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Roto Rooter Blog

Trenchless Sewer Line Repair

Published on:
October 3, 2021

Have you ever had a sewer line break outside your home?  The ensuing smelly sinkhole that forms in your lawn above the break is a symptom that will stay in your brain (and nostrils!) for life.  The problems don’t stop there as you can’t use the restroom indoors or any sinks as there’s no place for the water to exit from the home to the main sewer line under the street.  Okay, you tell yourself, I’ll just have the sewer line replaced, no big deal, right?   Wrong!

The problems are only beginning as the plumber shows up with a team of workers to help out.  And help out they do as they begin to dig a huge trench all over your finely manicured lawn!  This is no ordinary trench as they have to go deep to locate and extricate the sewer pipeline.  After the first day of service, the team was able to get a small portion of the trench dug.  It takes the plumbing team a further four more days to get the trench completely finished from home to the street.  They also had to bring in a Bobcat to help demolish a portion of your sidewalk to get to the sewer line beneath it.  

After two more weeks of work and installing a new steel sewer line portion by portion and welded together, the team is finally finished with the job.  Nearly three weeks of cost and labor which does a number on your checkbook, but the sewer line break is a thing of the past, or is it?  You end up calling the same company out a couple of years later due to a sewer line occlusion due to tree roots growing inside the sewer pipe.  What I’ve just described to you is how everyone over the years deals with sewer line issues whether it’d be tree root removal or complete sewer line replacement.  But, what if there was a better way to do things which didn’t require all of that time and effort and didn’t require a huge trench to be dug?

Trenchless Sewer Line Repair

What are trenchless sewer line repair techniques?  As the name implies, these are new methods that don’t require trenches to repair sewer lines.  The advantages of trenchless sewer line repair are many and pretty much cancels out every headache you just read about in the preceding paragraphs.  The focus of trenchless methods is directed at repairing the sewer line internally as compared to externally.

To use a medical example, picture a patient who just had a minor heart attack who is now in need of repair to their arteries.  The Doctor has a couple of options available to them to do this procedure.  They can do a bypass surgery (which may be required anyway, dependent on how bad the arterial damage is) which requires the patient to have an incision into the chest to open them up completely.  You could visualize the bypass surgery as traditional trench line repair in this scenario.  Another option that the Doctor could take is Angioplasty, which requires a small balloon to be inflated internally to expand the artery wall slowly to dislodge the occlusion.  Yet another option is a stent which is also an internal procedure which forms a small metal lining within the arterial wall to shore up the artery against future damage and plaque buildup.  These last two examples are a good visual aid as to the inner workings of a trenchless sewer line repair.

What are trenchless sewer line repair techniques in relation to the medical examples listed above?  Much like angioplasty and stents, the plumber will run a small cable inside the sewer pipe to facilitate a repair on the inside of the pipe.  The plumber can apply an epoxy-laden tube to act as a stent of sorts for the inside of your sewer pipe.  This tube will harden and close off any small cracks or leaks in the sewer line and will extend the life of the line.  The other parts of the sewer line will be inspected via a small robotic camera to make sure that all other portions of the line are safe and leak-free.

More Information

If you would like to know more information and want to answer that age-old question “what are trenchless sewer line repair techniques”, please contact Roto Rooter today, and they can help answer any sewer line questions you may have.  You can also contact them to schedule an appointment for sewer line repair or replacement.

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