If you have an ongoing problem with tree roots clogging up your sewer drain, you should think about having the pipe relined. The liner essentially replaces the old pipe, and this keeps roots out of your system. Getting a liner is also less expensive than having your old sewer line dug up and replaced. That's one reason to get a liner now before the roots cause your pipe to crumble. Once your sewer line is so damaged it crumbles and collapses, putting in a liner is no longer an option. This is an overview of how the process works.

Video Inspection And Cleaning

When you call a sewer contractor to reline your pipe, the first step he or she will do is a video inspection. A camera is threaded into the sewer pipe so the contractor can make sure the pipe is suitable for relining. Then the pipe is cleaned with a high pressure water jet that knocks off grease, clogs, and tree roots. When the pipe is clean, the contractor will probably pass the camera through one more time just to make sure the pipe is cleared out and ready for the liner.

Liner Installation

The liner used for sewer pipes is called CIPP, or cured-in-place-pipe. It's a flat flexible liner that's coated with resin and cut to the length of your sewer line. To insert the liner, the contractor has to dig a hole in your yard where the sewer line joins with your home's plumbing unless you have an access cover over your line. Other than that, there is no need to dig a trench and destroy your lawn to put in the liner.

The liner is pushed through the old plumbing line, and once it is in place, it's opened up. A bladder is passed through the liner, and it is slowly filled with hot water. As the bladder expands, the liner opens up and presses against the walls of the old sewer pipe. The hot water is left in place until the resin cures in place. After several minutes, the liner has hardened into the shape of a pipe, and the bladder is removed.


The plumbing contractor will probably do one final video inspection to make sure the liner is fully expanded and the job is complete. Once the resin has cured, the liner is very strong, and since it is a continuous piece without seams, there is no place for tree roots to wiggle their way inside. Getting a liner puts a permanent end to your tree root problem.

If you've recently had tree roots removed from your old sewer line, you should keep in mind that it's just a temporary fix. The tree roots will eventually find their way back into your sewer pipe until your repair or replace the line. While you might manage the problem by having the roots cut out every year or so, every time the roots invade, they open the cracks a little wider. Ongoing damage is the big risk with tree roots. Once your sewer line is badly damaged, relining may not be possible, and then you'll have to turn to more costly forms of sewer repair to fix the problem.

For more information, contact Drain-O-Rooter or a similar company.