A broken sewer line can be a nightmare for any homeowner, but it's especially worrying when your pipes are buried under something valuable, like a driveway or home addition. If digging up the whole pipe is simply not an option for you, don't panic. You can still have your lines repaired trenchlessly. If you aren't familiar with the process of trenchless repairs, here are the basics of what you can expect.
Cleaning Out The Old Pipe
Before new pipe can be fitted in a damaged sewer line, it needs to be totally cleared of clogs and debris. Prior to the clean out, your plumber will use a camera to look at the mess inside your sewer pipe and determine what needs to be done. At this point, you should be able to get an estimate for how long the cleaning will take. If your pipe is full of the really tough debris, like tree roots, mineral deposits, and solids that should not have been flushed into the line, the work will likely take longer to complete.
To keep digging to a minimum, cleaning is done using a powerful auger and other specialized tools for cutting and breaking up solid material. Your plumber will run the auger into the pipe and draw out clogs until everything that might interfere with the work is removed and disposed of. Next, you'll have to decide whether you want to insert a new pipe into the old one or burst the old one out and leave a new one in its place.
Inserting A New Pipeline
Simply inserting a new pipe is much less time-consuming, and requires digging only at one end of the pipe. However, this procedure may not be suitable for pipes that have already burst or come apart at a joint. You also can't use a pipe insert in a section that has bends in it. Inserting a new pipe is typically less expensive than bursting the old one, and it produces less debris for you to clean up.
The way the insert works is straightforward: a flexible section of pipe is coated with resin and pushed into the old pipe. This new section is just barely smaller than the old one, and the decrease in diameter should not affect future usage in any way. Once the new pipe is in place, the resin sticks the new and old pipes together and begins to harden. In a matter of hours, your new pipe is ready for use.
Bursting The Old Pipe Out
When a pipe insert cannot be used, bursting is often the only option that remains, aside from digging the entire pipe up and replacing it manually. Line bursting requires the plumber to dig up both ends of the damaged section and use the auger to run a cable from one end to the other. Unlike inserts, pipe bursting cables can be run through bends and can be used with severely damaged mains.
Once the cable is connected to either end, a sharp arrow-like tool called a bursting head is attached to one end and pulled through the pipe with a machine. This bursting head cuts the pipe into pieces and pushes them outward, essentially creating a tunnel where the old line used to be. The new pipe is slowly fed into this tunnel until it has taken the place of the old one. From there, the ends are connected to the rest of the line and your plumbing is ready for use right away.
Trenchless repairs can save you a hefty chunk of change when it comes to fixing a damaged sewer line, and they can also protect you from having to dig through your garden or driveway. If you're in need of a sewer repair, ask your plumber about trenchless options before you set anything else up. You might be able to get life back to normal faster than you expected. You can find a plumbing company if you pop over to this website.