Sewer line repairs and replacement have traditionally been an invasive process with crews digging up the yard simply to access the damaged pipe. New innovations to the plumbing industry have now given property owners an option in many cases. Trenchless sewer line repair, also known as pipe relining, may be an ideal solution for some situations. If your plumber recommends this type of repair in your case, it’s helpful to know the ins and outs of both trenchless and traditional repairs.
Benjamin Franklin Plumbing of Fort Worth offers a full lineup of plumbing solutions, including trenchless line repair. We serve Arlington, TX, as well as surrounding areas. Sewer line problems can be horrible–stopping the household from using any plumbing fixtures until repairs are made. If you have multiple drains backing up, you need a plumber right away to contend with your sewer line. If the line isn’t clogged but has damaged sections of pipe, you’ll need to consider repair options.
Sewer Line Clog or Damage?
The sewer line that connects a home to the main sewer system runs underneath the homeowner or business owner’s property; that’s why they’re responsible for maintaining it. If it becomes clogged or damaged, they have to deal with the problem or, rather, they have to contact their plumber to assess and handle this type of situation. When your technician arrives, they’ll typically attempt to unclog the line. Most of the time when sewer lines back up, there’s a drain clog. The clog might be caused by tree roots or debris buildup.
Unfortunately, the problem isn’t always a clog that responds to mechanical augering. Sometimes the sewer line stops functioning because it has developed a leak or rupture. It may be damaged and might have collapsed in places. This is certainly a more serious situation. If it happens to you, a plumber from Benjamin Franklin Plumbing of Fort Worth can recommend the ideal route to take for managing your sewer line repair.
What Is Pipe Relining?
One option that many property owners may have depending on the nature of the sewer line damage is pipe relining or trenchless line repair. What exactly is it and how well does it work? Trenchless repair is a process that involves a special repiping machine and epoxy resin material. The epoxy resin will reline the interior of the damaged host pipe. As the material hardens inside the old pipe, it effectively becomes a new ‘pipe’ or, rather, an effective repair technique that seals up breaches and leaks.
How Does a Plumbing Professional Perform Trenchless Repairs?
When our plumber visits your Arlington, TX, home or commercial property, they will first insert an inline camera into the pipe in order to properly measure the pipe, eliminating any guesswork. Then, they will create a custom liner for the host pipe. Once the liner is created, the plumber will install it with the epoxy resin. Keep in mind, this resin isn’t merely a bandaid type of repair. Some resins have a 50-year warranty associated with them.
The next step involves our equipment that loads the liner into the pipe. Each of these steps requires the special training that a plumber has. While Benjamin Franklin Plumbing of Fort Worth has invested in this type of equipment and training, not every plumbing service near Arlington, TX, has. Once the machinery inverts the epoxy liner into the old pipe, your plumber will use a calibration tool to adjust the new liner in place so that it’s completely flush with the old pipe. The tool is designed to remove excess epoxy resin so that the new lining has a smooth finish.
The final step is the curing process. The epoxy resin must cure for several hours before the plumbing system can be used again. In fact, new technology can even reduce this curing time. Although trenchless repair has been relied on in our country for a few decades now, it still hasn’t become a service that all plumbing companies offer. Because of its effectiveness and relative ease (compared to traditional sewer line repairs), Benjamin Franklin Plumbing of Fort Worth has made it part of our complete lineup of professional plumbing solutions.
What Are the Benefits of Trenchless Sewer Line Repair?
There are some considerable benefits of trenchless sewer line repair that customers should know about. First, traditional excavation sewer line repairs can take days. However, repiping the line usually takes just one day. When you contact us and our plumber evaluates the situation, we can typically estimate the time frame for a trenchless repair. For customers who have work or other obligations, the shorter repair timeline is an advantage.
Next, and this is important to many of our Arlington, TX, customers, trenchless repairs are not invasive to your landscape. That means that Benjamin Franklin Plumbing of Fort Worth won’t be bringing over heavy-duty excavation equipment to dig up your property and landscaping. Traditionally, to make sewer line repairs, crews have to dig down to reach the pipe, remove it, and replace it with a new one. The result often puts a serious dent in curb appeal.
Reduced costs are another benefit of trenchless repair. Because less labor and time are involved, the repair is generally less expensive for property owners. Since there’s no need to dig up the ground or displace property features (i.e. landscaping, driveway), there’s no expense there either. Our plumber may need to make two holes in the property for the trenchless repair, but this is minimal compared to traditional sewer line excavation. Finally, trenchless line repairs are long-lasting. They can last as long as 100 years. They also function well–just as you’d expect a sewer line to function.
