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Sweetwater Plumbing Blog

How Does Trenchless Sewer Line Repair Work?

question-mark-badgeYou’ve probably seen this sight before: large pieces of digging equipment parked on the lawn of a house, with a huge ugly ditch dug across the grass, through the garden, or even breaking apart a stone or brick walkway. Around the big orange machines is a scattering a pipe pieces. “Yep,” you think to yourself, “looks like another typical pipe replacement.” You shake your head and feel sorry for the poor folks who have to have this mess over their property in order to have a working sewer line.

But what if this happens to you? Shaking your head won’t do in that case. But you don’t have to have this ugly scene on your property. There is an advance in sewer line repair and replacement today that makes it much simpler. This “no-dig” technique is called trenchless technology. Not all plumbers have the equipment or training to do it—but we do!

The Basics of Trenchless Technology

How can we repair or replace a buried sewer line without digging? Actually, there is some digging involved—but it’s minor and won’t do much damage to your property. We’ll get to that in a moment.

The basic technique of trenchless sewer line service is lateral boring. Rather than dig open a trench to access a pipe, our experts instead approach the pipe from the sides, using a pipeliner to seal breaks from the inside or replace the old pipe with a new pipe that expands within the current pipe to shatter and replace it.

The job starts with digging one or two holes to reach the ends of the sewer line. If we’re replacing the whole sewer line, we’ll only dig a hole outside, near where the pipe crosses under the property line. For smaller repairs, we’ll dig two holes to bracket the area we’ll be working on.

We then insert a pipeliner through one of the pipe ends. For a complete replacement, the liner will go in through where the pipe enters the house. On the other end of the pipe, we attach a hydraulic device. This draws the pipeliner through the pipe and sets it into place, sealing up leaks and gaps. If it’s necessary to have the pipeliner replace the old pipe, we draw a pipe-burster through the length of the pipe with a chain. The burster expands the liner, forcing the outer pipe layer to shatter as the new liner fits into place.

When this is done, all we have to do is fill in one or two small holes and landscape them. If we’ve done our job right (and that’s always our goal) there will be almost no trace left on your property that we were ever there in the first place. And the process only takes around one to two hours, rather than the few days necessary for standard digging techniques.

When you are looking for the finest trenchless technology in Santa Ana, CA or elsewhere in Southern California for your sewer line repair or replacement, you only have to contact us. Our experienced professional plumbers use the best trenchless equipment to get every job done.

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