Your pipes can experience a wide variety of problems, all of which show themselves in different ways. From backed up drains and frequent clogs to moldy walls and bubbles beneath your paint, a pinhole leak, crack, or blockage in your pipes can be an inconvenient and costly problem. Fortunately, the professionals at Sewer Co offer trenchless pipe repair services so you can get your pipes fixed without disrupting your day to day life.
In generations past, fixing or replacing a pipe was an in-depth endeavor. Plumbing companies would bring in heavy construction equipment, dig into your lawn, floors, or walls, and remove or fix the pipe through large holes or trenches. Now, with trenchless technology, the same level of service and repair can take place using small access holes, meaning your home and property will be left intact even as your pipes are fixed. Trenchless repairs are faster, cleaner, and more precise so you can rest easily knowing that your pipes have had top quality service without you having to pay the cost of post-work renovations.
What is trenchless pipe repair?
Although trenchless pipeline repair is innovative, it’s far from new. If fact, this time- and money-saving technology has proven itself over the past few decades. Trenchless repairs were first implemented in the 1970s, and have steadily become more and more popular since due to the improved processes they utilize for pipeline maintenance, repair, and replacement. This technology is made use of worldwide, meaning businesses, homeowners, and governments across the globe have benefitted from the use of trenchless sewer or water line repairs.
Fixing a pipe before trenchless technology came along was much more time-consuming. Pipeline professionals would need to work largely off of educated estimates to identify the nature and location of a problem. Once they had determined the problem pipe was likely to be in a selected area, they needed to gain access. But how? In short, through some destruction. They would cut out sections of walls, drill into floors, and excavate the pipes from backyards using a backhoe or other large digging tools. In short, they would create a trench. Once the trench was present, they could get to work removing, repairing, and examining the pipe. While this method still was effective, those living in the house or region impacted were often greatly inconvenienced. Traffic increases, hotels stays, and major backyard renovations after the work was completed were all commonplace for people experiencing major plumbing problems. Add these inconvenient and expensive elements to the pipe repair company’s fees, and you have a very expensive project on your hands.
Inconveniences like those mentioned above were a large part of the reason trenchless pipe repair was accepted with such open arms from the time it was invented. Taking an entirely new approach to pipeline work, in the trenchless method everything begins with a thorough analysis. The pipes are inspected with a camera, so the technicians can identify the precise location and nature of the problem. Then, the pipe is cleaned, repaired, or replaced as necessary. All of this is accomplished using a couple of small access holes through which specialized and high-tech equipment is fed. Your lawn, house, and roadways remain perfectly intact as the work is conducted, so you don’t have to worry about disruptions in your day. Moreover, once our work is done there is little cleanup and no repair or renovation necessary. We leave your property as we found it, so you can focus on your life instead of costly reflooring or landscaping.
What types of projects does trenchless technology work for?
So now we know that trenchless repair methods can simplify the complicated process of pipeline repair or replacement, but are they limited in their scope? In short, no. Trenchless repairs can work for any type of pipeline issue, and have been used for everything from small home projects to large municipal jobs.
If your home is older, or your sewer system was built before the advent of PVC, it is likely your pipes either have experienced or will experience some level of corrosion. Corrosion is the pipeline’s natural response to environmental factors that deteriorate pipes over time. Older construction used iron or copper pipes, which are particularly susceptible to corrosion just from the soil and natural chemicals present in the earth. Add onto this the potential for misusing pipes, flushing hazardous materials, or the use of damaging chemical cleaners and it comes as no surprise that pipelines may have corroded. Trenchless repairs can create a new pipe within the corroded pipe, which is guaranteed to last for decades and removes any issues the old line may have been experiencing.
Sometimes also called pinhole leaks, a pipeline leak occurs usually in a line that brings clean, potable water through your home’s faucets and plumbing fixtures. The pipes that carry this water are often quite narrow, making even the tiniest pinhole leak very impactful. If you begin to notice that your water pressure has decreased without cause, a leak in your pipe may be to blame. If left unchecked, leaks can spread water throughout the interior of your walls or flooring, damaging paint, harming the integrity of your floors, and creating the perfect breeding ground for mold. With trenchless technology, these leaks can easily be fixed before they cause major damage to your home or building.
Tree Root Invasion
Like any other living thing, trees crave nutrients. And your pipelines are perfect sources for the types of nutrients trees need to thrive. Therefore, if there is a small crack in your pipe trees will extend their roots toward it, soaking up the waste that is leaked. Sometimes, tree roots even get into the line itself, worsening any existing cracks and creating hard to remove blockages. Fortunately, trenchless methods work perfectly for removing tree roots from your line. Special chemicals are used which kill the section of roots off, making them easy to wash away. And, once the clog has been successfully removed, the inside of the pipe is able to be repaired efficiently and without great impact on your daily life. Cracks in Your Pipes A crack in your pipeline can be a costly defect if not repaired in a timely manner. Cracks allow waste water to spill from your pipes and into the surrounding area, creating damage and causing odors. Some telltale signs of a pipeline crack are warmth beneath your floor and pooling of water in your backyard or basement. If caught early, cracks can easily be repaired using trenchless methods, saving you, your family, and your business time and hassle along the way.
