Ripping Out A CIPP Liner

“I installed a CIPP liner and followed the ASTM’s I read about in your earlier blogs. I used your resin but a sales guy sold me some liner he sold was as good as yours but cheaper. After completing the job the inspector asked me for my documentation and I showed him the resin buckets and a scrap piece of liner we used for the job. He’s now asking for proof that the liner I used has been tested and approved for the installation. How do I prove that this is equal to the liner you sell?” He’s telling me that if I can’t produce the documentation he’s asking for I’ll have to rip out the liner and replace the pipe.”

Before we provide any materials for sale we test them. For CIPP, this testing includes taking samples of the tube we are using along with the resin we intend to sell with it to meet an agencies standards. In addition to the standards found in the ASTM’s regarding CIPP, an agency may add additional requirements or make modifications to the standards for their own purposes. As an example, the Bureau of Engineering for the City of Los Angeles adds a chemical resistance test that exceeds the chemical resistance standards found in the ASTM.

We prepare samples, submit them for independent testing, and provide the results to the agency to satisfy their standards and give them the peace of mind that this material as assembled will meet their needs. When a contractor deviates from providing the materials the agency approved, it sends up red flags and concerns them that they are getting substandard materials installed in their collection system that may fail or not provide the durability or longevity they expect.

It appears you have three choices:

  • Option one would be to take our resin you used along with a sample of the liner material you used, prepare the samples needed for testing and have them tested by an independent laboratory and submit the results to the agency for their approval.
  • Option two would be to propose to the agency that you line over the first liner with approved materials. Your argument would be that the second liner is a stand-alone pipe after installed and would satisfy their concerns of substandard lining materials. You could argue that while you have two liners taking up interior space, you’d still provide enough diameter to handle the load.
  • Option three would be the least attractive of ripping out the old pipe and replacing it with a new pipe.

The lesson here is to ask suppliers to demonstrate documentation that the sewer agency you’re performing the work in has either approved their materials for installation; or ask the agency directly if using the liner and resin needs approval in addition to your certification that the system you are using meets the standards found in the ASTM’s for this process. Remember that the few cents per foot you are saving using a non-tested product may cost more in the long run.

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