How to Choose the Best Trenchless Sewer Repair Professional
Facing a sewer repair or plumbing project can be intimidating. Many homeowners are not seasoned professionals with years of plumbing experience, and rightfully choose to hire a professional to help tackle their sewer repair.
But how do you choose between potential trenchless sewer repair professionals? Here’s a guide to help you select the right trenchless sewer repair professional for your project.
Check for Proper Licenses & Certifications
When looking for a sewer repair professional, it’s important to check for the proper licenses and certification. Every sewer repair company should have the required certifications to install, repair and operate on sewer systems, sewer laterals, and other related plumbing issues.
Ask about Restoration Practices
Trenchless sewer repair doesn’t stop after the sewer lateral has been repaired. Restoration practices need to be adhered to for a proper, well-completed project.
Proper restoration practices include:
Proper backfilling. This is the process of replacing any dug-up materials (asphalt, concrete, soil, etc.) with new material. This helps prevent sinkholes and additional damage to the streets and/or landscaping near the project.
Compaction. After backfilling, proper compaction is required to strengthen the material being backfilled. Compaction increases the density of backfill material and prevents asphalt & concrete patch failures and sinkholes overtime.
TYPES OF TRENCHLESS SEWER REPAIR METHODS: WHICH ONE IS IDEAL?
THE PIPE BURSTING METHOD
The pipe bursting trenchless sewer repair method involves inserting and pulling high-density polyethylene pipe (HDPE) through an old damaged pipe. The inserted pipe bursts open or fractures the damaged pipe without removing it. You have to dig holes on both ends of the lateral pipe before inserting the HDPE pipe. You have to connect a ‘bullet’ or ‘bursting’ head to the HDPE pipe and pull it through the old pipe.
SLIP LINING, PIPELINING, OR CURED IN PLACE PIPE (CIPP) METHOD
The slip lining sewer repair technique allows the installation of an epoxy liner into a damaged lateral sewer line. The repair creates a pipe within another pipe. The sewer lining or ‘cured-in-place pipe’ is tube coated with flexible resin. This lining gets pulled through the broken sewer line and inflated to harden and create a new pipe lining within the old damaged pipe.
Steps to Choosing a Pipe Repair Method
Get a High Quality Sewer Video Inspection
A video inspection for a home can run anywhere from $99-$650 and for condominiums or commercial buildings the cost can be substantially higher due to the size of the job and difficulty to reach the pipes in question. The reason for the price difference has to do with the equipment that the company is using and what they provide you with after the inspection. Some sewer cameras cost upwards of $15,000 and produce HD footage in full color and are self-leveling (the footage stays upright), hence the greater cost. Other sewer cameras can be rented from a local home repair depot for an hourly rate and produce low quality footage, hence the lower cost. Some low quality cameras don’t even have recording capabilities, believe it or not. Sometimes, a low cost or free sewer inspection may require the customer to purchase pipe cleaning, or the company may not even give you a copy of the video (this may be because the camera used does not have recording capabilities).
Pinpoint the Pipe Problem
Another method to pinpoint your plumbing problems would be a systematic smoke test. This is especially helpful if you smell sewer odor or sewer gas in your home or building as it can be used to identify areas where sewer gas is escaping.
After Pipelining Technologies performs a video inspection of your plumbing system, we provide you with a copy of the video, a not-to-scale drawing of your drainage system, and a deficiency report of the problem areas in your pipes. We help our customers understand the problems in their pipes and where they exist. Next, it’s time to decide on which sewer repair method you will go with.
Choose Pipe Repair Method
Now that you know what the problems are and where they exist in your plumbing system, it is time to consider the cost to benefit ratio of your options. For example, if the problem is isolated in a pipe under your yard then you can make repairs conventionally and only have to replace dirt and landscaping, which will often be less expensive than pipe lining. However, if you have pipes deteriorating behind your walls and under your home then pipe lining will save you the thousands of dollars associated with repairing walls, repairing your concrete foundation, replacing tiles, replacing kitchens, etc.
The Benefits of Choosing Trenchless Sewer Line Repair
Traditional methods of repairing damaged sewer lines can mean disrupting walk and driveways, digging up lawns, and creating a mess. New technologies provide a way to repair the offending length of pipe at your home, business, or commercial property.
The benefits of trenchless sewer line repair can save time, money, and frustration and understand the following benefits will help you make an informed decision in the event you need sewer line repairs.
Faster, Less Messy than Former Methods
When sewer lines fail, you need a fast solution to the problem and traditional methods of sewer line replacement can be as messy as the initial sewage backup. Equipment is often required to dig up the sewer line, replace it, and cover it up. In many instances, this may require tearing up sections of driveway, walkway, landscaping, and lawn.
Benefits of Choosing Trenchless Sewer Line Repair
Time is a factor for all, and the older methods of lateral sewer line repair require two to five days to carry out. This means that you may have to deal with the problem for several days. Some trenchless sewer line, repair jobs may be finished in one day. Getting the job done in a timely manner will help you get back into your routine in Sacramento and you will not need to call the landscaper or make a trip to purchase new plants.
Why Dig? Trenchless Sewer Line Replacement Bypasses the Backhoe
Even if your home is new, its plumbing might be connected to an older pipe. Nearly a quarter of Angie’s List members who responded to an online poll have replaced their sewer and 3 percent say it’s a project in their imminent future.
“This is my biggest fear — HELP!” wrote one respondent.
Trenchless methods came on the market for residential homes about 10 to 15 years ago, but many consumers are still unaware that they’re an option. And because sewer pipe replacement decisions are often made when an emergency situation arises, it limits time to do important research.
“People panic — I’ve seen jobs where these contractors really rip the eyeballs out of their customers,” says Andrew Wyderka, vice president of Heiden Plumbing Company in Milwaukee.
Heidi Riddlesperger loves that her house sits on a street lined with majestic oak trees and historic homes. But she also knows that beneath her front yard lies an inevitable and potentially pricey repair.
“I have an old house, and the lateral sewer line has always been a worry for me,” the St. Louis member says.
Riddlesperger has reasons to be concerned about the condition of the pipe connecting her 1940 home’s plumbing to the city main that runs down her street.
“Several friends of ours who have had older homes here have had to replace their sewer lines,” Riddlesperger says. “It’s an expensive repair.”
Not only can sewer pipe replacement take a chunk out of your wallet — from a few thousand to $20,000 or more — traditional methods can be disruptive, displacing landscaping and hardscaping, and even forcing unlucky homeowners to dig up garages and driveways when their lines run beneath them.
But for those looking to bypass the backhoe, there are new methods of “no dig” sewer replacement that can save homeowners holes and heartburn.