Introduction to trenchless sewer repair

Trenchless sewer repair is a method of fixing or replacing underground sewer pipes without the need for large trenches. This allows for minimal digging and property damage.

Trenchless methods include:

  • Pipe bursting – breaking apart old pipe and replacing it simultaneously
  • Pipe lining – inserting a new pipe liner inside the old pipe
Trenchless Sewer Repair Services

Pipe bursting for trenchless sewer repair

Pipe bursting is one of the main trenchless techniques used to replace damaged sewer pipes. This method involves breaking apart the old pipe while simultaneously installing a new pipe in its place.

Here's an overview of how pipe bursting works:

  • Access holes are dug at the start and end points of the pipe run that needs replacement. These access points are much smaller than trenches required for full pipe replacement.
  • A cone-shaped bursting head is fed through the access point and pushed through the old pipe. The bursting head fractures and displaces the old pipe fragments outward while moving forward.
  • Behind the bursting head is the new pipe - usually high-density polyethylene (HDPE) - which gets pulled in as the old pipe is burst apart.
  • The new pipe will be a continuous run without any joints, which improves flow and prevents root intrusion.

» Benefits of pipe bursting:

  • Faster process - can be completed in 1 day.
  • Cost-effective - reduces restoration costs.
  • Upsizing capacity - can replace with larger pipe size.
  • Long lasting - no joints in HDPE pipe.

» When is pipe bursting used?

Pipe bursting is an excellent trenchless method when:

  • Original pipe is deteriorated.
  • Increasing pipe capacity is needed.
  • Pipe is in a difficult to access area.
  • Minimizing restoration costs is important.

However, pipe bursting may not work if:

  • The old pipe is severely misaligned.
  • There are a lot of connections or turns.
  • The pipe walls have collapsed.

Consult with trenchless sewer specialists to see if pipe bursting is the right trenchless approach for your particular sewer line issues. They can determine this through video pipe inspection.

Pipe lining for trenchless sewer repair

Pipe lining is another popular trenchless method for repairing damaged sewer pipes. This technique involves installing a new pipe lining inside the old pipe. Here is an overview of the pipe lining process:

  • First, a video inspection is done to assess the condition and length of the old pipe.
  • A felt liner or fiberglass sleeve is soaked in an epoxy resin. This forms the new pipe lining.
  • The liner is then pulled or inflated into the old pipe through an access point.
  • It is expanded to press against the old pipe walls.
  • The liner hardens as the epoxy cures. This creates a smooth, jointless "pipe within a pipe".

» Benefits of pipe lining:

  • Minimal digging - access points are small.
  • Low disruption to property and landscaping.
  • Long lasting - epoxy can last 50+ years.
  • Faster process - can be done in one day.
  • Cost-effective compared to full replacement.

» When should pipe lining be used?

Pipe lining works well when:

  • The old pipe has cracks, breaks, or root intrusion.
  • The pipe just needs internal stabilization.
  • Accessing the pipe is difficult.
  • A smaller pipe size is acceptable.

However, pipe lining may not work if:

  • The old pipe is severely misaligned or corroded.
  • The pipe needs upsizing.
  • Connections need to be reconfigured.

Consult with an experienced plumber to determine if pipe lining is the right trenchless approach for your sewer issues. They can advise through video inspection.

Minimal digging and property damage

A major benefit of trenchless sewer repair methods like pipe bursting and lining is the minimal digging required compared to traditional open trench replacement.

When using trenchless repair, only small access holes need to be dug at either end of the pipe run. This minimizes the damage and disruption to landscaping, driveways, and other property features.

Here is a comparison of digging requirements:

| Method | Digging Requirements | |-|-| |Open trench replacement|Large trenches dug along entire pipe run - often destroying landscaping and hardscaping| |Pipe bursting|Two small access pits dug at either end of pipe run| |Pipe lining |One or two small access holes dug to insert liner|

As you can see, the digging requirements for trenchless methods are far less invasive. This also translates into:

  • Lower costs for restoration
  • Shorter downtime - no waiting for trenches to be refilled
  • Less risk of damage to surrounding utilities

With open trench replacement, its common to have areas of your property become unusable for days or weeks after the work is done. Huge mounds of dirt need to be refilled into trenches. Lawns, sprinkler systems, and landscaping need to be restored.

With trenchless repair, your property stays intact and usable. The small access holes are easy to fill in and require minimal restoration.

In most cases, trenchless sewer repair provides a huge advantage over traditional replacement when it comes to minimizing property damage and digging requirements. Consult with an expert to determine which trenchless method is optimal for your situation.

