Pipe Patching for no-dig spot repair

Pipe Patch Specialist in Baltimore, Maryland

Plumbing piping almost always runs under beautiful tile floors and garage slabs, inside of delicate plaster walls, and beneath patios, pool decks, driveways, and mature trees. Wouldn’t it be ideal to precisely spot repair damaged pipes instead of breaking up parts of your home to fix one small issue?

Pipe Patching – a version of traditional pipelining – is a new and extremely effective solution for spot repairing damaged sewer and drain pipes, especially those in difficult-to-reach areas. What exactly is Pipe Patch, what situations is it good for, and who should be trusted to install it?

We’ve written an extensive guide to educate our neighbors and homeowners on the effectiveness of this alternative trenchless pipe repair method. Read on to see how C.A. Taciak & Sons can repair your plumbing with little to no disturbance to your home.

If your home is experiencing sewer or drain problems, a pipe patch may be a viable solution to other traditional or trenchless repair techniques. Frank and Sam Taciak are happy to walk you through your options for a pipe patch repair.  If you are ready to start the repair process, call us at (410) 960-2667.  If you are curious to know more about the pipe patch lining techniques used for sewer and drain repair, please take advantage of our guide below.

You will find that this article contains extensive information.  If you would prefer to quickly jump to a topic, use the links below:

What Is A Pipe Patch  | How Does Pipe Patching Work | When To Pipe PatchPatching vs Other Trenchless Methods  |  DownsidesC.A. Taciak & Sons for Pipe Patch |  Schedule A Consultation

What is A Pipe Patch?

Pipe Patch is a durable fiberglass patch designed to completely seal and repair issues in problem pipes.  The patch works like a heart stent. Similar to traditional forms of pipe lining, a trained installer pushes the patch into place within your pipe, inflates it, and sets it in place.  

Every pipe patch is a permanent repair option that requires little to no digging.  It completely seals off all previous defects and leaves behind a smooth lining within the pipe.  Each pipe patch is even durable enough to bridge missing sections of pipe!

Pipe Patch comes with a manufacturer warranty of 50 years and will outlast almost all other types of pipe.

Comparison of a sewer line with roots in it before and after pipe patching

This sewer line had cracked and dropped, allowing roots to grow inside the line. The root intrusion acted like a strainer in a river, catching debris and causing the sewer to back up. After high speed drain cleaning, the pipe could be patched and returned to pristine condition.

How does pipe patching work?

Pipe Patch is essentially a heart stent for pipes and installs similarly. It is a cured-in-place pipe lining for spot repairs. It does not need large amounts of equipment and allows for a confined and clean work area.  A trained installer does not have to install pipe patch at the exact location of the problem.  Pipe patch can be installed through several types of access points away from the actual problem.  This allows for many options when repairing a problem pipe.

From start to finish, pipe patching is only four steps:

Inspection and planning

Every patch project begins with a thorough inspection of the problematic drainage system. This step diagnoses and locates all problem areas in the piping before any work starts.  Understanding your problem’s “root cause” helps us fix your issue effectively and permanently.

We start work with the help of a sewer camera and locator.  Using the sewer camera, we examine the interior condition of the pipe.  This helps us see and understand the problems that are present. However, we must find the location of all problems for this information to be useful.  This is where the locator comes in. The sewer camera head contains a small radio sonde that broadcasts a specific signal. The locator wand hones in on this signal and finds the exact location of any problem area within a few inches.  

After completing the inspection, we map out a repair for your problem.  Before we begin any work, we always go over our plan with our clients. This way we can address and answer all questions and concerns before any work begins.

Cleaning and prep

Proper pipe patch installation requires thorough cleaning and preparation of the host pipe. This step minimizes problems with the patch adhering to the host pipe.  We use an ultra high-speed drain cleaning machine for this step. This machine spins at over a thousand RPM. The cleaning head spins so quickly, it removes all minor imperfections, debris, and scale.  

This cleaning process accomplishes two goals;  It cleans and prepares the initial problem area.  It also addresses other potential problem areas before they start causing real trouble. This saves you money and minimizes future problems.

Patch install

Each pipe patch consists of a fiberglass fabric coated with an epoxy resin.  We wrap the patch tightly around an inflatable rubber installation bladder. The bladder and patch are then pushed through the pipe to the problem area using a rigid air hose. Once in place, we inflate the bladder to a predetermined pressure.  Inflating the bladder pushes the patch against the inside of the host pipe. The bladder and host pipe work together to act as an impromptu form for the patch. As the resin cures, it hardens the fiberglass fabric into a solid pipe within the host pipe.  In this way, the pipe patch lines the section of the pipe, seals off all leaks, and becomes a structural repair.

Reinstatement and cleanup

The patch takes about 2 hours to cure. After the patch hardens, we deflate the bladder and remove it.  At this point, the sewer line is now ready to go back in service. Most pipe patch installs take about one morning or afternoon.

What situations is pipe patch good for?

Pipe patch is an excellent repair choice for all sewer and drain pipes.  It is cost-effective, permanent, and efficient to install. Pipe patch easily solves problems not accessible to conventional repair methods. This includes sewer and drain problems near:

  • plaster ceilings and walls
  • basement floors
  • under garages
  • decks
  • additions
  • beloved trees and landscaping
  • retaining walls
  • patios
  • driveways
  • walkways
  • sheds

Pipe patch is not like other trenchless pipe repair methods, or even other forms of pipe lining.  It is specifically designed to repair small sections of problem pipes.  This makes it a very cost effective trench-less option. Why spend more money than you need to?

