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Tale of Two Broken Drain Lines

By February 20, 2009

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Once upon a time there was a broken sewer line. The distraught home-owner waded through flooded basements and cringed at blocked toilets. Soon they called the Merry Plumber to come and fix the problem with his enchanted channel locks. After the Merry Plumber tried to snake out the line, with no luck, he told his friendly Apprentice Dwarf to get the magic sewer camera. The Merry Plumber stuck the camera into the line and soon found the culprit, a crushed (broken or separated) drain line. The Marry Plumber had no choice but to call in the Big Bad Backhoe to dig up the home-owner's front yard and replace the line. The line was soon fixed and the story has a half-hearted happy ending.

Now, fortunately, there can be a different end to this story. Advances in building materials and techniques have given plumbers a new way to repair broken drain lines. Pipe bursting and relining are less damaging systems to repair broken lines.

Pipe bursting works by using the old pipe as a guide. A hydraulic machine pulls full-sized seamless replacement pipe through the old pipe. In the process it also breaks up (burst) the old pipe.

Pipe relining works by creating a pipe inside the pipe. An epoxy is used to coat and seal over root damage, cracks, breaks and holes.

If you are experience problems with broken sewer lines, talk to your plumbing contractor about these options as well as traditional approaches to repairing the line.

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