A broken or damaged sewer pipeline can cause a smelly mess and inconvenience to property owners that need immediate repair. Neglecting a broken sewer line can lead to significant home structural problems due to the continuous leak under the slab, which destabilizes its foundation and causes cracks, settlement, and sinkholes.
You’ll know if you have a broken sewer line if the pipes frequently clog up no matter how often you clear them. Mold growth is also evident; the drains are slow or back up. Furthermore, a sewer gas smell is noticeable, and wastewater collects in your yard.
Broken sewer pipes can cause complex plumbing issues and health problems. Therefore, property owners need to immediately contact a professional to fix pipe problems before it’s too late.
There are two methods for repairing a broken sewer pipe, including traditional open-cut or trench repair and trenchless pipe repair. Trenchless repair technology provides more options for property owners to repair broken sewer pipes without destructive excavation. This article will discuss trenchless pipe repair and its benefits.
Trenchless pipe repair is a more affordable and faster way to repair sewer lines without massively excavating large portions of foundation, walls, floors, and other structures to expose the pipes. The two methods of trenchless repairing of sewer lines are pipe bursting and the cured-in-place piping (CIPP) method.
Pipe bursting or splitting involves bursting the existing sewer pipe using special equipment. It expands the soil and draws the replacement pipe into place.
Moreover, the old pipe’s condition doesn’t affect the pipe repair and replacement process. There’s no loss of the pipes’ internal diameter because the replacement pipe will be the same size as the old pipe.
Because the pipe-splitting equipment needs excavating a trench for insertion, this sewer repair method isn’t completely trenchless. Moreover, bursting a sewer pipe causes significant ground movement, affecting the surrounding infrastructure. Hence, pipe bursting requires thorough planning with strict mechanical caution.
The CIPP method or epoxy pipe lining involves fabricating materials and running epoxy resin-soaked liners into damaged sewer pipelines. Plumbing professionals use other resin types, such as vinyl ester and polyester.
The two-part resin cures in place, forming a structural bond to the existing pipe’s material. The surrounding soil condition influences this process. Unlike pipe bursting, this trenchless repair method doesn’t generate substantial ground movement. In addition, the CIPP technology is suitable for any existing pipe material, such as PVC, cast-iron drains, and clay pipes.
The types of pipelines and underground infrastructures that can benefit from trenchless pipe repair include the following:
There’s a wrong notion that trenchless is less durable than complete pipe replacement using the open cut or trench method. On the contrary, epoxy-coated pipes are highly durable and can last decades. They’re also a cheaper alternative to traditional pipe materials that usually break down after a few decades.
In addition, trenchless repairs can help sewer pipes to last longer. They reduce the need for additional pipeline repairs and replacements. Moreover, trenchless repair methods increase the new piping’s flow capacity because they usually have larger diameter holes than the old ones.
In CIPP lining, the plumbing expert feeds an epoxy-coated liner to repair cracks, gaps, and holes in the existing pipe. The epoxy or urethane highly-cementitious coating application helps prevent the aggravation of cracking and shrinkage of 30 to 120-inch diameter pipelines, making them impenetrable. Subsequently, the liner cures into the walls with an inflatable bladder.
One of the biggest benefits of trenchless pipe repair is less property landscape disruption. Traditional trench pipe repair involves digging up the ground to repair sewer lines, which is advisable if the pipe is under 10 feet. On the other hand, trenchless pipe repair is your best option if the pipe has only tiny holes or cracks or the sewer line is more than 10 feet. Trenchless pipe repair causes minimal yard disturbance because no massive excavation is necessary to accomplish the job.
Traditional pipeline trench repair may take several days or weeks to finish. On the other hand, trenchless pipe repair only takes one to two days of average completion time for huge drains.
Most parking lot drains, sink drains, and trench pipes can only take a day. Moreover, there’s no need to hire additional contractors to clean the mess, like in the open cut or trench pipeline repair method.
Traditional pipeline repairs involve destructive digging up, leaving large blocks of materials around the site, such as rocks, floor debris, soil, and tree roots. These things can disrupt movement and pose safety hazards.
Moreover, CIPP is safer in all types of sewer line repair than pipe bursting and open trench. There’s no need to worry about dangerous and messy deep excavation with trenchless pipe repair. Furthermore, the CIPP lining acts as an extra protective layer for the new lining, preventing frequent pipeline repairs that pose safety risks.
Restoring or replacing pipelines with an open trench is expensive and invasive, especially when sewer lines are under solid obstacles or very deep. With trenchless pipe repair technology, repairing water supply systems and roadway pipelines cause minimal or no flow disruption and surrounding area damage. Trenchless pipeline repair is generally less labor-intensive and more affordable over an open trench.
Remember that CIPP patches the holes, cracks, and other faults. On the other hand, pipe bursting gives you an entirely new pipe. So, for those with a tight budget, CIPP lining provides the best results for minor pipe fixes.
Trenchless pipe repair eliminates the need to dig up an entire yard to repair a broken sewer pipe. This sewer pipe repair method is less invasive, more economical, faster, and is a more environmentally sound way to repair and replace sewer lines and other pipe plumbing infrastructure. Because of these benefits, trenchless pipeline repair is preferred mainly by property owners over the trench method.