I just lined a pipe that had a belly in the run. What do I do now??

“I just lined a pipe that had a belly in the run. My supervisor told us that we had to dig up the belly before we could line the pipe, which we did. Was that necessary or did my supervisor just go crazy?  He said that if we were pipe bursting it the belly would straighten out the belly but we’re lining it because the homeowner didn’t want to pay for the permit to dig up for the connection at the sewer main.”

Bellies in pipe can be a problem sometimes and other times no problem at all, so my answer is “it depends”. Here’s what’s dependent on whether you should dig up the belly, fix the alignment, then line the pipe or just leave it alone. If the belly hasn’t caused the problem you are trying to fix or been a problem in the past, then there isn’t really any reason to fix it. If on the other hand, that is the location where all previously problems have occurred, then it is a good practice to remove the belly before lining the pipe.

This is where things get tricky. If the property owner can tell you of previous problems regarding this line, you may have a good clue as to which way to go. If you encounter roots and it’s not at this location but the same spot that previous blockages have occurred, a few more investigative steps must be taken. Is the belly right before a joint where roots are entering the pipe? If so, the point repair to realign the pipe is called for as this may be the area feeding moisture to the leaking joint that is encouraging root growth. But if there is no connection to the immediate area where your pipe problem that you are trying to address is, then it would be safe to assume that the belly is not a contributing element of the problem. If the belly is accumulating a lot of sediment that may be contributing to the problem, again playing it safe would dictate you make a point repair. If neither of those conditions are evident then correcting the belly isn’t necessary. If you have a new property owner and no history can be found on this particular sewer line, your safe bet would be to realign the pipe, but it may be worth his time and effort to check out the past history with the previous owner to determine whether or not you need to make that repair. One final consideration is the sewer grade. A sewer with a steep grade will be less likely to suffer belly problems than a sewer line with a minimal fall in grade, so that is another consideration.

Let’s defer to his assessment to the problem and make the point repair assuming he’d investigated the conditions we talked about. One assessment that I would disagree with is the statement that pipe bursting would straighten out the belly. In my long career that includes pipe bursting, I’ve never seen a belly in a pipe corrected by pipe bursting it. Bursting equipment follows the centerline of the pipe you are replacing and if that centerline dips the pipe following the bursting head will end up in the same spot as the old pipe.

If you have a sewer video of a line with a belly and a little history and want a second opinion, send your link to the video to info@pipeliningsupply.com and we’ll take a look at it and give you our assessment. Call us for more information at +1-888-354-6464.

Pipe Lining Supply NEWS & EVENTS


  • Remember to sign up for our drawing for our free high speed cable and 4″ chain knocker.  Drawing is October 15 and it is a $1,000 value!!  Click here to REGISTER
  • Stop and see PLS at The Water Expo Aug. 29-30 at the Miami Airport Convention Center.  Booth 638
  • Oct. 17, 2018 from 8:30 AM to 4:00PM – Mark your calendars for October in Springfield, MO for our Fall Certification & Training Class for CIPP sewer lining and AIPPR pipe coating. To reserve your spot, call us at 417-719-7172 or send a request to info@pipeliningsupply.com. We will cover all of the standards for each process, testing results, approvals, FAQ’s, hands on training and Certification. If you are an agency or employee who needs continuing education credits, talk to us about getting your agency included in our program.
Training – Heat Curing Knot
Training – Heat Curing Knot

Disposable Static Mixer

Check out our new cracked pipe and missing pipe repair method that connects to our coating machine to fill missing sections of pipe before coating or lining pipe. The unit quick connects to our ¼” ID hoses ends that snap in and allow you to pump our two part poly urea through the disposable device to mix resin and fill cracks and missing pipe. Call +1-888-354-6464 or email info@pipeliningsupply.com
Disposable Static Mixer
Disposable Static Mixer

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