Have you ever seen an entire road torn up to fix one pipe underneath it? We all have, but hopefully not for much longer. A new type of pipe repair company is trying to leave the mess behind and repair pipes without digging up roadways. Companies like Nu Flow and Formadrain have been using new trenchless pipe repair techniques to fix underground pipes without the mess.
How does it work? Each company has a slightly different process but the basic approach is the same:
- Insert a pipe-navigating robot into an access point like a manhole or metering station to assess debris, pipe cracks/breaks and any other nasty surprises (Nu Flow has pipe video of an alligator).
- Once any debris or blockage has been removed, a pipe liner sleeve is inserted on the interior of the pipe.
- Steam is pumped through the pipes to cure and harden the epoxy. The lining expands by up to 200% in the curing process.
While it may seem simple based on the steps above (and is less expensive than tearing up the street), these trenchless pipe repair companies have solved a variety of problems in developing trenchless pipe repair. Different types of pipe connections, for example, used to be a problem. How do you apply pipe liner to a T junction or apply the pipe liner to larger pipes (since it requires additional pressure)?
It will be interesting to see if this new pipe repair technology will catch on. I would be surprised if it didn’t. It costs less, takes less time, is easier to clean up and is environmentally friendly.
What do you think? Let us know in the comments. In the meantime, check out this YouTube clip showing before and after footage of new trenchless pipe repair technology.
VIDEO — https://youtu.be/n28og2p6vs0