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Advances in technology can save you big money when it comes to fixing old sewer laterals (the pipe you own in your front yard). Compared to traditional repairs where they have to dig up your yard, newer techniques can cost 50% less. Cracked and leaky laterals increase the risk of basement backups for you and your neighbors. They also can lead to expensive plumbing bills when the pros have to come over to clean out a clogged pipe that’s causing sewer water to make a mess in your basement.
SEWER REPAIR THE NEW WAY
Unless you have a collapse or catastrophic failure in your lateral, you most likely can add decades of extra life to it with something called a liner. Think of it as a big sock that gets pulled through the old pipe and with special hardening agents applied, solidifies into a finished product that has the thickness and strength of a new pipe. The final product is one continuous pipe, free of joints and cracks that allow tree roots to grow into the pipe, one of the biggest problems most homeowners experience. 90% to 95% of the time, the workers don’t even have to come into your house.
Here’s a condensed version of how the process works.
A powerful vacuum truck eats up just enough dirt to expose your lateral where it comes out of the house.
There’s no other digging required. Workers then connect a cleanout to your existing sewer pipe.
Your lateral is premeasured to get an exact fit for the “sock” or liner (the white tube shown below to the left) and a polymer is added to the inside of the liner.
The new liner is then pulled into a protective sleeve (the yellow, firehose-looking tube stretched out the back of the trailer).
Workers lower the tubes into the municipal sewer in the street and then pull them to your lateral with a machine.
High pressure air blows the liner out of the protective sleeve and into your lateral, inverting the liner so the hardening agent is on the outside of the liner.
Air pressure inside the liner ensures that the liner presses snuggly against the existing lateral and steam cures the hardening agent.
The white inner ring is what the finsihed liner product looks like once it is cured or hardened. The outer green ring represents the existing lateral.