Dear PoP – pipe relining?

Photo by PoPville flickr user JosephLeonardo

“Dear PoP,

The underground sewer line that leads from my house to the street is made of cast iron. A couple years ago the line backed up and the plumber who came to unclog it snaked a video camera down the line to determine the cause. He found that roots from a tree in the front yard had infiltrated the line through a crack in the iron pipe and were constricting the flow in the line as they grew, eventually leading to a backup. As a stopgap measure I’ve been putting root killer down the drain but I still get backups once in a while, requiring expensive plumber visits.

Digging up my small front yard to replace the pipe would be a major undertaking, involving some very deep digging, removal of a concrete staircase, walkway and likely the offending tree. I’ve been reading about pipe relining as an alternative. As I understand it, relining involves sliding an epoxy-saturated fabric sleeve down the drain to the crack in the pipe and then using compressed air to force it to fill the crack. The epoxy then cures and the sleeve permanently fills the crack, preventing roots from getting back in.

I’m curious if any of your readers have tried pipe relining and could share their experiences.”

Wow, I wonder how common a problem this is. I know we’ve heard about pipes being completely replaced but has anyone had one relined? If so, how much did it cost and who did you use to do it?

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