waters, contamination much of our resources. This not only hurts us, but the environment as well as the pollutants evaporate into the atmosphere.
Trenchless repair technology has found another way to fix drains and pipe called the ‘cured in place pipe’. A new pipe is literally put inside the old pipe along with epoxy and other components that that help to maintain structure and strength to the new pipe without causing any damage to the surrounding landscape, floors, walls or streets. The two main types of trenchless methods are called the ‘pull in place’ and the ‘inversion’.
Pull in Place Method
Also known as PIP, this is when a pipe liner that has been emersed in epoxy is pulled to where the damage to the existing pipe is, through the pipe opening, and cured in place. That’s it. The job is over at that point.
This method needs only two holes to be dug: one at one end of the pipe to feed in the liner and one at the other end in order to successfully pull it through.
If there is only one access point to the pipe then the trenchless repair inversion method would be used but it only requires one hole to be dug.
Through that one access point, the liner is connected to a flexible rod and pushed through, usually using sewer camera inspection to determine where the problem exactly is. Once the damage area is reached, the liner is placed and cured exactly like the pull in place method.
Usually, a large project will require a combination of both kinds of methods but smaller jobs will only need one or the other, depending on the availability of the access points.
- Identify – The first step in the process of trenchless pipe repair would be to identify what and where the problem is. A sewer camera can be used to be able to identify whether the pipe can be repaired or needs to be replaced all together. The camera footage is recorded and can be watched in real time.
- Clean – After the problem has been identified and a solution provided, the next step is to clean out the pipes. This includes needing to remove any obstructions and remove any calcification that may have built up. Jet lines or other mechanical tools can be used to do this part of the process without digging trenches.
- Install – This is when the liner itself is installed into the pipe. After determining which method will be used and where the problem is, the liner will be cut, saturated with epoxy and either pulled or inverted into place.
- Check – Another camera inspection is usually done to ensure that the job has been completed successfully after the pipe has cured in place.
And there it is. A completely new pipe with in a pipe. Done within a few hours, with much less mess at a fraction of the cost. This is definitely the best course of action if you think you may have damage in your pipes. You can see this if your pipes are leaking or backing up or if your showers and sinks seem to be draining slower than they normally do. If unclogging your drains isn’t working, that may indicate a bigger problem which would require a professional coming out and checking on the pipes themselves to see what the issue is.