Existing Access Points – What are they and why should you care?

As many of the buildings that we work and live in age, plumbing problems become more and more likely. Slow drains, leaks and foul odors are common signs of a plumbing problem. If the building experiencing these issues is over 25 years old, it’s possible that the pipes are in need of an overhaul. In order to fix broken or corroded pipes there are two options to consider – replacing the pipes or restoring them with pipe lining.

Pipe replacement is the traditional option. Removing the old pipes and replacing it with a new one sounds like a simple option, but it can cause a lot of hassle. The most difficult part of pipe replacement is gaining access to pipes. Most pipes are hidden behind walls, buried underground, or covered in slabs of concrete. Getting to the pipes can cause serious destruction to your property. Ripping out drywall, excavating yards, or jackhammering concrete slabs is no easy job; it takes a lot of man hours which can lead to long schedules and expensive bills. Sometimes it can take weeks to get full access to a pipe. Once the pipes have been reached and the work has been done to replace them, you are left with a big mess and a lot of extra costs for materials and labor to put your property back together.

Restoring pipes with pipe lining is the alternative option to repair your pipes. Pipe lining fixes a pipe from the inside using existing access points that are already part of the plumbing system, like a toilet riser or two way cleanout. Instead of replacing the broken pipe, an epoxy liner is placed inside the pipe with an inflatable bladder. The bladder inflates to place the liner against the wall of the pipe while the epoxy resin cures in place. The result is a “pipe within a pipe.” This method is newer than pipe replacement and offers many benefits. One of the most common of those is that it does not require any digging or ripping out walls in order to repair the pipe. By using existing access points, the repair takes place from a single location and therefore avoids any destruction to your property.

The most common access point for pipe lining is a sewer cleanout. The cleanout is typically located on the outside of the property and provides access to the main sewer line. When a cleanout or existing access point is available the entire system can be repaired without any destruction. However, if a cleanout is not easily accessible, there are other options available. From an accessible roof vent or a toilet riser can be used to gain access to the pipe. Other access points can often be found on a property’s roof or in a parking garage, avoiding hassle and mess for homeowners or tenants.

While there are exceptions to finding an access point, pipe lining can still save significant property damage. If an access point is not available anywhere on the property, the technician only needs one point of entry to the pipe. Instead of excavating the entire length of the pipe, a simple access point on each end of the pipe is all that is needed to pull a liner into place. A simple patch of drywall or a single small hole in the yard is far less than the mess that can come with pipe replacement.

If your property is suffering from regular plumbing problems, do not ignore the signs. Call for a camera inspection and pipe diagnosis. An inspection will give you a clear view of any problem areas, so you can choose the option that is best for your property.

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Specialized Pipe Technologies

For over 20 years SPT has provided sewer, water line and storm drain inspection, cleaning and non-invasive pipe lining solutions. We help property owners and managers clean and repair their existing pipes using “no-dig” non-invasive renewal techniques. SPT repairs leaks and cracks with our internal “pipe-within-a-pipe” lining process that uses existing access points and doesn’t require tearing out walls or landscaping. 

Our expert pipe lining installation teams have rehabilitated more than 2 million linear feet of pipe!