In our opinion there are two ways to access a sewer leak under a concrete slab for repair:
- Penetrate through the slab; remove the concrete and dirt to expose the leak.
- Tunnel from an outside access hole under the slab to avoid interior reinstatement and inconvenience to the homeowner.
In-House Plumbing Company prefers to tunnel from the outside to fix leaks when possible, as it is also cost effective. However, before we even begin digging up your home we can provide you with multiple options for repair upon request.
3 Ways To Replace Pipe Under A Concrete Slab
In north Texas there are generally three ways plumbers in our industry replace pipe under a concrete slab. Let’s discuss the three different methods now.
1. The newest and rising in popularity method is trenchless pipe replacement
We do not do or agree with any residential trenchless pipe repair and replacement methods on the market today. The truth is there are a lot of limitations, restrictions and potential long term issues with each of the trenchless options being performed in residential homes in Garland and neighboring cities.
We have had to redo several jobs that were performed by trenchless repair and know of a company in DFW that spent 200,000.00 on equipment and training to do one method only to scrap the entire project within six months of starting it because it did not work. We realize that trenchless sounds good in theory which is exactly why we sub-contracted a company in-town to try 10 jobs several years back only to have 5 jobs not be able to be done and 5 more having to be redone when the job was initially completed.
We have also done exhaustive research on all of the methods currently available to be sure there is no good way to do trenchless repairs for residential homes. We can honestly say we cannot put our reputation and backing behind this method.
2. Another option is to replace the pipe where it currently is by either trenching through the slab or tunneling to expose the entire pipe and replace it.
Again In-House Plumbing Company does not agree with this option as well. We would especially recommend against trenching through a slab from one point to another to expose and repair or replace pipe under a slab. This is a horrible idea for the home structure. Also when it comes to tunnel exposure (although sometimes this is the only proper option) many companies offer this as an only option because of the cost of tunneling and the profit they can make. In most cases there are better and cheaper options than just tunneling to expose everything.
3. The last and most popular option around north Texas for under slab cast iron pipe replacement is the re-route option.
What this option does is looks for ways to re-route the pipe (not putting it back exactly where it was before) to do more trenching outside/around the house instead of tunneling under the house. The less excavation that is done the less expensive the job is to perform which is always better for you.
Unfortunately most under slab sewer replacement jobs take several days to complete, however once the work is completed the work areas will be cleaned up and look fantastic as well as you will have a brand new PVC pipe under slab sewer system that will last for decades.
Because every house is different when it comes to size, layout and where the sewer line exits the home, there is no way to know what it would take cost and work wise to do a complete replacement on your home without seeing the home.
It is important to note that as of late 2015 we do not recommend nor will we do leak isolation or spot repair to be performed on cast iron pipe sewer systems. Cast iron pipes are only suppose to last 50 years and last placed in homes just about 30 years ago there is a lot of homes that need to have their sewer pipeline replacement done.