Here’s our dilemma. Our sewer pipes have exceeded 50 years old and we’re starting to experience the signs of a worn-out sewer line. We’re ready to sell our home, and the home inspection company said that the sewer line looks terrible. What do we do?
Maybe you can smell raw sewage, or your sewer line is clogging more than expected. Tree roots have invaded your sewer line, and they keep returning. These sound all too common if you live in a home that’s over fifty years old.
Rest assured, here’s what you should know. Once you realize your sewer line needs replacing, the plumbing experts will tell you what method they will use and why. Unlike years past, where your old sewer line will be removed and replaced with a new one, devastating your landscaping in the process. However, the latest sewer line replacement technologies are trenchless. It’s the best option since it leaves minor damage to the surrounding landscape.
Pipe Bursting Is An Option For Severely Damaged Sewer Pipes
Plumbing companies use two general technologies to repair damaged sewer pipes, pipe bursting and cured in place pipes (CIPP). What procedure is used is based on the amount of damage to your sewer line. If a sewer line has collapsed and is no longer functional, then pipe bursting is the best method. Your plumbing specialists will dig a hole at each end of the sewer pipe you’re replacing. Once they reach the old sewer pipe, they will feed the 3/4 inch steel cable through the old pipe. On the other end, the burst-head, also known as an expander head, is attached to the 3/4 inch steel cable that’s also connected to a 30-ton hydraulic puller. A 4-inch polyethylene pipe is securely fastened to the burst-head, then the pipe is slowly pulled through the old pipe. The new polyethylene pipe has a life expectancy of 75 to 100 years.
CIPP Gives Your Old Pipe An Epoxy Resin Liner That Will Last 50-Years
The second option is a CIPP. A CIPP is a procedure where the old cracked, preexisting broken pipe is lined with a felt lining and cured in place using an epoxy resin, creating a new pipeline that could last up to 100 years. The process starts by taking a premeasured liner and placing it in a roller saturated with resin using the assistance of a vacuum. The liner is closed at one end and is then attached to a pull-back rope. Next, it’s rolled back into an inversion tank and sealed.
The liner is inserted at the pipe entrance, air pressure is applied, forcing the liner down the pipe taking on the same shape as the original pipe. The liner can negotiate 90-degree turns. The curing process takes 60 minutes. Not that long ago, the traditional approach to pipe repair could have taken days. Now, most sewer line repairs are completed in one day.
What Sewer Pipe Is In Your Home?
There were four types of sewer pipes used in the 20th-century: clay, cast iron, fiber conduit (Orangeburg), and polyvinyl chloride (PVC). Clay pipes were standard for new construction before 1980. Clay pipes date back to the late 1800s. The life expectancy is 50 to 60 years, but under the right conditions could last much longer.
Fiber conduit pipes, also known as Orangeburg pipes, are another kind used between 1870 and 1970. Considered the lowest quality of all four pipes, made of fiber, layer wood pulp, held together by a petroleum-based is a product called pitch. The life expectancy of Orangeburg pipes is 30 to 50 years. Cast iron pipes became available in the late 1800 and early 1900. They are a very reliable sewer pipe and can last 75 to 100 years. The drawback is they are heavy, hard to transport, and labor-intensive. The go-to pipe since the early 70s is PVC because it’s lightweight, easy to transport, low cost and will last 100 years.