Traditional Sewer Line Excavation and Repair
Not all plumbing companies have invested in trenchless sewer line machinery and training. Benjamin Franklin Plumbing of Fort Worth is happy to offer this type of solution to our Arlington, TX, customers. While trenchless repairs are innovative and work extremely well, sometimes the situation with your sewer line may still necessitate traditional sewer line repair. Let’s explore.
What Is Traditional Sewer Line Excavation?
Traditionally, if a sewer line became damaged, the only way that a plumber could repair or replace it was to dig up the ground or even the basement. Digging through earth and cement is a major plumbing project, which made this type of plumbing repair one of the most costly that property owners might face. There are some definite disadvantages of traditional repairs of this type, including:
- Disruption / destruction of landscape and property features
- Time: it can take days to complete this type of repair
- Expense: the amount of labor and time for this type of project increases its expense
How Does a Plumbing Professional Perform Traditional Sewer Line Repairs?
If your plumber from Benjamin Franklin Plumbing of Fort Worth recommends the traditional approach for repairing or replacing your sewer line, they’ll begin by lining up the equipment and crews. This is a big project. Of course, we treat these situations as the plumbing emergencies that they are. You will not be able to use your plumbing system until the repairs are made or you run the risk of sewage and wastewater backup into your home. As we’ve performed this type of work all over Arlington, TX, we have a streamlined process in place to ensure we are able to address your plumbing emergency as efficiently as possible.
Our lead plumber on the team will also develop a plan for the project. It’s important not to disrupt other underground pipes such as gas lines during our work. We’ll also advise our customers about the features of their property we’ll have to disrupt or, unfortunately, destroy in order to access the pipe.
When our crew arrives with the excavation equipment, we can begin work. We’ll use earth-moving equipment to dig a trench that allows us to access the entire length or affected section of pipe we need to repair or replace. It’s a very invasive process, but it may be the best or even the only option in some cases. Once we remove the damaged pipe and replace it, we can fill in the trench and you can get back to using your plumbing system again.
Why Isn’t Trenchless Sewer Line Repair Always an Option?
Sometimes the condition of the pipe is too poor to support pipe relining. In these cases, our plumber will probably recommend traditional excavation to replace your pipe. Also, if the sewer line was improperly installed, which happens, or its rupture damaged other underground lines, traditional excavation will be needed. When it comes to your specific sewer line repair or replacement, our plumber will be able to explain which method is best for your situation and why. We understand that both types of repairs involve considerable expense. We will make sure that you understand the ins and outs of your situation before proceeding.
Do I Have a Choice Between Trenchless and Traditional Repairs?
If a plumber recommends trenchless repair but your pipe is easy to access and you prefer the traditional method, you can always go the traditional route. While trenchless repairs can usually save property owners substantially, sometimes the costs could exceed a traditional repair. This isn’t common, but it always depends on the specific situation. Our plumber can explain both options in detail so that you can choose one that suits your needs and budget best.
Why Don’t All Plumbing Companies Offer Trenchless Sewer Line Repairs?
Many plumbing companies haven’t embraced trenchless sewer line repair for one reason: cost. It’s downright expensive to pay for the equipment and training needed that’s associated with trenchless sewer line repairs. It’s generally not because the company doesn’t understand the advantages of relining pipes with epoxy resin. It’s mainly because the cost of the equipment can exceed $80,000, which is a major expense for a small business. Newer technology that can cure the epoxy resin in about five minutes costs upwards of $150,000.
Smaller plumbing contractors may not have the financial means to invest in this type of technology for their business. That’s unfortunate as trenchless repairs are often preferable to traditional excavation methods for repairing sewer lines.
Preventing Sewer Line Repairs
Of course, the best scenario is not to need any sewer line repairs or experience any clogs! As any plumber can tell you, that’s not always possible, but there are some preventative measures you can take to prevent the necessity of these major plumbing repairs or the development of sewer line clogs.
Don’t Plant Trees Near Sewer Line
Tree roots can wreak havoc on sewer lines. As underground pipes age, they can develop tiny holes and cracks. Tree roots in the vicinity can enter these cracks to access the nutrients and water found in the pipe. They’ll continue to grow and will cause a blockage to form. Sometimes their growth can damage the pipe extensively.
Don’t Throw Food or Grease down the Drain
Sewer lines can also become clogged from the buildup of food, grease, and other debris. Clogs can lead to messy backups but they can also weaken the surrounding pipe, leaving it more brittle and vulnerable to damage. If you’re concerned about buildup, talk to us about our drain cleaning services and sewer rooting.
If you suspect that you have a sewer line clog or suspect that it needs repair or replacement, contact Benjamin Franklin Plumbing of Fort Worth. We will send a licensed and highly experienced plumber to your Arlington, TX, home or commercial property to assess the situation. Our plumbing pros can tell you what’s going on with your sewer line and recommend the ideal solution to get your plumbing system up and functioning optimally again. Call us if you have questions about any or our services or to schedule a service call.