If you’re like most people, you probably don’t think about your pipes often.

But ignoring essential plumbing maintenance and waiting until there’s a problem is a huge mistake, and can lead to catastrophic problems like:

  • Leaks
  • Structural damage
  • Major repairs

And the worst part? Leaks tend to happen slowly over time.

Think about it. Your pipes are constantly working to carry water, waste, and gas to and from your building. With all that work, they’re bound to get damaged over time. And when this happens, your best bet is to reline your pipes rather than replace them altogether.

Here, we’ll explore your pipe relining options and help you find the best pipe relining services Melbourne has to offer.

Pipe relining: The basics

First, let’s discuss the basics of pipe relining and why you should consider this service for your home or business.

Put simply, pipe relining is a process where – in most cases – a tube is inserted into an existing broken pipe system and then inflated and stuck to the interior of the pipe using epoxy resin.

This essentially creates a new, tough pipe within your cracked or broken pipe without requiring extensive digging or pipe replacements.

The benefits of pipe relining include:

Sealing cracks
Preventing future pipe breaks
Improving flow within the pipe
Stopping leaks before they worsen

And all of this is done without the costs or landscaping issues associated with traditional dig and replace pipe repair methodologies – not a bad result, right?

Now that you know what pipe relining is, let’s compare your options.

Understanding your pipe relining options

There are four main options when it comes to modern pipe relining:

Cured in place pipe

Slip lining

Fold-and-form lining

Spiral wound lining

Let’s unpack each option to help you find the most suitable pipe repair service for you.

Option #1 – Cured in place pipe (CIPP)

Cured in place pipe lining uses a composite resin-filled tube to coat the damaged or broken areas of a pipe.

The tube is usually fed into the existing pipe using either water or air pressure. Once in place, a balloon is inflated to hold the liner in place until the resin dries and hardens.

This method is suited to both residential and commercial settings and is most appropriate for:

  • A broken, leaking, or damaged pipe
  • A pipe that is between 4 and 60 inches in diameter
  • All types of pipe lines — even gas
  • Fairly straight pipes

That said, CIPP is not the best choice for winding pipes with many connections. If this is the case, the resin might not seal fully against all the connections, leaving an area that’s vulnerable to damage and corrosion.

CIPP is also inappropriate if a pipe has burst completely or if there is very severe damage. In these cases, a trench repair might be necessary.

Option #2 – Slip lining

Using the slip lining technique, a new, smaller pipe is inserted into the old pipe.

This is most appropriate for commercial and industrial customers since it involves reducing the pipe’s diameter. In residential pipes — which are already smaller — this could lead to clogged pipes or poor flow, something that isn’t a concern in a commercial context.

That said, in a commercial context, slip lining can be extremely effective for:

  • Restoring the structural strength of the pipe
  • Maintaining or increasing the hydraulic capacity
  • Preventing further pipe corrosion
  • Decreasing or elimination inflow or infiltration in the sliplined area
  • Preventing leaks

Option #3 – Fold-and-form lining

Using this strategy, a flexible liner is folded into a U-shape and inserted into a host pipe. That liner is then heated and pressurised to reform and fit the shape of the old pipe.

This strategy is similar to the CIPP lining. However, while CIPP liners use a chemical reaction to expand the resin, fold-and-form uses steam. This not only involves fewer chemicals but also means less wait time, as steam allows the pipes to cool and set more quickly.

There are a few benefits to this strategy, including:

  • Able to line severely corroded lines
  • Resistant to attacks from most acids
  • May improve flow capacity

Additionally, this is the most appropriate method for circular, oval, or egg-shaped pipes as the heat makes this piping more flexible and malleable than the other options.

Option #4 – Spiral wound lining

Using spiral wound lining, a strip of PVC pipe is inserted into the old pipe using a large spool and wound around the inside of the damaged pipe. The lining is then expanded to push against the host pipe and form a seal.

Though this method is quick to install, it is only appropriate for straight, circular pipes.

How to choose the best pipe relining experts

Pipe relining may sound simple enough, but there’s a lot to consider when choosing the best pipe relining product and services.

First, you’ll want to consider the experience and skill of your team. Look specifically for the following signs of quality.

