Digging Up Or Tearing Out Old Pipe And Replacing It With New Is The Only Answer For Sewer Lines

“I’ve followed some of your blogs and I just can’t see all this rehab of an old pipe when I can replace it. I’ve got a seasoned crew and don’t see how rehabilitation methods are going to last very long. Convince me I’m wrong!”

First, let’s start out with your first statement that you’ve read some of my blogs. I’ve talked over the years about design life and how this process or new piping both have been designed on the same parameters and that the rehabilitation process meets a 50-year design life. It doesn’t matter if it’s PVC, cast iron, clay, ABS or lining materials.

That said, our materials have been tested using an accelerated test, the same accelerated test for PVC or ABS plastic pipe to determine a life expectancy. Cast iron and clay use tests more appropriate for non-flexible pipe design. So your argument that the rehabilitation of pipe won’t last as long as a new pipe has been disproven by independent testing labs.

A bigger question for you is this, does your competition offer rehabilitation methods as one of their offerings, or do they only rip out and replace like you? Today you as well as your customers and competition are looking or should be looking at better, cheaper and faster ways to perform work. Pipe rehabilitation meets all three of these.

  • It’s better in that it is less intrusive than digging up or ripping out. It’s better for you in that the cost to selling price (margin) is much greater than digging up or ripping out let alone having a leg up on competitors who don’t offer these options.
  • It’s cheaper than the replacement alternative and before you compare raw pipe costs you need to compare installed costs – all of them. Those include labor, equipment, restoration and time. Comparing raw material costs to raw materials and discounting your labor isn’t an accurate metric unless you’re a charitable organization with volunteer labor.
  • Finally, and this is a big one, it’s faster. Displacing your customers for weeks to perform a rip out and replace method usually isn’t appealing to your customers. If a competitor offers a final solution to their problem with a time frame of a day versus your estimate of 6 to 8 weeks at about the same cost, which one do you think they will choose?

In conclusion, I’m not bad-mouthing rip out and replace. In fact, it is a fine method and I’ve engaged in that activity for many years myself, but competitive pressures may not let you bask forever in the seat of your backhoe.

For more information call Pipe Lining Supply at +1-888-354-6464 or email us at info@pipeliningsupply.com.

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