Faster repair process

One of the biggest perks of trenchless sewer repair is the faster process compared to traditional open trench replacement.

While an open trench job can take over a week to complete, trenchless methods usually take only 1-2 days from start to finish.

Here is a comparison of approximate timelines:

Method Timeline
Open trench replacement 1-2 weeks
Pipe bursting 1-2 days
Pipe lining 1 day

This faster timeline is possible because:

  • Very little digging is required - no waiting for massive trenches.
  • No time spent demolishing/hauling away old pipe.
  • The new pipes are installed quickly.
  • Access holes are easy to fill compared to huge trenches.
  • Minimal restoration needed - no rebuilding landscaping features.

With pipe bursting, the entire process of breaking the old pipe while pulling in the new pipe can be completed in just 1-2 days.

Pipe lining may only take 1 day as it simply involves inserting and inflating the liner inside the old pipe.

This means:

  • Lower labor costs - less technician time required.
  • Less downtime for the plumbing system.
  • Quick access restoration - fill holes vs enormous trenches.

The faster process results in homeowners and businesses experiencing less disruption to their lives and operations. This faster timeline can also help avoid high costs related to system downtime.

When evaluating trenchless vs traditional sewer repair, the faster process is a major point in favor of the trenchless options. Consult an expert to determine which method best fits your unique situation.

Cost-effectiveness vs traditional methods

One of the biggest advantages of trenchless sewer repair is it is far more cost-effective than traditional open trench replacement.

There are several factors that contribute to the lower costs:

  • Minimal digging - avoids major excavation costs
  • Faster process - reduces labor hours
  • Long lasting materials like HDPE and epoxy liners
  • Lower restoration costs - small holes vs huge trenches

Here is a rough cost comparison:

Method Average Cost
Open trench replacement $4,000 - $20,000
Pipe bursting $3,000 - $12,000
Pipe lining $3,000 - $12,000

As you can see, open trench replacement can cost significantly more on average. Those cost ranges account for:

  • Excavation, demolition, and hauling away old pipe
  • New pipe materials and installation
  • Massive backfilling, compaction, and restoration
  • Landscaping repairs - sod, plants, irrigation, hardscaping

With trenchless methods, the costs are kept low by:

  • Reusing the old pipe - only new liner/pipe inserted
  • Minimal excavation work
  • Faster process reduces labor hours
  • Small access holes require little restoration

Long term savings are also greater with trenchless repair. The new pipe materials like HDPE and epoxy liners have life expectancies of 50-100 years. Open trench replacement pipes may only last 30-50 years before failing again.

When evaluating your options, the cost-effectiveness of trenchless sewer repair will be a key factor for most homeowners and businesses. Consult an expert to review your specific project costs.

Long lasting results from trenchless methods

When comparing trenchless vs traditional sewer repair, the long lasting results from trenchless methods are a major advantage.

The materials used in techniques like pipe bursting and pipe lining can extend the life of your sewer system for 50-100 years.

Here is an overview of lifespan estimates:

Method Pipe Material Estimated Lifespan
Open trench replacement Clay, concrete, PVC 30-50 years
Pipe bursting HDPE 50-100 years
Pipe lining Cured epoxy 50+ years

As you can see, the pipe materials used in trenchless repair methods last significantly longer than traditional pipe replacements.

HDPE pipe used in pipe bursting is highly resistant to corrosion and fatigue. It's also flexible and leak-free because it's fused together into one continuous pipe.

Cured epoxy liners used in pipe lining form a smooth, jointless barrier inside the old pipe. The epoxy holds up well against abrasion and chemical attack.

Longer lasting pipes mean:

  • Fewer repairs needed in the future
  • Less risk of failures, blockages, or leaks
  • Avoiding major property disruption down the road

With open trench replacement, joints between piping segments can allow root intrusion or corrosion over time.

The longer lasting results from trenchless methods translate into long-term cost savings as well, since future repairs are less likely to be needed. This gives homeowners and businesses added peace of mind.

When exploring your options, be sure to consider the lifespan for each method. Consult with trenchless specialists for recommendations on achieving the longest lasting sewer repair results.

Sewer line video inspection

An important first step with any sewer repair project is conducting a video inspection of the line. This allows trenchless specialists to assess the damage and determine the best repair method.

Here are key benefits of sewer line video inspection:

  • Identifies the location and extent of any pipe defects
  • Cracks, breaks, holes, root intrusion
  • Checks for misalignments, off-set joints, or backslope
  • Measures depth to determine best access points
  • Identifies any connections or branching lines

Inspection is performed by feeding a waterproof camera through an access point and maneuvering it through the pipe line. State-of-the-art video equipment allows for a detailed, up-close view of the interior conditions.

