Cast Iron Rotted Away! Can I Fix It Or Do I Have To Dig It Up?

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“I got a job today thinking I could line it, but the cast iron pipe inside was so rotted out, I decided I would have to jack hammer it. I’m two days into jack hammering the floor and your sales guys stops to see me and asks why I’m not lining this pipe? Is he crazy or am I? The bottom of the pipe is gone and a liner will take a real funny shape if I try to line it. What are your thoughts?”

I don’t know what you are charging for the job, but yes it can be lined. We have customers lining this kind of pipe every day. Your biggest challenge is to get the roots out of the host pipe so a pre-liner can be installed to make the hole left round, then line through the pre-liner.

Don’t feel alone, many people shy away from job site challenges. Either they don’t know and assume they can’t, are afraid to ask, or just jump to the most costly fix thinking they can maximize profit by spending more work time on the job and accumulate more billable hours.

Let’s go through the mechanics of the job you described above and I’m making a couple of assumptions here. I assume that the line drains slowly over time and that roots are the main cause of the problems here. I’m also assuming you have the ability to remove the roots. After the roots are cleaned up, you should remove the scale and tuberculation left in the pipe. This can be accomplished with an Ultra High Speed drain cleaning machine and a chain knocker set to the diameter of the pipe you are cleaning. A centering device can be used with this tool to insure it stays aligned in the center of the pipe while doing the work.

Once the line is prepared, an old calibration tube can be used as a pre-liner and inserted to use as a form to insure the finished liner is round as opposed to forming to the shape of the old pipe with the bottom missing.

This pre-liner can run from the beginning of the liner to almost the end of the liner. After the pre-liner is inserted. you can line it with your normal process.

If you are lining only the portion of the pipe in this condition, you can still perform the job with a remote start to line only that portion. Using a variety of tools available to remove the leader and excess pre-liner, you’d have a structurally sound pipe when completed. For more information contact us at 888-354-6464 today.


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