Before and after animation of a pipe patch job for a separated joint

This sewer line had a joint that pulled apart which could create issues in the future including complete separation, dropping, and root intrusion among others. A preventative pipe patch was installed to stop issues before they started.

When is pipe patch better than other trench-less repair methods?

Pipe patch is a specific and cost-effective solution for contained sewer problems.  It is not a complete replacement method and is not meant to be. Most trenchless pipe repair methods completely replace a sewer or drain line. However, many sewer and drain problems do not need a complete replacement, because the actual issue is only caused by one or two small problem areas.  Choosing a full trenchless replacement may mean paying much more for a job you don’t need.

These methods usually require a large amount of material, equipment, and crew.  In fact, many of these traditional trenchless repair methods demand a crew of 5 or more people.  It is also not unusual to have to bring over $100,000 of equipment to the job site.

Pipe patch is a much more affordable option because it requires less equipment and crew.  A typical pipe patch installation needs just 2 well-trained installers and one well-stocked truck.  The savings are obvious.

Pipe patch offers complete peace of mind at a fraction of the cost of a full sewer or drain replacement. It is not unusual to find a pipe with only one problem area. Why pay to replace 60 feet of sewer when the damage is only one or two 6 inch sections?

Is there any situation where you shouldn’t use pipe patch?

There are very few sewer or drain situations where pipe patch does not excel.  Patches are available for small to large diameter pipes and different types of turns.  Pipe patch is also exceptional at repairing transitions between two different size pipes. However, there are a few situations where pipe patch is not the best solution.  

If you have many problem areas in your drain or sewer line, a pipe patch may not be a cost-effective solution.  Each patch takes several hours to install. If many problems need patching, it could take several days to complete all repairs.  It is true that pipe patch could fix every problem, but another solution may work better for your schedule and budget.

Pipe patches are also not well situated for collapsed or extremely offset pipes. No lining method can fix these types of sewer and drain problems.  Repairing structurally compromised pipes is very difficult and technical. These types of problems almost always require much more invasive solutions. If you are dealing with these kinds of issues we also offer:

If you would like to find out how we can fix your particular problem please get in touch. We have many decades of experience fixing all sorts of underground piping.  Using extensive knowledge of the methods available, we can often find a unique solution for your unique problem.

Why pick C.A. Taciak & Sons for pipe patch vs. everyone else?

Trenchless pipe repair is a new and expensive field of plumbing.  It is not unusual for utility repair and plumbing companies to specialize in only one method of trenchless pipe repair.  They are probably experts in their field, but they may not be experts in your home.

C.A. Taciak & Sons has worked on Baltimore area sewers and drains for over 75 years.  We also have many years of experience using multiple methods of trenchless pipe repair.  We can explain the many options available and which would be the most helpful to your home’s unique problem.  Many companies try to pressure their customers towards the only solution they offer. As the old saying goes, “if all you have is a hammer, every problem looks like a nail”. We work very hard to give our customers multiple options for every project when possible.

We bring over decades of combined Maryland drain and sewer experience to every job.  This knowledge helps us avoid many common pitfalls that befall less experienced companies.  Even still, we see something new on almost every job. But which company would you pick to figure out a new and unique problem – One that has decades of experience with similar issues, or one who doesn’t understand the unique and complex problems of Baltimore’s homes and buildings?

C.A. Taciak & Sons Baltimore Pipe Patch F.A.Q.

Where can I find out more information about pipe patch?

We use a very well thought out system provided by industry leader Source One Environmental.  You can find more information about Source One and the Pipe Patch system at: https://www.s1eonline.com

What size pipe can Pipe Patch fix?

We can install pipe patches in any pipe diameter from 1.5 inch to 72 inch. Repair patches come in 24 inch, 48 inch, and custom length sizes. Pipe patching can also easily repair transitions between different size pipes. For instance, homes in the Baltimore area often have root intrusion between the 4 inch building drain and the 6 inch sewer line.  Pipe patch is perfectly suited to repair and seal such problem areas.

Is there an engineered standard that pipe patch confirms to?

Pipe Patch exceeds the requirements of ASTM F 1216.  This means that Pipe Patch is capable of withstanding anything up to:

  • Average tensile strength: 24, 500 psi
  • Average Flexural strength: 27,500 psi
  • Average flexural modulus: 1, 345,000 psi

In plain English, all pipe patches are extremely durable and can withstand anything short of a major earthquake or other disaster.

What kind of access is needed to install a pipe patch?

Pipe patch requires only a clean-out or equivalent access point near the problem area.  The closer to the problem, the better. The patch can be difficult to install if there are many bends between the problem and access point.  If there is no nearby access point, we may need to create one to increase the chances of a successful patch.

As homeowners ourselves, we understand how disturbing plumbing repairs can be.  We always perform one or two practice runs to make sure our initial plan will work. This allows us to spot any unexpected dilemmas or hang-ups in the pipe.  If we run into any problems during the test run, we will figure out a way to work around all issues. We will always discuss and explain any changes to our work plan with you before we start.

Can you install more than one pipe patch in a day?

The time-consuming parts of pipe patching are the setup and cure times. If we only have to set up once, that gives us more time to install patches! Considering the time involved, it is possible to install about 3 pipe patches in one day.