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Broken Sewer Pipe? Weigh Your Repair Options

  • Transcript

    LESLIE: Tony in New York is dealing with a broken sewer pipe. This sounds like a stinky, messy disaster. What’s going on?

    TONY: Hi. My daughter has a broken sewer pipe that goes to the …
    LESLIE: So it’s her stinky disaster.
    TONY: Yes, that goes out to the main – you know, the main sewer line that the city has. She had a company come down. They gave her two options: one is to dig it up and repair it and the second option was called Nu Flow, where they send a balloon in and they expand it and it’s an epoxy seal. Have you heard of it? Is it any good?
    TOM: Yes. Yes, we have heard of it. Not that particular brand but this technique is one that is tried and true and it works very well. I know a lot of the drain-cleaning companies do it as well. Basically, they take what’s like a fiberglass sock, sort of inside-out, and they run it inside the broken line and then it’s expanded and there’s like a fiberglass kind of material that lines the inside of pipe. It’s kind of like creating a pipe inside of a pipe.
    TONY: Right.
    TOM: And after it’s hardened, that now becomes the new pipe and that’s what the waste flows through, Tony. So, it is a system and usually you’re going to use this if it’s too hard to dig the pipe up. If the pipe is going under sidewalks and buildings or pools or whatever …
    TONY: It’s under the sidewalk. (chuckles)
    TOM: Well – but listen, I’m going to tell you, it’s a lot more expensive than digging it up so you may want to make sure you do a cost analysis on this to figure out if repairing the siding – the sidewalk is going to cost less than putting this system in. Now I know that, for example, in my house, we had to tear up a sidewalk to replace a main water line and a waste pipe and we were able to literally cut a section out of the sidewalk, lift it, do the repair, drop the section back in and it’s still there today, like some 10 years later.
    TONY: Right.
    TOM: So you – just because it goes under a sidewalk, it doesn’t mean you have to use this technique. I do know it’s a lot more expensive than the digging it up by itself; so just make sure you check out the cost benefit analysis on this.
    TONY: Right. I just wanted to make sure that it does work.
    TOM: Yeah. It’s a viable system; been used for a number of years now. We’ve covered it for probably four or five years …
    TONY: Right, right.
    TOM: … and it does work. Again, I’m not familiar with that trade name but the system, the concept, is solid.
    TONY: Thank you for the information.
    TOM: You’re welcome, Tony. Thanks so much for calling us at 888-MONEY-PIT.

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