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Sweetwater Plumbing Blog

Sewer Lines Can Be Repaired and Replaced Without (Much) Digging

backhoe-of-construction-equipmentWhether you own a home or a business, the sewer line is in the same place: down in the ground, out of sight (and smell). Just where you want it. But this does create a if the pipe develops leaks, decays from corrosion, snaps because of an earth tremor, or becomes blocked by tree roots. How can plumbers fix a pipe buried a few feet down in the ground?

The obvious answer: they dig. And for decades this was the standard approach for sewer line repair and replacement. Plumbing contractors used powerful digging equipment to open a trench to access the line. This could mean ripping up a parking lot or shredding a bed of prize-winning rhododendrons. Not a good time for anybody!

However, this Big Shovel approach is no longer the only method to repair or replace a damaged sewer line. Our plumbers use trenchless technology in Riverside, CA to do the job with little to no digging.

The Trenchless Technology Marvel

Trenchless technology is a type of lateral boring, a technique first used in mining in the 1930s. Rather than opening a trench to reach pipes, trenchless equipment approaches the work from the side, slipping in liners or replacement pipes laterally. This requires high-tech devices and the trained people to operate them, but it’s less labor intensive and time-consuming (not to mention more pleasant to look at) than digging.

Here’s an example of trenchless technology at work with sewer line repair:

A homeowner calls plumbers to a house after noticing damp, foul-smelling patches on the lawn—a major warning of sewer line damage. The plumbers place video inspection equipment into the clean-out for the sewer line and locate a place where the line has broken. It’s only one spot, so the whole pipe doesn’t need to be replaced, only patched.

To seal the leaks, the plumbers use CIPP (cured in place pipe): they slide a liner into the clean-out and use hydraulics to push it down the pipe to the place where the damage is. The liner adheres to the pipe walls and creates a new, undamaged interior. In this case, no digging is needed.

What if the entire sewer line needs to be replaced? The job is larger, but still won’t require digging beyond a small hole. The plumbers excavate a hole near the property line so they can access the end of the sewer pipe where it attaches to the municipal system. They detach the pipe and place a hydraulic device onto it. From inside the house, the plumbers insert new pipe material inside the old pipe. The hydraulics draw this new pipe into place inside the old one. Then a device called a pipe-burster is pulled through the pipeline. It expands the new pipe, shattering the old one around it and taking its place. The plumbers attach the new pipeline to the municipal sewer line, then fill in the single hole. That’s all it takes to laterally put in a new sewer line.

We Offer Commercial and Residential Trenchless Technology

Not all plumbing contractors have trenchless equipment and the plumbers trained to use it. But we do! We provide all types of plumbing services to homes and businesses, and we can see you have whatever sewer line repairs or replacements you need.

At Sweetwater Plumbing, We don’t charge by the hour, We charge by the job! Turn to us for help 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

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