Broken Sewer Pipe? Weigh Your Repair Options
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.