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Drain and Pipe Diagnostics

Common Sewer Pipe Problems

The top three reasons for sewer pipe failure and sewer pipe stoppages and clogs are:

Channeling of Aging Cast Iron Pipes & Clay Pipe Cracks

Most residential and commercial sewer systems that were installed under the concrete slab, prior to the early 1970’s, were constructed with cast iron. The life span of cast iron pipe is 25-30 years. Over time, the bottom of the horizontal pipe “channels” away or literally disappears due to the flow of water through the ferrous cast iron pipe. The pipe channeling exposes the soil below the pipe, which leads to soil erosion creating voids below the original drainage system that can cause possible foundation settling of the structure above the piping system

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This erosion process along with the exposed jagged edges of the decaying cast iron pipe causes clogs, stoppages, and sewer pipe failure in residential homes, complexes, commercial buildings and industrial properties. CLAY PIPE (Earthenware) was not typically used under buildings and structures; instead it was installed under landscaped areas, asphalt roadways, and concrete parking areas. Long-term ground settling, tree roots, and water erosion/soil washout lead to clay pipe failure due to cracking, pipe separation, and soil/tree root intrusion.

Pipe Corrosion, Calcification and  Scale

In addition to the channeling described above, part of the aging process of pipes includes corrosion, calcification, and scale build up. Many times high pressure water jetting will provide some temporary relief from drainage clogs and stoppages.

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This is a short-term solution that will buy time till the pipe ultimately fails. The corrosion and scale are indications of how much of the interior thickness of the pipe is worn away. De-scaling the pipe literally makes the pipe thinner and eventually, over a short period of time, the continual use of high pressure water jetting will expose holes, cracks and separations that lead to TOTAL PIPE FAILURE AND COLLAPSE.

Tree Root Intrusion

If tree roots or any type of organic plant material is found to be the cause of a drainage pipe clog or stoppage, it usually indicates that there is a hole, crack, or separation in the pipe. This is true of any type of pipe that makes up the sewer drainage system.

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ANY MOISTURE LEAK FROM A PVC, CAST IRON, OR EARTHENWARE drainage pipe will eventually ATTRACT root intrusion from surrounding plants. Tree roots commonly “travel” unbelievable distances, even under a building or structure, in their search for moisture.

The smallest hole, crack, or separation will allow roots the width of a human hair to “SEEK” out the source of water.  These tiny roots will enter the pipe and literally grow inside the pipe, and as they grow they expand the hole or crack to allow larger/multiple roots to intrude.  Given time, what starts out as a hair-sized root can end up growing in size to the width of a man’s arm.

In addition to creating sewer clogging root balls, these roots, if allowed to grow unchecked, can eventually cause the pipe to fail due to the root movement in and around the pipe.

The Sewer Inspection and Pipe Cleaning Solution

CCTV Pipe Inspection Survey

CCTV pipe inspection cameras allow our technicians to video inspect the inside of failing sewer and drain pipes and record the inspection for reporting purposes. Using these cameras, technicians  are able to identify problem areas like cracks, breaks and blockages with out damaging the pipe. The camera are inserted through man holes, inspection eyes and other available access points.

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High Pressure Jetting Cleaning

A sewer jetter is a long, flexible, high-pressure hose with a high pressure jet nozzle on one end. The nozzle typically has a front-firing jet to break apart clogs, and back-firing jets that propel the jetter hose forward into dirty drains and scrub the sides of the pipes.

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Pipe Corrosion Cleaning and  Descale

The Nu Flow Microcutter is a specially designed tool used for cleaning and descaling pipes with heavy scale build up. Nu Flow has a number of unique cleaning heads designed for different applications which are fitted to the Micro Cutters drive shaft cable and pushed down the pipe while the drive shaft cable spins the cleaning head at a very high RPM allowing technicians to literally grind scale build up away and return the pipe to its full original diameter prior to relining the pipe.

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Pipe Repair Solution

Because Nu Flow has the unique ability to fix both pressurized piping systems and non-pressurized piping systems using existing access points, Nu Flow offers the most viable and least disruptive option for pipe renewal.

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