If your water metre is showing that you have a leak but you are not able to locate it, it could be that your underground water are cracked.
If that sounds expensive and messy to replace, you’re right, however, there are alternatives to pipe replacement that are available thanks to modern engineering, equipment and plumbing skills.
There are a number of reasons why your pipes can become damaged or cracked:
Age – If your home is well established it could be that the pipes are worn and brittle with age. This is especially common with older homes where the practice was to lay clay pipes. While a great material to use at the time, it isn’t able to stand the test of time like PVC piping is.
External Pressure – There is the possibility of damage from ground works or invading tree roots. Tiny tree roots seeking out water can do some big damage as they grow. They start out as fine as hairs but will break through the pipe with incredible force in a short space of time.
Internal stress – As well as the outer shell your pipe has a lining to protect the materials from anything that might reduce the life of the pipe. Unfortunately, there are a number of chemicals that damage the pipe lining, particularly harsh drain cleaning solutions. If your lining is damaged your pipes will be susceptible to decay much faster than usual.
We don’t need to guess what the problem is or how to secure a permanent solution for your property. We have incredible technology at our fingertips to investigate your drains and pipes on the inside to pinpoint exactly where your pipe issues are and how extensive the damage is.
The best-case scenario is that your pipes are intact enough for us to offer to reline, rather than replace. Pipe relining is a professional service Sherlock Drains offers to strengthen your pipes, seal up cracks and remove the need for invasive digging and time-consuming pipe replacement.
What is Pipe Relining
When a pipe is broken or damaged getting down to it can be difficult. The old plumbing method was to dig up the pipe buried under your garden or driveway and replace the broken section with a new one. If your entire pipeline needs replacement then more digging, more mess and more expense is required.
This was also the case for blocked pipes, for example with tree roots or congested debris that was clogged in the deeper pipe sections.
Thankfully there are more sophisticated options available. Pipe relining is a process where a flexible internal lining is inserted into your cleaned pipes and sealed to the existing pipe walls with a strong epoxy resin. This reinforces the brittle pipes, making them literally better than new, without any messy excavation.
Pipes can also be cleaned using high-pressure jets, removing any blockages swiftly and easily using equipment inserted at the drain entrance.
Pipe relining is not a temporary patch job. The finished result will last for decades – even as long as 50 years – giving you absolute peace of mind that your pipes are going to manage their job and provide maximum value no matter how long you own the property.
The original technology was developed in Europe with many copycats emerging. It’s important to ask about warranty terms when getting quotes as this will give you an indication of how genuine the product is and how high the quality of materials are.
As well as being less invasive pipe relining work can be completed in just a day or two, getting your water turned back on faster and allowing you to get on with your regular schedule.
How Are Pipes Relined?
Our qualified and experienced plumber will start by assessing your property and analysing your pipe condition and any obstructions we find. When the project is fully scoped out we can recommend the best ways to go about repairs.
Pipes need to be cleaned for the epoxy resin to stick. We start with high-pressure water jets, strong enough to cut through tree roots, leaving your pipes clean and completely clear.
If the jetting equipment is not able to move debris we can also engage our manual cutting technology to scour or grind out pipe blockages.
Now that your pipes are ready it’s time to insert the epoxy resin-infused lining and seal it in place with hot water. The hot water will create an instant watertight pipe inside the existing one all from above ground with very little access requirements. We’ll let that set and come back to give your lining one final test and clean before heading on our way.
What Are the Costs of Pipe Relining?
There are two methods of pipe relining which we can discuss with you to see what suits your needs and budget.
- Patch Pipe Relining
This is a permanent patch job that closes over one small section of damage. If your pipes are in excellent condition apart from a few isolated cracks this could be your best option. It will also likely save big on costs. The piece is inserted at the drain end and manoeuvred into place using CCTV drain camera equipment and air pressure. Once in place, hot water is used to lock it in and seal the deal.
- Inversion Pipe Relining
Inversion pipe relining is a sheet of resin-infused liner that is completely seamless and whole. The single piece is inserted into the drain using an inversion drum and positioned with air pressure. The method is best suited to older sewers and stormwater pipes and other pipe sections longer than three metres.
As well as the relining costs you will need to consider a few other factors that can influence your overall costs.
Factors that affect cost
The biggest costs are the lining itself as well as the time it takes your plumber to complete the job. Lining is factored at cost per metre with minimum charges in place for equipment and time as it will take your plumber a few hours to set up and get everything ready for the lining to go into place.
Along with the price of relining, here are some factors that affect costs and may come into play:
- The quality and type of your existing pipe material
- The length of pipe needing treatment
- Difficulties with pipe access (this may require some curing or minor digging)
- How wide or narrow the pipe is
- The number of breaks and extent of damage
- Which pipe relining method you use
- Any issue with reconnecting PVC pipes when completed
When looking at quotes for domestic sewer and drain relining you can expect to see prices around $500-$700 per linear metre for a standard 90/100mm pipe. This is a good way to compare the epoxy resin lining but won’t factor in work time. Depending on the surrounding factors and conditions your actual pipe relining prices could start at around $2,000 for the first metre and $660 for every metre after that.
Treat a quote as a guide to getting started. A great plumbing service will be happy to talk to you about the surrounding costs and provide details around your required pipe works.
You won’t be able to get exact costs until a full site assessment has been completed.
Alternatives to Pipe Relining
A new piece of pipe is relatively cheap to buy. What’s not cheap is getting to your existing pipes to replace them.
Pipes are buried out of the way, which means we need to bring in some excavation equipment to get deep enough to access them. The hiring costs for those are not cheap. It’s also not garden friendly so any landscaping we need to disrupt along the way will need to be redone as well as paths, steps and driveways your pipes might be under.
In other cases pipes are located under your house, making them almost impossible to get access to. Relining these saves a lot of headaches and disruption.
The final thing to consider is that even after all that digging, pipe replacement and filling-in has been done, we’ve only looked after a small portion of your overall pipe work. Any wear to other pipes won’t be dealt with until they fail, meaning you’ll have to go through the entire process again down the track.
Pipe relining insulates your entire pipeline and sets to make them stronger from end to end. It’s a one-off payment that will most likely cover the rest of your time in the property.
At Sherlock Drains we make sure to give you a fully itemised upfront quote that includes all the costs of your pipe relining as well as discussing possible variables we may discover along the way. Make sure when you are comparing quotes you get the full price and not just for the relining. Contact Sherlock Drains for pipe relining services in Sydney.