How does trenchless pipeline repair work?
Now we know what problems trenchless methods can fix, but we don’t yet know how they go about fixing these issues. The highly skilled team at Sewer Co, however, has these methods down to an exact science. There are three primary elements to trenchless pipe repair, and these include inspection, cleaning, and the repair itself. All trenchless work is completed with precision and from above ground, meaning your property will not be disrupted by our work.
Step One: Pipeline Inspection
Before any other work begins, it is important to know exactly where the problem is and what is causing it. To accomplish this, we start by drilling access holes at the beginning and the end of the length of pipe that needs to be addressed. Then, using those access holes, we feed a small camera on a line into the pipe which lights up the interior and records the entire internal diameter of the line. The camera feed is then monitored by one of our specially trained technicians, and any problems in the line are identified and marked for repair.
Step Two: Pipeline Cleaning
Once we have identified the cause of your problem, it’s time to prepare the pipe to be fixed. For our repairs to be effective, we need a clean line that the epoxy resin we will apply later is able to bind to. To get your pipeline clean, we use the same access holes to feed a multi-directional nozzle into the pipe. This nozzle is capable of blasting water out at 3,500 PSI, which safely and effectively dislodged all clogs and removed buildup from the insides of the pipe. Once the line is cleaned out, the repair process can begin.
Repairing Your Pipes
The actual repairs are where the magic of trenchless pipe technology is. Using advanced methods, we create a brand new pipe within your existing pipe that erases all damage and fixes any issues the line was having. To do this, we start by coating an inflatable tube with a special epoxy resin designed specifically for pipeline repair. We then feed the tube into the damaged parts of the line, and inflate it so the resin binds completely to the interior walls of the existing pipe. The tube is then removed, and the now smoothly in-place resin is left to either cure on its own over the course of a few hours, or heat may be conducted through the pipe to speed the curing process. Once this has been accomplished, your old pipes work as if they were again new, and since our epoxy liners last up to 50 years you can rest assured that any previous concerns are put to rest for the foreseeable future. How We Calculate the Cost of Trenchless Repairs
Many companies present basic per foot charges for pipeline repair. While this makes sense, the range is fairly large - especially when you’re dealing with long stretches of pipe. Most pipeline repair costs anywhere from $80 - $250 per foot, and averages out at about $160. If that difference seems small, consider it when multiplied by 10 or even 50. The total cost of most small trenchless pipeline repair projects typically falls between $3,000 and $6,000. Larger projects range from $4,000 to $20,000. These large differences obviously have a huge impact on planning for your repair, so it’s important to be able to at least estimate where you might fall on this scale. The only truly reliable method of getting a quote is contacting pipeline professionals like the team at Sewer Co., but there are some basic guidelines that may be able to give you an idea of what you can expect to pay for your plumbing repairs.
Put simply, healthy pipes are easier to repair. A line that is basically in good shape but has a single crack or pinhole leak will take far less work to fix and therefore the costs associated with the repair will be reduced. The material of the pipe greatly impacts the likelihood of its health. Newer construction tends to utilize PVC, which is a very hardy material that is not very susceptible to corrosion or organic weakening over time. However, older buildings and parts of town will likely have used iron or copper pipes in their water systems. Iron and copper lines are particularly susceptible to rust and corrosion, meaning that if you live in an older building or area of town you may be in for a slightly more costly repair.
Access to Pipe
Getting into your pipe, while not requiring a trench, does require some work. Pipelines that are beneath soft ground, such as soil, are relatively easy to access. Our equipment drills a hole through the soil and into the pipe, making access simple and quick. However, if the pipeline that needs repair is beneath large stretches of concrete access becomes much more complicated. Moreover, some pipes are partially obstructed by utility lines which also complicates the process of gaining access. More barriers to getting into your pipe mean more hours of preparatory work from our techs. Being that labor hours are a factor in your final bill, this will impact the charge.
Size and Length of Damaged Pipe
The size and the length of the pipeline section that needs repair is probably the factor that will produce the biggest change in your final payout. This is simply because more pipes necessitate more hours of attention as well as more material. A short, narrow length of pipe needing repair should be a fairly quick project, while a long pipe with a large diameter will take more time and epoxy resin. Our camera inspections can give you an idea of the size and scope of your project, so you can prepare for the cost before the work has actually begun.
If you suspect there are issues with your plumbing or your pipelines, call Sewer Co today. Our licensed and experienced pipeline technicians are ready to help property owners throughout the state of California fix their damaged pipes without disrupting their day to day activities.