What is Trenchless Sewer Repair?
It’s important to hire a plumbing contractor who is experienced in these methods and has a good reputation. If you have a drain or sewer stoppage and the first tool the technician uses is his video camera, you may want call someone else. A video inspection should be done, only after the drain is cleaned professionally. Conventional drain cleaning using an electric snake with large cutting blades can fix the greater majority of drain and sewer problems. Although a lot of plumbers will also recommend a very expensive Hydro-Jetter-Cleaning (Hydro-Jetting) method, we have found this is more for commercial and not the first choice for root growth in residential sewers. A recommendation for the Trenchless Sewer Repair method (TSR) should be suggested, unless there is a chronic root or damaged pipe problem, creating frequent stoppages, and not the first repair option. We will only recommend what is best and most cost- effective means of repair that will benefit you, the homeowner, our customer.
Trenchless Sewer Repair (TSR), also known as trenchless sewer replacement, eliminates unnecessary digging and allows the plumbing contractor various ways to install an epoxy liner inside the existing pipe, (Cured-In-Place Pipe Lining) or use the existing pipe as a guide and install a new High Density Polyethylene sewer pipe. Both of these processes have been around for 10-15 years for residential applications and longer for commercial use.
At Dymek’s Freedom Plumbing, we offer two types of trenchless sewer repairs: pipe bursting and pipe lining. We will discuss both methods and some facts and myths.
Some commonly asked questions and myths.
Q. Do we need a Video Inspection to determine what repair is needed?
A. Our color video inspection equipment has the ability to locate underground sewer and drain lines. We use a separate locator to pinpoint problem areas and also to determine what type of TSR is best for you. We only recommend a video inspection after we have thoroughly cleaned the line with our large electric sewer machine, using the largest knives possible, depending on your drains access. We can provide you with a flash drive, DVD or even upload your inspection for you to view on your computer. We will not suggest a video inspection as the first option.
Q. Does Trenchless Sewer Repair mean there is no digging in my yard or home?
A. No. TSR still requires some excavation for access to the existing drain or sewer line. The difference between TSR and excavating the entire section depends on what method of TSR is recommended. One method is pipe bursting. Pipe bursting is the method where we install a new High Density Polyethylene sewer or drain line. The other method we offer, is more common referred to as “epoxy pipe lining or Cured In Place Pipe Lining.
Q. What is Pipe Bursting using High Density Polyethylene pipe (HDP)
A. Pipe bursting is a method where both ends of the sewer or drain are exposed by excavating (digging). The line that is damaged or rotted out is used as a guide for the new HDP pipe.
We pull a heavy cable from one end of the exposed pipe to the other, then attach a bursting head that has the new HDP attached to it. Since the pipe is fused using a special heat fusion machine, the length of line we replace is almost limitless.
Typically pipe bursting is used on sewer lines that are root damaged, do not have any sags in the line, or more commonly known as “bellies”. We can go around several turns and under driveways and landscaping without damaging or removing them. We take every effort to protect the landscaping and replace it as close as possible to it‘s original condition.
The interior condition of the pipe does not affect the installation of the new HDP since, the old pipe is just a guide. Bad joints that have huge separation in them do not prevent the use of HDP, and is recommended over epoxy pipe lining, when joints are badly damaged by roots or ground movement.
The pipe is so durable you can run over it with a truck and not damage it. Once the joints are fused together, they are as strong, if not stronger than the rest of the pipe. Test, have proven this by trying to pull the fused joint apart by attaching the pipes to trucks and stretching them, without the fused joint failing.
HDP can easily be cleaned with conventional electric sewer machines without damaging the line. It is unlikely a stoppage will occur in the new line. Epoxy pipe lining can be cleaned only with a more expensive Hydro-Jetter-Cleaning. Conventional rooter knives will damage the interior of epoxy lined pipe, so we must Hydro-Jet Clean the line.
The HDP pipe is flexible enough to go around 45* bends in four-inch sewer lines and larger because the hydraulic pulling unit has a pulling power of up to 30 tons.
Q. What is Pipe Lining (also known as epoxy lining and cured in place pipe lining)?
A. Pipe lining requires less digging than pipe bursting. Usually only one opening is needed for pipe sleeve lining. The length of the line and how many turns or bends are in the line and how many lateral connections are in the line, can require more digging.
Pipe lining is a process of repairing root infested clay sewers or, cracked and broken cast iron sewer lines by installing a pipe within a pipe. Epoxy pipe liners are installed inside the existing sewer and a two-part epoxy mixture cures the new liner. A bladder is inserted into the line and under pressure, keeps the liner in position until the epoxy dries, usually within a few hours, depending on temperature.
The relined pipe is seamless, durable, and chemical resistant. Roots will not penetrate the liner and the liner will fill in cracks, holes and keep the roots out. The materials used are non-hazardous and flow rates are usually improved due to the ultra-smooth interior surface of the liner.
Pipe lining is usually the best method when the sewer line in the street has roots in it. The cost of excavating in the street, also known as the public right of way, is expensive. Most cities require the homeowner to maintain and replace any pipe in the street.
Dymek’s Freedom Plumbing is also a C-42, Sanitation Sewer Contractor and can pull permits and make repairs in the city public right-of-way.
Other applications for pipe lining are commercial or residential storms drains, down spouts and area drains under patios
Both methods have a 50-year guarantee on material and workmanship, on either pipe bursting or pipe lining.