If your sewer line is bad and needs to be replaced, you probably dread the thought of the contractor digging up your backyard and destroying your plants to replace the pipe. To replace a sewer pipe, the contractor has to dig a trench alongside the old one. If you have a long pipe from your home to the city's sewer line, you'll have a massive trench in your yard. However, there could be an alternative solution. In some cases, the contractor can reline the pipe rather than replace it. Here's how it works.
The Condition Of The Pipe Is Assessed
The first thing the contractor has to do is assess the condition of the pipe to see if it is suitable for relining. In order to do this, he or she will probably send a sewer camera through the line to check out the pipe. This lets the contractor pinpoint the exact location of the pipe, determine its depth, check for sharp turns, and see if it's totally blocked by a collapse. If the contractor finds a lot of tree roots, these may be cut out before work begins. If the old pipe is made of clay and it is totally collapsed, the contractor must decide if it is possible to pull the liner through.
Two Holes Are Dug In Your Yard
If your old pipe is a good match for relining, the contractor needs to dig a hole at each end of the pipe. This tears up your yard a little bit, but nothing compared to the damage caused by a long trench. Two holes are needed so each end of the pipe can be accessed. The liner is fed in one hole and pulled out of the other. When the work is complete, the holes are filled back in and you can place sod or grass seed over them and the repair work will be invisible.
The Liner Is Installed
The liner is a soft flexible material that is easy to work with before it hardens. This allows the contractor to snake it through the inside of your current pipe. It is fed into the end near your house and pulled through by catching onto it through the opposite end. Once the liner is in place, it is inflated. The inflation presses the walls of the liner against the walls of the sewer pipe so the liner has the widest diameter possible. The liner is left inflated until it hardens and takes the shape of a new plastic pipe.
Relining a damaged sewer line is the ideal alternative to a line replacement that requires a trench. Your yard will be spared and the work goes much quicker. The new liner is a smooth, continuous piece of plastic, so tree roots won't be able to get inside and continue to cause problems. You essentially have a new sewer line even though the old one stays in place.