Over time, sewer pipes will fail due to a variety of internal and external forces. Tree roots, soil expansion and contraction, channel erosion, foundation cracking, corrosion, calcification, and even "micro" earthquakes are all destructive influences that will spell the end of a sewer pipe's useful lifespan.
Once upon a time, such problems meant the entire sewer line would need to be excavated and replaced; however, advances in materials technology and the integration of robotics in plumbing have eliminated the certainty of sewer pipe replacement. Homeowners can save thousands of dollars by choosing sewer pipe relining as a substitute for total replacement.
Below, find more information about the sewer relining process and how it can benefit homeowners.
WHAT IS SEWER PIPE RELINING?
Sewer pipe relining, sometimes known as cured in-place pipe, is the insertion of a pipe liner inside an existing pipe. The pipe liner consists of a flexible, fiber tube impregnated with a resin that hardens when fully expanded inside a pipe.
Pipe liner insertion demands careful preparation and attention on the part of installers, and professionals use remote equipment to verify that the installation is proceeding as planned. Below are the steps in the relining process.
Verify the Pipe Is Viable for Relining
While most sewer pipes are suitable for relining, there are situations when relining may not prove practical. For example, if a pipe is completely crushed or collapsed, or the pipe's overall alignment is too disjointed or has shifted too far from its centerline, then relining may not be feasible. In those cases, a traditional excavation and replacement may be the best solution.
However, if the pipe is basically intact and still provides a continuous run, then relining is a suitable option in most cases. The relining professional uses a remote video camera to gain information about the pipe's condition.
Clean the Pipe in Preparation for Relining
Once the installer determines that the pipe is suitable for relining, the next step is to thoroughly clean the pipe. The pipe should be as close as possible to its original diameter before installers start the relining process, and all other debris should be cleared out. The professionals clean the pipes with mechanical and water jetting techniques, and a remote camera inspection once again confirms the pipe is ready for relining.
Insert and Cure the Pipe Liner
Professionals prepare the liner for insertion after they scour the pipe's interior. Next, they insert the soft liner into the pipe.
While the liner is being installed, the installer inserts an inflatable bladder into the hollow tube inside the liner. Once all the components are in position, the next step is to inflate the bladder, thus forcing the liner to the inside walls of the sewer pipe. The bladder will keep the liner in position until it cures and hardens.
Finally, the installer deflates the bladder and pulls it from the inside of the now hardened liner. He or she inserts a remote camera for a third time and verifies the liner is fully in place. If the relining process is successful, the old sewer line serves as an exterior casing over the new sewer line that has taken its place.
WHAT ARE THE ADVANTAGES FOR HOMEOWNERS?
Pipe relining brings a lot of advantages to homeowners, including:
- Reduced cost. By eliminating the need for a plumber to use excavation equipment and time-consuming digging, often in difficult and cramped locations, the final cost to the homeowner will be much less.
- Less disruption. A full pipe excavation can involve the removal of shrubs, driveways, sidewalks, and even part of a home's slab. That means the collateral damage suffered to property is often visible for years after an excavation. Pipe relining leaves no signs that it ever occurred.
- Increased functionality. Not only will relined pipes eliminate a lot of the problems that previously plagued your sewer lines, they may even function better than completely new drain pipes. The liner's hard, smooth surface is slippery and permits wastes to flow easily, thus preventing clogs and other problems.
The best way to learn about all the benefits of having your sewer pipes relined is to contact a plumbing professional. He or she can provide assistance regarding the process and inform you about its costs and what to expect should you decide to have relining performed on your pipes.