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What is a sewer liner?

Sewer lining, also known as a cured-in-place pipe, is a process used to repair damaged sewer lines. Sewer lining is a no-dig technology and does not require excavating to expose the existing sewer pipe. Rather, a liner is inserted into the sewer pipe and the liner is cured inside the existing sewer pipe.

Call Our Plumbers for a Sewer Liner, Sewer Repair, Septic tank repair in Calgary, Red Deer or Edmonton and surrounding areas.
pipe liner
Main Sewer Line Verses Drain

It is important to understand that your main sewer line or main drain is the pipe that connects with the municipal sewer lines. The main sewer line conveys waste from your home to the city’s sewer, unless you have a septic tank (and the main sewer line delivers waste to the septic tank.) In Calgary, and urban Alberta most sewer lines are connected to city sewers and are buried deep below the ground. 

sewer line back ups

Why Do you need a sewer liner?

A sewer liner is most likely needed when your sewer line is damaged.

Most often homeowners discover that their sewer line is cracked, leaking, or rusted out when there is an emergency sewer backup.

A sewer backup is when there is a blockage in the main sewer line preventing waste to travel through the sewer line. This results in the sewage waste returning back to the home at the lowest point of entry. In Calgary, this is most often in the basement.

Unfortunately, in Alberta where sewer lines are buried deep below the ground, there are very few signs to alert you that there is a problem with your sewer line before there is a backup.

We highly recommend having an annual sewer line inspection, especially if you are at a higher risk for a sewer back-up. 

Who is at risk for sewer backup?

Sewer line blockages are often caused by roots that most likely enter the pipe when the sewer pipe is damaged in some way. Roots in the sewer line will restrict the flow of wastewater as the roots grow in the pipe.

Growth in sewer pipes

Roots grow best in dark places where there is plenty of water and fertilizer. Consequently, sewer pipes provide all of the above are a magnet for roots. There is no telling how fast roots can grow once they have entered the sewer line.

Roots are most likely to intrude into the sewer line when there is a crack in the pipe or in the joint seal.

Roots are less likely to invade PVC or ABS sewer pipes. If your house was built before 1970 there is a good chance that your pipes are made from another material. Sewer pipes made from clay, cast iron, and bituminous fiber will break down and may eventually require replacement or pipelining.

Rusted sewer pipes create blockages more easily. Because the interior of the pipe is not smooth, waste is more likely to catch on the interior of the pipe.

Damaged Sewer Pipes 

root invasion

Again, we cannot stress the importance of a regular main sewer line inspection to find small problems before they turn into major issues! 

The cost to have your basement cleaned and clear out your main drain is more expensive and could require an insurance claim than an annual sewer inspection.

When is a sewer liner the best option?

Pipelining is a great option for homeowners when pipes are aging and need to be replaced. It can be ideal because it is less invasive than a pipe replacement.

There are two requirements that need to be met before this is recommended.

1. The original pipes need to hold their shape.

2. The sewer line must have the proper slope through the entire line with no belly.

This is an example of a sewer pipe belly. This pipe would not be a candidate for sewer pipe lining. 

Insult is added to injury when FOG (fat, grease, and oil) are put down the drain. FOG collects on tampons and sanitary items that are designed to absorb. Paper towels and wipes also collect FOG. As the FOG cools and congeals together, it becomes a solid mass.

Hair, dental floss, and food bit can catch FOG or get caught on FOG clogs as it moves through the drain pipes. 

sewer pipe belly

If the sewer pipe is a good candidate for a pipe lining, pipe lining is less invasive than a sewer pipe replacement.


Consider the cost of landscaping or demolition that could be required to excavate your yard. A pipe liner does not require a major excavation. This most likely will save cost and time.

How is a sewer liner installed?

Sewer lining can be done quickly and efficiently.

  1. A sewer inspection is required to determine the health of the sewer pipe and that it meets the requirements.
  2. The existing sewer pipes are cleaned to remove waste debris and prepare for the lining.
  3. The existing pipe is measured.
  4. An entry site is established.
  5. Epoxy saturates the pipes leave which will create the new pipe lining.
  6. The replacement pipe enters the existing pipe in the form of a sleeve.
  7. The epoxy is cured, and solidifies inside the existing pipe creating a solid pipe liner.
  8. Waste flow can enter the new pipe without disruption or backup.

This process can take anywhere from a few hours to a whole day if everything goes smoothly.

Pipe Lining Vs Pipe Replacement

Pipe lining can be a less expensive process than excavation and pipe replacement. Especially, when you consider the extra factors to landscape repair concrete or fences that might need to be demolished in an excavation process.

pipe liner

Pipelining allows you to avoid the added expense of repairing your yard or rebuilding a fence or deck. It may save you from needing to remove concrete to only pour again after the excavation is completed.


We Do Trenchless Pipe Lining

Please call us when you have an emergency or to schedule a main sewer line inspection before there is an emergency.

Join our Gentlemen Promise membership and receive a free main sewer line inspection each year. You also receive an electrical home inspection every two years. You will qualify for a discount of 15% on some services each time we service your home, and will receive priority service, scheduled ahead of our other clients.

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