Pipe lining is a trenchless technology that offers an affordable alternative to replacing old and damaged pipes. The cured-in-place pipe (CIPP) method creates a new pipe inside an existing one by inserting a soft resin liner and inflating it.
The four-step process puts a pipe within a pipe, resulting in a repair that lasts decades and saves building structure and landscape. Before the process begins, a quality inspection is conducted with special cameras or robotic devices.
Your sewer & water lines ferry waste to and from your home or business, but over time, they can crack & break, leading to leaks that sewage can spill out onto the ground or into your property. This is where pipe lining comes in: a contractor can create a “pipe within a pipe” to repair your damaged pipes without digging them up.
First, a CIPP contractor uses video pipe inspection equipment to assess the condition of your pipes & determine what steps to take in rehabilitating them. If the pipes are severely damaged or made from brittle materials, the team may choose to replace them instead of relining them.
Next, the contractor cleans the pipes with a high-powered vacuum truck to remove all debris & blockages. They can insert the epoxy-saturated felt liner into your old host pipe using existing access points.
Once the liner is in place, it’s exposed to heat (as hot as 480 degrees Fahrenheit) to cure or harden, forming a new pipe inside your old one. The cured liner is now a long-lasting, jointless replacement pipe.
The pipe lining technicians must remove any debris blocking or damaging the pipes. They may also need to cut tree roots if they grow into the drain pipes. This step is important because it allows the CIPP liner to adhere to the pipes and helps prevent leaks in the future.
After cleaning, the piping is inspected again for cracks and other problems. This information is used to create a plan for the repairs. If they discover the pipes are too damaged to be repaired, they may need to install a different rehabilitation method instead of CIPP lining.
The access points and pits are filled in and restored so the rehabilitated pipe can be used. The pipeline professionals also conduct a quality check on the rehabilitated pipe. This process uses specialized cameras and inspection equipment to ensure the work is done correctly. They also record pre and post-liner video inspections, installation field sheets, cure schedules, and third-party testing results to document the job for future reference.
Unlike pipe replacement, which involves digging to remove and install a new pipe, pipe relining repairs your pipes from the inside out. This trenchless process can save you time, money, and the need for large excavations.
Before the lining can begin, the drain camera will send down one last inspection to confirm that all obstructions and debris have been cleared. To form a strong bond, the pipes must also be clean and free of cracks and damage. This is done through high-pressure water jetting or mechanical cleaning methods.
The lining is cured or hardened with UV light, heat, steam, or other means. After quality checks and restoration of system connections, the rehabilitated pipe is ready for use.
Finding a technician who can complete pipe lining jobs takes work. A good technician must have excellent communication skills and be able to educate clients about the process, what to expect, and how it will impact their living arrangements. They should also be able to work with minimal disruption while completing the job.
After the pipes are cleaned, a technician sends down a drain camera to see how well everything is working. This helps find any blockages, damage, or junctions that need to be fixed. If any solid intrusions are found, a robotic cutter can be used to remove them.
The next step involves preparing the liner material. The lining material is chosen based on pipe diameter, material compatibility, and expected lifespan. It’s then cut to the correct length and inserted into an air bladder (similar to a balloon).
The lining will be hardened inside the pipes, sealing off cracks and promoting better flow. The lining can also prevent further problems, such as root infiltration. Pipe relining is a quick and efficient way to repair your pipes without the mess and expense of digging. It’s a great option if you want to keep your existing pipes, but you need to address any issues with them. It won’t fix structural problems or sagging, though. That kind of problem requires complete excavation and installation of a new line.
As pipe lining technicians become more experienced, they will understand how to adjust their approach better for each job’s specific conditions. Finding a team that can be flexible and adapt their techniques as they work is important to success on each project.
Once the blockage and damage have been cleared, the pipe is prepared for lining by being cleaned with regular cleaning methods. Then, the pipe is measured for the lining to be cut to the proper length.
After the lining has been cut, an air bladder is used to hold it in place as it cures. The process of lining the pipe and curing it can be completed in a matter of hours compared to days for traditional replacements.
It’s also important to note that this relining process can still be performed in the winter. However, the lining technicians must be able to keep the resin and liner heated. This is because the cold weather can cause the resin to become thicker and prevent it from lining the pipe properly.