Monthly Archives: April 2016

What Every Property Owner Should Know About Pipe Replacement

images (28)Trenchless sewer repair

In most cases, a professional plumber can be trusted when in need of sewer repair. Replacement is a huge cost, and is unavoidable unfortunately. It’s important to note that before a property is sold, the owner has to report any potential issues to buyers, so it’s smart to get it taken care of and avoid any drama.

When it comes to an expensive repair like this, it’s important to shop around for the best deal. One should also make sure any contractor is bonded, licensed, and has references that can be checked. Expect most bids to be thousands so there is no shock.

History of Piping

First off, if there is any clay pipe it needs to be removed. Cleaning is never a good option and will only delay the inevitable which is replacement. Use of copper sulfate or rock salt is not a great idea as it will create more work by the owner having to remove the tree permanently, and then fix up the yard.

Clay sewer pipe has not been used for a very long time, as joints were packed by mortar and movement of the soil breaks them with ease along with tree roots. They are just not a smart choice, of course builders had no way of knowing this decades ago.

After clay pipes came iron and they featured a similar bell joint to the clay pipes. They were joined using hemp oil and molten lead. Though the joint was stronger, it still didn’t withstand the eventual movement of earth. After clay and iron, no hub cast iron and rubber couplings with steel bands were used. They couldn’t withstand root infiltration though.

The Pipes of Today

Today most locations use plastic piping. Plastic pipe uses glued joints, and many are looking into trenchless sewer repair. For trenchless sewer repairs, a cable is pulled through the existing pipe after careful examination, and hooked to a bursting head. That head is hooked to the new pipe. It splits the current pipe and pushes it out-of-the-way as the new one is pulled in. It has the same diameter as the old or can be increased in size if the home or business owner decides.

This way of trenches sewer repair only needs one hole at each end of the line, and no trench which is usually a mess. Hence, why many prefer it over traditional methods.

Downsides of Trenchless Sewer Repair

While being the perfect option to other methods, there are some downfalls to trenchless sewer repair. If the company is fairly new and not knowledgeable about how to pass inspection, it may become a headache that no one wants. One of the main concerns is pooling water at a low spot in the line. However, if discussed before installation this can be avoided.

Other issues are deflection and sag which cause concerns. Experienced crews know what deflections in the current line can be taken out, but it depends largely on soil conditions, and the degree of deflection. A less brutal soil like sand allows for deflections to be removed but soil like shale is not so kind.

Further, proximity of utilities is an issue in some cases. The method used can damage other lines depending on how close they are to the action when the outer pipe is pushed away. No one wants gas leaks or cut water lines. Contractors must mark existing lines and formulate a plan to make sure there’s enough room for the installation.

Yet, trenchless sewer repair is still the most cost-effective and least disruptive method today. Simply taking care to verify the experience of any contractor before signing on the dotted line will make sure that it’s done effectively.

What Causes Copper Pipe to Fail?

images (27)Sadly, copper pipes don’t last forever, though they do last quite long, sometimes more than a lifetime. However, usually they’ll get around 25 years, and that’s if the water condition is conducive to the pipes. Changes in the chemistry of water can make it rough on copper pipes, and lead to copper pipe repair. In most cases they will not affect the quality of the water, but will certainly cause the property owner to lose money.

As the most commonly used material for plumbing systems, copper is easy to use and resists corrosion. It also is impermeable to gases and liquids which is an added bonus. For over 50 years, copper piping has been the go to material for domestic water supply, and it can be found in the majority of buildings today.

Anyone who notices warm spots on the floor, ceilings or walls, we carpeting, or very high water bills should consider that copper pipe repair many be needed. They should immediately contact a repair specialist for a consultation to see what their options are between traditional options and the latest methods to include trenchless pipe replacement.

Pinhole Leaks

Pinhole leaks are the result of perforation of copper tubing, fittings or pipe in domestic distribution of water, and the result of corrosion initiated by pitting on the inside or waterside surface of the pipe. Inside pitting and corrosion of copper piping may be rare, but when discovered becomes an expensive problem that quickly results in pinhole leaks. The chemistry of the water itself has been found to cause the pitting.

The pinhole leak is a common copper pipe repair, and so professionals continue to try to detect pitting corrosion before it turns into pinhole leaks. Of course, these leaks could occur in any tube or pipe made of copper within the house. Most leaks are found in older homes and businesses, definitely before 1970.

Copper Corrosion

while there are various types of corrosion, pinhole leaks are caused by pitting corrosion in copper plumbing most of all. The attacks are definitely localized, and non-uniform in characteristic. Various, small areas are typically attacked.

There are three main types of pitting corrosion:

  • Soft Water – This type of pitting is possible in various soft waters of pH below 7.2, it’s narrower than in hard water, but still causes failure in pipes.
  • Hard Water – This pitting is found in hard waters that have a pH of 7 to 7.8, and it is most common in cold water applications. Pits are narrow and deep and cause pipes to fail.
  • Cold and Soft Water with High pH Level – This pitting happens in soft, cold waters with a pH above 8. It’s generalized and has shallow, wide results in blue water, pipe blocking and byproduct releases.

Water Velocity

High rates of water flow can erode the coating of bare copper, and cause copper pipe repairs. It also results in high corrosion once eroded. The biggest effect is when forced water changes the flow direction and damages the whole system.

Repair Choices

Today, property owners have many options of which to choose. Yet, none of them consider the main cause of the issue, but just correct detected symptoms. Options are not cheap for copper pipe repairs, and they include:

  • Fixing the leak by application of external solder
  • Re-plumbing the whole property
  • Replacing the tube in sections
  • Re-plumbing and putting PVC in place of the copper
  • Buying cures, such as magnets
  • Coating with epoxy

In the end, there are many choices when it comes to copper pipe repairs. Home and business owners owe it to themselves to explore them all, and have their property examined by a professional who can make smart recommendations.