If you have buried sewer drains or water lines that need repair or replacement, you’re probably preparing yourself for an expensive hassle involving digging up half your yard. Fortunately, that actually may not be necessary, thanks to trenchless technologies that are now available to homeowners. Skeptical? You need to learn a little more about cured in place pipe. Here’s what to expect during a CIPP installation:
Step 1: Preparing the Pipe
The first step of any repair is making sure the problem has been accurately diagnosed. A good plumbing company will recommend a thorough inspection, usually using a drain inspection camera. Once it has been confirmed that the pipe does, in fact, need to be rehabilitated, it can be cleaned. Depending on the piping material, additional preparation steps (removing corrosion, mineral buildup or intruding roots, for example) may or may not be necessary.
Step 2: Inserting the CIPP Liner
This is where CIPP technology departs radically from traditional plumbing methods. Instead of digging a trench along the length of the pipe in order to repair or replace it, the CIPP process requires accessing the pipe at only one point. The workers then insert one or more CIPP liners — flexible tubes soaked with resin or epoxy — into the pipe. This can be done either through “pull-through” or “inversion” methods, but the result is the same: a seamless, jointless liner that mirrors the shape of the pipe.
Step 3: Curing and Cleanup
Once the CIPP liner is in place, it is inflated so that it is touching the walls of the existing pipe. Hot water, steam or UV light is then used to cure the liner so that it adheres to the old piping, creating a hard pipe within a pipe. The ends of the liner are trimmed and removed, and the pipe is essentially good as new. A good contractor will, of course, test the pipe before clearing out; although a CIPP liner will reduce the diameter of the pipe in question marginally, you’ll probably find that your system works better than ever due to the smooth interior and lack of joints. And the best part? The whole process can be done in just a day.
Do you have any questions or something to add about the CIPP process? Join the discussion in the comments.