Traditional plumbing methods can be time-consuming, labor-intensive, and costly. However, a new technology has been developing over the past few years which has drastically lowered the amount of labor needed for many plumbing jobs. Trenchless plumbing is a method that uses existing old pipes, whether they are intact or damaged, to act as a guide and mold for new pipes. In the past, if you had a burst pipe, the majority of the cost of a repair comes from the time and labor it takes to dig up the pipe and repair the problem. Trenchless plumbing doesn’t usually require digging, which greatly reduces the time and labor of a job and the cost of the repair. Here is how trenchless plumbing repairs work:
- A bladder tube is rolled out to the desired length and wrapped in layers of polyethylene and epoxy. It’s then wound up like a garden hose and taken to the job site
- A cable is guided through the existing piping from an upstream access point (the insertion point) to a downstream access point (the pulling point) and attached to a winch
- An eyelet attached to the tip of the bladder is clipped to the cable and the winch pulls the bladder from the insertion point to the pulling point. The bladder is now filling the entire segment, including any areas that are cracked or damaged
- Hoses are attached to the bladder to inflate it with steam. The heat from the steam causes the epoxy to harden and cure. The pressure from the steam being forced into the bladder will create a perfect fit, the epoxy will squeeze into any little cracks or gaps. The old piping will essentially create a mold for the epoxy to fill, but the epoxy can conform to whatever shape is needed
- Curing the epoxy with steam can take approximately 45 minutes to an hour, depending on how big the repair is
- Once the epoxy has been cured, the seal is broken and the bladder is reeled out, leaving the hardened epoxy behind
- A camera is inserted into the new epoxy piping to inspect everything and make sure that the repair was completed properly
- The upstream and downstream access points are re-sealed and the repair is complete.
Benefits of Trenchless Plumbing
Many benefits come with trenchless plumbing. A huge reduction in the time a job takes to complete can reduce the cost of a job. There is also a lot less labor involved because there is minimal digging, just the use of two access points that are already part of your plumbing system. Because the plumbing work is less invasive, your lawn and sidewalk will remain pretty much intact. Traditional piping can be expected to last on average 30 to 40 years, but epoxy plumbing averages 50 to 60 years.
When comparing traditional plumbing with trenchless plumbing methods, they seem to cost about the same. A traditional repair can average from $4,000 to $13,000 while a trenchless repair runs about $6,000 to $12,000. Upfront costs for trenchless plumbing are higher because of the machinery and specialized skills needed to complete the work. However, larger jobs will cost more using traditional methods because of all the time and labor it takes to dig. The other big factor to consider is all of the surface damage that will be caused by traditional methods. Grass will be torn up, and sidewalks, driveways, and other fixtures will be removed to complete the repair. So you would have to lump the cost of fixing those in with the original price tag. Trenchless plumbing doesn’t cause damage, it only involves a preexisting entry and exit point. So overall, trenchless plumbing is faster, less expensive, and much less of an eyesore.
The highly trained team at Drain Wizard will assess your plumbing needs and talk you through what options are available to help you make the best choice for your home. We have years of experience in the plumbing world. Contact Drain Wizard today to schedule an appointment.