Have you noticed some issues with your water lately? An odd smell or an odd discolouration? Well, then it might be an issue with your pipes. Now traditionally when you have to get pipes replaced, it is a big, expensive, and time consuming affair. The old pipes have to be dug out and new pipes installed; unfortunately, this process involves the displacement of everything on top of the pipe. But, there is an alternative, pipe relining. Pipe relining is a process where in the current pipe infrastructure is kept in place, but the pipe lining is replaced. The effect is the same as if you had gotten brand new pipes installed, but without the hassle involved in getting the new pipes installed. The process for relining a pipe is quite complicated, but also very interesting. Once a problem is identified in the pipes, a combination of machinery and high water pressure is used to remove problems like debris buildup or silt buildup; once all blockages are removed, the pipe is ready for relining. The lining is made of a strong material known as UPVC (it is like PVC, but without any plasticizer added) and it is pushed into the pipe using air pressure. After the lining is installed, it is cleaned with water, to wash away any leftover residue. Keep reading if you think that you may require your pipes relined.
I have already outlined some general reasons why pipe relining is better than completely replacing your pipes, but allow me to go into more detail. Pipe relining is by far the cheaper and less invasive process. With pipe relining, the plumber simply has to create an access hole that lets them push in the inflatable piece of lining. Compare that with the process by which pipes are replaced. To get a pipe replaced, everything above the pipe (this can include your lawn, your driveway, parts of your house, etc.) needs to be taken out. The process for relining a pipe can be done over the span of a couple days; on the other hand, the process for replacing a pipe takes weeks, and sometimes even a month depending on the speed of the plumber doing the work.
Another thing to consider is how much damage will be done to your wallet. Pipe replacement is an extremely arduous task, which requires a large investment in terms of time and materials. As you can probably guess, total pipe replacement is not cheap. Pipe relining takes less effort, less materials, and less time, than pipe replacement, and is therefore more affordable. If cost is something that concerns you, then you definitely need to consider getting your pipes relined as opposed to completely replaced.
Finally, in terms of durability, you might think having your pipes replaced is better than simply having them relined, because brand new pipes will last longer than relined ones. But, the truth is that relined pipes are almost entirely as durable as brand new pipes. A pipe that has been properly relined can easily last for decades. Now, whatever damaged your pipes originally may damage the pipe relining, but that will not happen for a long time.
So, what are the signs that you may need your pipes relined? Well, the good news is that problems with your piping are generally quite easy to spot.
Low water pressure can indicate a lot of different issues, but one of the main causes of low water pressure are pipe issues. “Pipe issues” in this case means either a buildup of debris in the pipes or a leaky pipe. If the low water pressure is caused by a blockage in the pipes, then you can simply have it cleaned out. But, if the low water pressure is being caused by a leaky or a broken pipe, then you may want to consider having your pipes relined.
One of the most common issues people report when they have pipe issues is a foul smelling odor originating from areas where water comes out of (shower drains, taps, sinks, etc.). A bad smell is generally a sign of one of two things. First, it could be a sign that there is a waste blockage, you will need to call a plumber to deal with it if it is deep in the piping, or you can try and fix it yourself with some cleaning solution. But, there is also the possibility that your pipes are actually corroding (this is especially true if the odour is similar to rotten eggs or sulfur).
If you start to notice random puddles around your house, or water stains on your drywall. Then the cause is almost certainly leaky pipes. You want to deal with leaky pipes ASAP, as leaky pipes (especially leaky pipes that are behind walls) can cause mold issues or can even burst.
The best advice that I can give when it comes to pipe issues is that regular checkups from a licenced plumber are the best way to go about avoiding pipe issues. It may seem a bit expensive and unnecessary, but trust me, plumbers are much better at spotting potential problems than you are. They will be able to quickly identify any problems with your piping and give you advice as to whether you should get your pipes replaced or relined.
Clogs are something that most people experience, but if you notice that your pipes are frequently clogging, then there is likely a bigger issue deep in your pipes that you cannot solve on your own with a plunger or some drain cleaner. Thankfully, pipe relining can stop these frequent clogs.
This sign is fairly obvious. Tree roots have an annoying habit of damaging piping, the solution is usually to completely replace the pipes. But, pipe relining can actually fix the damage caused by tree roots, while also preventing future damage from tree roots.
If you see any of these warning signs, or you think you may have an issue with your pipes, then call a plumber ASAP to see if pipe relining can help you.