Plumbing: An In-Depth Look at Traditional and Trenchless Repair

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trenchless repairPlumbing issues are one of the most common nuisances for homeowners. Sewers built more than 40 years ago may need to be replaced, which means that many homeowners are going to have get new sewer lines.

If you’re not sure how old your pipes are, here are a few thins you should think about.

Traditional Pipe Repair

Traditional sewer repair techniques have been around for as long as pipes have. While they do get the job done, they also leave a mess.

The Process: In order to complete a pipe repair or pipe replacement using traditional methods, a trench may necessary, depending on where the damaged pipe or sewer line is. In other words, contractors may have to dig up your driveway, front yard, garden or garage. This can become extremely expensive and it can take months for your yard, driveway or garage to be fully rehabilitated.

Aside from the headache that comes with digging a trench, the plumbing aspect of the process is reliable. After the damaged pipeline has been reached, contractors cut away the unusable portion of the pipe and replace it. Then, the trench is filled back in with dirt, though any concrete or asphalt will have to be redone. There is also the possibility that the pipe is out of reach of a trench, meaning it is below a surface that doesn’t allow a trench to be dug.

This is the perfect opportunity to use trenchless repair methods.

Trenchless Repair

Trenchless technology has been around for over a decade, though it’s not a household term for many homeowners. Trenchless repairs utilize cured-in-place piping (CIPP) technology. CIPP systems have a life expectancy of up to 50 years, making this repair method a great option for repairing pipelines.

The Process: When utilizing CIPP technology, contractors are able to skip the trench-digging and instead use existing manholes to reach damaged pipes. With one contractor placed at each end of the sewer line, they are able to use a microscopic camera to complete a video sewer inspection. Once they’re able to locate the issue, they can insert the resin that will patch the pipe, creating a strong and durable lining of the old pipe. After it has set, the repair is complete.

Another aspect of trenchless technology is the use of pipe bursting. If a pipe needs replacing and isn’t reachable through traditional methods, contractors have the option to dig around the entire building or utilize pipe bursting. This means contractors will replace the old, damaged pipe using a pipe-bursting machine. Essentially, they attach a cable to a bursting head, which breaks apart the old pipe while simultaneously pulling a new pipe into place. This is preferred over traditional trench technology.

If you’d like to learn more, feel free to share your questions in the comments.

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