Whether you own a home or business location, of the most expensive systems in any building is its plumbing system. Water pipes are used to bring water into the structure to be used for drinking, cooking, bathing, and septic needs. Sewer pipes transport dirty water and waste out to septic tanks or sewers. Problems with sewer pipes can have serious consequences, causing health problems, foul odors, and damage to buildings. As technology and plumbing techniques have progressed, however, it’s been possible for property owners to address repairs more efficiently and save money in the process.
When sewer pipes clog, they can send dirty water and waste back into your structure. When an issue is caught quickly, it may mean that your facilities can’t be used until repaired. In extreme cases, the backflow can damage floors, walls, and any other items it comes in contact with.
Until sewer camera inspections were introduced, property owners had limited options. Those with some experience could rent a plumbing snake with enough footage and spend hours testing their sewer line.
Plumbers also use snakes to locate obstructions. What this approach does not do is confirm the actual cause of the problem. A plumber may be able to determine that 20 feet from your house something is blocking the pipe, but they will have to take further steps to determine if it’s because the pipes have collapsed, there’s build-up inside the pipes, or roots have broken through the pipes.
Today, a common diagnostic approach is to use a sewer camera to check the pipes. Trained technicians insert the camera into the pipe. One of the benefits is that these cameras are capable of capturing detailed, high resolution images of the entire pipe. While a snake my help a plumber figure out the point of an obstruction, sewer cameras can identify cracks and corrosion that may need to be fixed.
Sewer camera inspections are also fairly affordable. Costs can vary, depending on the length of the sewer pipes, but are typically no more than a few hundred dollars. Sewer camera inspections can be used to confirm what type of pipes are in place, as well as all existing damage to the pipes that may need to be addressed.
Innovative repair methods
Sometimes, pipes are damaged and more extensive measures are needed to restore your sewer lines. Anything from an earthquake to a tree root can cause serious issues in your sewer pipes.
Some issues can be addressed internally. Using a camera to diagnose issues can save money be preventing the need for trenching and cutting out portions of pipe because it may be possible to clear an obstruction with high-pressured flushing.
The specific type of repairs required could be more extensive. Older buildings are particularly vulnerable, because they typically have clay or cast iron pipes in place. Clay pipes break easily. They can be penetrated by tree roots which may need to be cleared or they can collapse. Likewise, cast iron pipes can also break or corrode.
Before the introduction of trenchless sewer line replacement, it was necessary to dig up existing sewer pipes, cut out damaged sections, and replace them. This approach was expensive because of the amount of digging involved. Also, property owners needed to have the pipes buried again afterwards and then had to deal with repairing their lawn. In some cases, trenching pipes could also mean removing and replacing sidewalks or portions of a driveway. Property owners may also be required to pay costs for permits to perform this type of repair.
Trenchless replacement has enabled plumbers to more effectively repair damaged pipes without damaging the lawn or removing existing pipes. This approach to repairs can address pipes that have burst or cracked pipes that need to be repaired by relining the pipe. The standard approach to trenchless repairs involves completing a camera inspection of the pipes to clearly identify the existing options. When property owners choose trenchless repairs, plumbers work with existing entry points if possible. They will create a small access point if necessary. They feed a new liner into the pipe and treat it so that it will restore the function of the sewer pipes.
This approach saves man hours, eliminates the cost of permits and expedites the repair process, and enables property owners to enjoy a fully functioning sewer system again, typically at a fraction of the cost of traditional sewer line repairs.