Trenchless Tuesdays #2 - Options to Replace a Main Line

Trenchless Tuesdays #2 - Options to Replace a Main Line
If you think you need to replace the main water or sewer line to your home, it's important to understand your options so you know what potentially needs to happen on your property. Replacing a pipeline can be a major project, but fortunately, trenchless pipe repair is a much less intrusive option, both on your landscaping and your wallet. Take a look at what traditional techniques look like and compare them with trenchless pipe repair. Then decide for yourself which one sounds better. Trenching Techniques
  • Open Cut Method Above Non-Paved Areas: This involves excavating a trench to expose the existing damaged pipe, which is manually repaired or replaced, and then backfilled. Trenching is most feasible if the damaged section of pipe is not located under pavement, but it still requires you to dig up a large section of your yard. In fact, sometimes it is recommended you wait six months after the repair before replanting to let the soil settle, meaning the eyesore of a torn up yard lasts for half the year.
  • Open Cut Method Above Paved Areas: Things get even messier if the pipe is under your foundation or driveway. In this case, the pavement must be demolished and removed. The new line is placed in the trench and the excavation area is filled with granular backfill consisting of rocks and sand to prevent the soil from overly compacting. To restore the original look of your yard after the pipe repair process, the pavement will need to be repoured.

Trenchless Techniques

  • Pipe Pull: This is one of the most-used trenchless techniques. It involves digging a little hole at one end of the pipe run and feeding the replacement pipe into the hole. The damaged sewer line serves as a guide for the new pipe to follow, which is pulled in with a large, pointed bursting head. This conically shaped tool fractures the damaged pipe and pushes the fragments out of the way while the new pipe takes its place. The replacement pipe is code compliant, root-deflecting, non-leaking, chemical resistant and lasts a century or longer.
  • Pipe Relining: This is another option for repairing existing pipelines. It basically lets the plumber create a pipe-within-a-pipe to rehabilitate a damaged sewer or water line. The plumber inserts a lining material that coats the inside of the damaged pipe. An air-filled bladder holds the lining in place until it hardens. When the bladder is pulled out, a strong, seamless pipe takes over where the damaged one failed. What's left is a jointless, tightly fitting, corrosion-resistant replacement pipe.

Applications for Trenchless Pipe Repair On rare occasions, open cut trenching is the most feasible, cost effective option, such as with collapsed pipes, severely broken lines and heavy root blockage. Most of the time, though, trenchless pipe repair is best. They work in a variety of repair situations, including:

  • Repairing pipes ruptured by the freeze-thaw cycle that run below landscaping, the driveway or the foundation
  • Addressing burst pipes caused by tree roots or other pipe blockages
  • Stopping persistent sewer backups or leaks due to improperly installed pipes
  • Fixing broken or cracked water pipes cause by shifting earth or a settling foundation
  • Enlarging existing pipes that can't accommodate the water needs of your household

Don't jump the gun and hire an excavation team to dig a trench in your yard. Instead, call Mr. Rooter® today for a free inspection and learn if trenchless pipe repair can restore your plumbing to its former glory.

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