The video inspection serves several purposes:

  • Pinpoints what sections of pipe need repair
  • Assesses overall condition and functionality
  • Determines if lining, bursting, or full replacement is needed
  • Checks for obstacles that may impact installation
  • Allows for accurate measurements for materials

Armed with this visual data, trenchless specialists can determine the optimal repair approach. Key factors include:

  • Condition of old pipe walls
  • Amount of debris buildup
  • Severity of cracks, holes, or collapses
  • Feasibility of lining vs bursting vs replacement

In some cases, a combination of trenchless methods may be recommended based on the video findings. Thorough inspection paired with expert analysis provides the diagnosis needed to formulate the repair plan.

For homeowners and businesses, the importance of video inspection cannot be overstated when addressing sewer line issues. Be sure to consult trenchless sewer specialists who have advanced video pipe inspection equipment along with the expertise to assess conditions and recommend the ideal repair solution.

Choosing the right trenchless method

If you've decided to pursue trenchless sewer repair, the next key step is choosing between the main methods: pipe lining or pipe bursting.

Here are some key factors to help determine which trenchless approach is right for your situation:

» Pipe condition

  • Lining if walls intact but cracks/breaks present
  • Bursting if walls deteriorated or collapsing

» Pipe size

  • Lining to match old pipe size
  • Bursting allows upsizing pipe capacity

» Access

  • Lining may work with minimal access points
  • Bursting requires access at both ends

» Cost

  • Lining generally most cost-effective
  • Bursting has higher material/equipment costs

» Connections

  • Lining able to accommodate connections
  • Bursting more complex with multiple connections

» Timeframe

  • Lining usually 1 day timeline
  • Bursting may take 1-2 days

» Restoration

  • Both have minimal restoration needs
  • Bursting may have larger access pits

As you can see, factors like pipe condition, access, and budget can dictate which solution makes the most sense for your property's unique needs.

It's highly recommended to consult with professional plumbers or trenchless specialists to perform video inspection and evaluate which method they advise for your specific sewer pipes.

They can take into account all considerations like pipe layout, materials, sizing needs, and your goals to determine if pipe lining or pipe bursting is optimal. Taking advantage of their project evaluation expertise will help ensure you end up with the right trenchless repair solution.

Hiring a qualified sewer repair company

When pursuing trenchless sewer repair, it's essential to hire qualified specialists. The right provider will ensure your project goes smoothly and delivers long-lasting results.

Here are key tips for hiring the best trenchless sewer repair company:

  • Find specialists who focus specifically on trenchless methods vs general plumbers. Trenchless work requires advanced training and specialty equipment.
  • Look for established companies with a proven track record over many years of exclusively performing trenchless repairs. They will have the expertise to tackle any project.
  • Verify necessary qualifications like licensing, bonding, insurance, and industry affiliations. These demonstrate legitimacy.
  • Ask about their specific experience with your type of project - pipe bursting, pipe lining, commercial buildings, etc. The right expertise is a must.
  • Review past customer reviews and testimonials. Good feedback on many projects is a positive indicator.
  • Compare multiple estimates to assess costs. Experts can value-engineer expenses while maintaining quality.
  • Clearly define scope of work - materials, equipment, surfaces impacted, restoration plan, etc. before finalizing.
  • Check guarantees on workmanship and materials. Good providers stand behind their trenchless repairs.

By carefully vetting and selecting your sewer repair company, you ensure the best results. Property owners should look for established trenchless specialists with proven expertise, transparent estimates, and guaranteed workmanship.

Repairing sewer pipes through trenchless methods provides tremendous advantages. Hiring a qualified company will help maximize this value and deliver lasting solutions for your home or business's plumbing needs.


In summary, trenchless sewer repair trenchless sewer repair provides an excellent alternative to traditional replacement methods. Techniques like pipe bursting and pipe lining offer a minimally invasive option with many benefits:

  • Faster process - typically 1-2 days vs 1-2 weeks
  • Cost-effective - avoids massive excavation costs
  • Minimal digging and disruption to property and landscaping
  • Long lasting repairs - 50-100 year lifespan materials
  • Advanced video inspection to diagnose issues

Trenchless methods are ideal for sewer pipes that are deteriorated but still structurally sound. Consult with qualified specialists to determine which technique is optimal based on pipe condition, access, budget, and other factors unique to your situation.

By leveraging trenchless sewer solutions, homeowners and businesses can achieve lasting repairs, avoid major landscape destruction, and minimize costs and downtime. With minimal digging required, these methods provide an invaluable alternative to traditional open trench sewer line replacement projects.

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