Last week, we taught you everything you need to know about drain cleaning, and now you can get ready for drain cleaning part two: pipe repair. The unthinkable happened, and you need your pipes replaced. No, not the indoor pipes, the expensive-to-reach outdoor sewer pipes. If you find yourself in the position of having to repair leaks in your sewer pipe, it may be necessary to replace them. Good news, there are options that don’t result in you pulling up all the grass in your front yard and possibly rerouting your neighborhood traffic for the next few months. You can instead choose trenchless pipe repair, and reinstate order in your home’s plumbing. Though trenchless methods aren’t a new technology, most homeowners aren’t aware of the option. Not only is the option available, but the options have options!
Trenchless v. Trench
In some severe cases of damaged sewer systems, homeowners won’t have the option to dig those massive trenches even if that was their secret wish because doing so wouldn’t be efficient or safe. If you consider for a moment the gasses and elements found beneath your soil, like mold and asbestos, we assume you wouldn’t be in favor of exposing them to your family. When considering your options for pipe repair, know that trenchless pipe repair options can cost 30 to 50 percent more than other conventional methods. Despite the added cost for repair, you could save thousands in yard restoration costs. Other annoyances that can be solved with trenchless pipe repair include:
- Root obstruction from trees and other plants
- Animal and Rodent damage from burrowing
- Ground shifting around foundations
- Former, faulty installation usually indicated by leaks
The Turducken of Pipes
The most common option of trenchless pipe repair is to use a pipe liner in a process called slip lining. These liners are flexible tubes coated with a sticky resin. The tube is pulled into the pipe in need of repair and then promptly inflated. Once the tube is inflated, the resin hardens and voila! You now have a pipe in a pipe, and effectively created a brand-new, joint-less, corrosion resistant pipe that was installed from one small access hole rather than excavating your entire landscape. The diameter of your pipe will be slightly reduced — about a quarter of an inch — but size isn’t everything. The reduction of diameter won’t affect your home’s ability to remove waste. There are a couple situations where pipe lining won’t be effective: the lateral has joints or it has collapsed entirely. This shouldn’t stop you from going trenchless, but you will have to consider other trenchless options.
Burst Your Pipes and Not Your Bubble
The other option for trenchless pipe repair is called pipe bursting. Pipe bursting isn’t as popular a method, but is equally durable to pipe lining. To paint a clear picture, pipe bursting allows you to intentionally break the damaged sewer system while making room for the new system. This process involves a replacement pipe line with a conical bursting head being inserted through the broken line. Think of the conical head as a charged rhino that will break up the existing pipe as it travels through. Instead of one access hole, like with pipe lining, pipe bursting usually requires two access holes, with one on either end. The best aspect of pipe bursting — that can’t be done with slip lining — is installing a larger diameter pipe to more efficiently remove waste from your home.
For these reasons, and because of the massive headache of seeing your lawn look like something out of a WWI history book, we suggest going trenchless. Monitor your water bill to see any noticeable increases that could indicate a leak, and periodically inspect your yard for signs of ruptured pipes like leaking sprinklers or pools of water. As soon as you notice these telling signs, call Action Plumbing to schedule your trenchless pipe repair in Salt Lake City. Getting your pipes replaced quickly could save you hundreds of dollars in wasted water.