If your sewer line is leaking, call a sewer repair service so you can get advice on the best way to make repairs. You have three basic options. One is to dig up and replace the old pipe. Another is to pull a liner through the pipe in a trenchless repair method, and the third method is to coat the interior of the pipe with epoxy or other material. Here's a look at how sewer pipe coatings work.
The Work Starts With A Camera Inspection
The sewer repair service will probably do a video inspection of the pipe first to determine what kind of damage is causing the leak. An epoxy coating can fill cracks and other types of gaps as long as the pipe is still held together. If the pipe has collapsed or fallen apart, a different method of sewer repair may be needed.
The Pipe Is Cleaned Out
The sewer pipe has to be clean and dry before the epoxy coating is applied. This might be done by blowing grit through the pipe that scours the sides clean. Then the pipe might be dried with a heater to get it ready for the epoxy.
The Coating Is Applied
Epoxy coating is applied to a sewer line by blowing it in with air. The air spreads the coating around the pipe so the pipe is coated on all sides. The epoxy slides into cracks and gaps to seal the old pipe and to create a new pipe inside the old one. The air is controlled so the epoxy doesn't spray around. Instead, it is slowly moved into place to create a watertight barrier on the sides of the old pipe.
The Epoxy Is Allowed To Cure
The epoxy has to cure before the pipe can be used again. Before the water is restored, the sewer repair service might do another sewer video inspection to make sure the epoxy has covered the interior of the pipe completely and sealed all of the leaks.
Once the repaired sewer line is put back in service, it should last as long as a new pipe. You'll get the same peace of mind a new pipe provides, but your yard won't be dug up. Plus, you'll spend less money on a sewer line coating than you would pay on a pipe replacement.
Not every type of broken sewer line is suitable for coating repairs, so talk to a contractor about your options. If a coating isn't possible, the contractor might consider a liner or a pipe replacement instead.