Pipe bursting is an innovative technique for replacing cracked, broken or otherwise damaged sewer pipes around your property. Whether you are a homeowner or a business operator, you can make use of this technique. Before we get into the details of how pipe bursting works, though, let’s take a look at what causes pipes to need repair and how this job was handled in the past.
Common Causes of Broken Pipes
There are numerous things that can break your sewer pipes. One of the most common is tree roots. What many people don’t realize is that the root structure of a tree extends as far out from the trunk as the branches do. As the tree grows over time, the roots grow as well, extending into areas that were previously untouched. If you did not take this into consideration when planting the tree or installing your sewage system, you could be looking at some serious damage in the years to come.
Animals can also cause damage to your pipes. As they burrow through the ground, they may dig directly into your pipes. In other cases, the ground around your pipes may shift as it resettles to accommodate dens or burrows.
Finally, here in San Diego, we have to worry about tectonic-plate action and earthquakes as well. As the plates shift, they cause tremors to run through the ground. Even if you aren’t able to feel these vibrations, your pipes will bear the brunt of the force, causing cracks to form. With more severe earthquakes, your pipes may crack or even fully break as the ground shakes more violently.
Traditional Pipe Repair Techniques
Before modern technology made pipe bursting possible, the only way to fix a broken pipe was to dig it out and replace it with a new pipe. This process is time-consuming, expensive and results in significant damage to your property. Although your plumber will likely fill the trench back in, you’ll still have to redo the landscaping after the fact, resulting in added costs for your family or business. Unless you like the idea of having a massive dirt patch in your yard, you’ll want to fix the landscaping right away.
Trenchless Pipe Repair Techniques
Pipe bursting is a modern technique for replacing your pipes without the need for digging unsightly trenches and taking on their associated costs. Your plumber or sewage technician will start by digging a small entry hole to gain access to your sewer system. In most cases, the hole will be placed as close as possible to the damaged section of pipe to minimize destruction of your property.
Once the entry hole is in place, the technician will feed a cone-shaped bursting head into the damaged area. This bursting head will then break up the damaged pipe from the inside. Because the head starts at a narrow point and then widens towards the base, it will deliver increased pressure to the inside of your pipes as it is pushed through. This pressure will then burst the pipe, leaving a gap behind it.
The new pipe is attached just behind the bursting head, following into the space left behind. This way, the new pipe slides right into the space where the old, broken pipe used to be without the need for digging a large trench. Typically, the entire process only takes a few hours to complete, causing minimal disruption to your life or business.
Not only is this method more affordable and efficient than digging a trench, but it is also safer. In addition to damaging the property, digging a trench also exposes the Earth’s natural gases, as well as any mold, rust or other damage that has accumulated in the broken pipe. With trenchless technology, everything stays safely underground.
Signs of Pipe Damage
If you notice any issues with your sewage system, a broken or damaged pipe may be the culprit. Watch out for drains running slowly, and take note of any foul odors around your property. When sewage accumulates in your pipes, rather than flowing through them, the smell can often make its way up above ground.
Look for signs of leakage as well, like water damage on your walls or water pooling around your property. You may also notice that certain areas of your yard feel soggy or look sunken. As water pools underground, the soil above may drop into the cavity left by the water, creating that sunken effect.
There are other possible signs of damaged piping, but these are some of the most common. If you notice anything unusual and are concerned that you might have an issue with your pipes, it is best to call in a professional right away. Catching any problems early on will help stop the damage before it becomes more severe, potentially saving you a lot of money on repairs.
Determining If You Need Pipe Bursting
Pipe bursting is most useful in cases of severe damage. Because the existing pipe is pushed out of the way as the new pipe is forced through, it doesn’t matter how extensive the damage is. If your pipes are only just starting to crack or break, you may be able to make use of other trenchless pipe repair techniques.
Cracks in your pipes can often be repaired by relining your pipes, rather than fully replacing them. This method involves pumping a sealant through your pipes. This sealant then binds to the sides of your pipes, creating a lining on the inside that fills any cracks or holes as it goes. Once the sealant hardens, it is like your pipes are brand new.
With either method, the end result is pipes that will last you for decades. Modern technology has delivered pipes and sealants that are more durable than ever before, making it easier to maintain your system. If you start to notice that sewer issues are becoming more and more frequent, you may wish to consider replacing the entire system with more modern materials.
A sewer specialist can evaluate your plumbing system to find the root cause of any issues you are experiencing with your pipes. Your technician will be able to advise you as to which method is most suitable for fixing the particular problem you are having.
Trust the Professionals
In any case, you should leave any sewer repair tasks to the professionals. Pipe bursting is a highly specialized task and one that can be hazardous if you don’t know what you are doing. Not only that, but the equipment required to complete the job is not cheap. Because you likely won’t be bursting pipes very often, it is not cost-effective to purchase the equipment and learn to do the job yourself.
To save yourself time, money and headaches, entrust your pipe bursting needs to San Diego Plumbing and Pipelining. We have decades of experience in the sewer and plumbing industries and can assist you with keeping your pipes in great shape over the years. Our technicians are all fully licensed and insured for your protection.
We work hard to stay at the forefront of our industry. This includes attending ongoing training to stay on top of the latest developments in terms of technology and techniques. When you work with us, you can have confidence that you are getting the best products and services available on the market today.
We recognize that plumbing and sewer issues don’t always follow normal business hours. We offer our services on a 24-hour basis, so you’ll always have access to the pipe repair and replacement services you need, no matter what time it is.
Our customers’ satisfaction is our highest priority, and we offer a guarantee on any work we complete. We’ll be happy to help you manage any plumbing or sewer issues in your San Diego home or business facility, so get in touch with us today to schedule an appointment with one of our expert technicians.