Do they have specialised qualifications?

When you’re dealing with pipes and infrastructure, there are tons of licenses, accreditations, and training that your team should be certified in. These include:

Master Plumbers (Member No: 4940)

Sewer Authority Approved (Licensed With Major And Regional Authorities)

ISO Certified (ISO 9001; ISO14001; AS/NZS 4801)

Confined Space Entry Trained (All Personnel)

Red Card Holders (All Personnel)

Maritime Security Identification Clearance (Certain Personnel)

Helicopter Underwater Escape Training (Certain Personnel)

Major Hazard Facilities (Certain Personnel)

Explosive Environments & Certified Ex Camera Equipment (Certain Personnel)

You’ll want to make sure that the team you choose has the specialised skill and accreditation that are required to complete your job safely and within compliance standards.

Do they use the latest technology?

The best pipe relining specialists will also deploy state-of-the-art technology to make their job easier and more effective. This includes:

  • Advanced remote CCTV scans to enter the pipe, map out areas of breakage, spot debris, and understand the overall layout of the pipes.
  • In-pipe robotic cutting equipment to remove foreign objects or obstructions that may hinder repairs or relining.

Do they have a proven process?

Though there are many options when it comes to pipe relining technique, there is a general process that will always remain the same.

First, a CCTV drain inspection will take place. This can help determine measurements and locate cracks or breakages in the tube. This should be followed by…

  1. Drain camera inspection
  2. The pipe will be cleaned of debris or blockages using a hydro jet
  3. The polyester or fibreglass replacement tube will be inserted into the pipe.
  4. Epoxy resin will be applied and left to harden.
  5. The tube will be retracted

If the professionals you’re considering don’t offer this kind of clarity about their process, technology, and qualifications, then you may want to look elsewhere.

Need help reinforcing your pipes? Here’s how to protect your residential or commercial property

OK, by now you’ve picked a qualified and licensed team, identified the best pipe relining option to suit your needs, and ensured you’re benefiting from the latest.

Finally, you’ll want to make sure that you match your pipe relining team to your specific problem.

Sewer Pipes

If you need sewer pipe repair for your home, commercial property, or restaurant, you’ll need to hire experts that are trained in this field.

As the material that flows through sewer lines is different from typical water pipes, there are specialised regulations related to sewage. Specifically, you’ll want to look for an expert that:

  • Understands the legislation that governs sewer pipe repairs in Melbourne (AS/NZS 3500 National Plumbing and Drainage Code)
  • Can repair your drain in accordance with the Victoria Building Authority standards
  • Understand all your sewer pipe replacement options
  • Can install pipes with the best materials for your area, which can include plastic or copper

Stormwater Drains

Stormwater drains, as the name implies, carry stormwater and related debris out and away from the streets or homes.

The problem?

These drains can often be broken or blocked, and a blocked stormwater drain can lead to significant water damage in your neighborhood or home. The best experts will be able to pipe and reline these drains in accordance with city and state laws.

Internal Downpipes

Downpipes carry water down from your roof gutters to an underground drainage system. But not a lot of thought always goes into downpipe construction, so it’s easy for debris and mould to accumulate in these pipes.

The right pipe relining experts will have the tools, technique, and qualifications to:

  • Flush debris stuck in your downpipes
  • Repair your roof drainage system
  • Restructure your downpipes for better flow
  • Follow downpipe rules and regulations found in AS/NZS 3500.3 Stormwater Drainage 5.3.3.1. AS/NZS 3500.3

Final Thoughts

Just as no two pipes are exactly the same, neither are all plumbers.

When you’re dealing with pipe degradation or damage, whether it’s for your commercial space or Melbourne home, you can’t choose the first name you find on Google or the first plumber your neighbour recommends over the back fence.

If you’re looking for the best pipe relining services for your pipes, it’s important to consider:

  • The process that your pipe relining team uses
  • The familiarity with regulations and certifications
  • The skill and experience of your relining team

Tick these three crucial boxes and you’ll have the right team in place to fix your pipes with minimal disruption or distraction.

Looking for fast, efficient and safe pipe relining services? Click here to request a fast and FREE quote today