Sewer Odor Solution

Sewer Odor Solution
Jimmy Levine is co-owner of Levine & Sons in Southfield, Michigan, a full service plumbing shop specializing in cured-in-place pipe rehabilitation.

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When Ren-Tech Industrial Corp. invested hundreds of thousands of dollars into transforming an old industrial building into beautiful high-end corporate office space in Alpena, Michigan, the company never expected the surprise that wound up wafting its way.

“The remodeling took place in the winter and early spring, and then when they moved in there was just a horrible sewer gas smell,” says Jimmy Levine, co-owner of Levine & Sons of Southfield, Michigan. “It was pretty much unusable.” The company tried using exhaust fans to remove the odor, but the loud noise hindered the ability to take phone calls and conduct business as usual. “It just wasn’t a permanent solution,” he adds.

Ren-Tech sought out quotes from a number of other companies to excavate the floor and replace the piping, but it would have meant disconnecting phones and computers, moving cubicles and furniture, removing the carpeting, and temporarily shutting down the office. While searching online for alternative solutions, they came across Levine & Sons and read website material devoted to trenchless sewer line repair.

From there, they decided it was worth placing one more call. “They were so happy to find out that we had a trenchless solution to their problem,” Levine says, estimating that it would’ve taken a week to handle the job in a more traditional fashion. And they still would have had to put everything back and handle the related remodeling following that work, he points out.

Levine & Sons sent a video tech to locate where the sewer ran, identify any access points and inspect the condition of the pipe. After confirming that putting a Formadrain sewer liner inside the existing pipe running through the building was a viable option, they got the OK and moved forward.

A crew came in after hours to excavate in a bathroom, get to the beginning of the run, and create an access point. “The next day we mobilized a crew, brought our high-pressure water jetter and jetted the sewer line to remove all the debris so that we had it squeaky clean because we want that sewer liner to adhere to nice, clean pipe,” Levine says.

Video inspection following the jetting helped obtain the positioning distances and liner lengths. From there, on-site warehouse space was utilized to manufacture the sewer liner from high-tech resin, epoxy spread and fiberglass mesh positioned around an inflatable bladder. The assembly was then pulled through the existing sewer line and the bladder inflated with steam, which baked the resin against the existing pipe.

“What you’re left with is a pipe inside the pipe,” Levine says. “It’s all one seamless pipe, and it’s beautiful. It formed to the inside of the pipe without digging, and it prevented the sewer gas from coming into the building.”

That’s a big problem solved in just a day, he points out. “We were able to take a major excavation job and give them a permanent solution with a lifetime warranty without major demolition or reconstruction of their office space and without any loss of work or downtime on their end,” Levine says. “It’s like magic.”


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