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Repairing the Sewer Line: Trenchless Replacement and Its Benefits

Sewer pipelines are usually underground, so many homeowners and officials don’t even give these lines a second thought. That is until something goes wrong and sewage backs up, ending up in someone’s yard, basement, or in the middle of the city. 

In most of these cases, changing the pipes is necessary, but that comes at a great expense, considering the ground would need to be broken to get to these pipes. What if, though, there is a different approach to the issue – one that is less expensive, equally effective, and does not require digging up the yard to change the pipes? 

We are talking about trenchless sewer pipe repair and replacement. But how does trenchless sewer repair work? Find out what it means, how it works, the benefits, and more about this pipe repair method in the text below.

What Is Trenchless Sewer Repair?

Before getting into how this method works, answering the question, “What is trenchless sewer repair?” is the first step. Imagine cutting a long, deep path right through the base of the structure you are standing in. Once the plumbing work is finished, it also needs considerable follow-up repairs to the structure. 

Not with a trenchless method. By definition, “trenchless” merely refers to the absence of trenches – trenchless technology has eliminated the risk of damaging property and additional costs.

Sewer pipe replacement with trenchless technology avoids the extra work and potential damage associated with conventional pipe replacement methods. Instead of costly, disruptive trench digging followed by conventional pipe repair and restoration of damaged surfaces, trenchless pipe repair envisages physically fixing an existing pipe by employing the failed or deteriorating pipe as a host. 

With the development of trenchless building technologies, nearly everything is done internally. This “no-dig” approach uses pipe lining and pipe bursting techniques to minimize interruption. 

How Does Trenchless Sewer Repair Work?

There are two main trenchless sewer repair techniques: pipe bursting and pipe lining. With either of the two approaches, a local sewer service first creates access holes at the street and the location where the sewage line enters your house.

Using the pipe bursting technique, the sewage line is penetrated by a cone-like device. The gadget has a new, flexible sewage line attached to the rear that takes up the old line’s former place right away.

The pipe lining technique works a bit differently – in a way that it doesn’t damage or remove the old pipe. A team instead inserts an epoxy-coated sleeve into your current sewer drain. The old pipe is actually replaced with a new one once the sleeve has been inflated and given time to recover.

The Benefits of Trenchless Sewer Line Repair

Fixing sewer pipes with trenchless sewer repair requires almost no physical disruption. There is no need to destroy walls, dig down foundations, or ruin the yard with this technique. This is trenchless pipe repair’s key benefit. 

Furthermore, the trenchless sewer line replacement method allows you to save money and use it to renovate the backyard or the house. Aside from these, there are many other advantages to trenchless sewer line replacement as compared to traditional methods in terms of manpower and installation procedures. 

Below we give you the most common benefits.

Reduced Property Damage

Everything in the way of a plumbing crew’s work is safe from destruction because they don’t have to dig a trench to follow the course of your sewage line. There may be some minor damage near the access holes, but many teams make an effort to limit this by saving dug-up grass or shrubs for later and replanting and storing soil on tarps to prevent creating a mess.

Possibly Lower Costs

Compared to the conventional way, trenchless sewer replacement can be less expensive, depending on how difficult the job is. This is due to the less need for manual work. However, there are rare instances where the price of this service is equal to or even higher than that of the conventional approach. 

Nonetheless, you’ll still save time and work on the restoration of your property because, as we said, this method will not cause significant damage.

Quicker Job Completion

Due to all the digging, replacing a traditional sewage line can easily take a week or more. When choosing a trenchless technique, this time period can shorten – your team only has to dig two access holes before running a new pipe or creating a new one out of epoxy. 

Reduced Disruption

It takes a lot of work to remove an old sewage pipe. The crew may need to block your roadway in addition to all the trench work in order to create room for machinery or to safeguard personnel. 

You also won’t have access to sewage services while the staff is working. This prohibits any wastewater-related activities, such as washing dishes, using the bathroom, or even brushing your teeth. 

More Durable Results 

The materials used to construct today’s sewage lines are stronger, more resilient, and have a longer lifespan. This indicates that your new sewage line will likely endure at least 50 years.

Safer for the Environment

One of the key benefits of this pipe repair method is that it’s environmentally friendly. Considering that with trenchless pipe replacement, you don’t dig up your lawn or backyard, you’re preserving landscapes, including trees, bushes, flowers, etc. 

This way, there is no additional waste created. Plus, the method also doesn’t use harmful chemicals.

How Much Does Trenchless Sewer Line Repair Cost?

Depending on the type of trenchless technology used and the degree of damage, the trenchless sewer line repair cost can vary. The main difference in cost is between the trenchless method you use. Although it depends on different circumstances, pipe lining is often less expensive than pipe bursting.

In general, trenchless techniques typically cost between $2,000 and $20,000 to complete a project. This covers the price of supplies, labor, and machinery.

However, considering that all cases are different, it’s best to contact a licensed plumbing professional to evaluate the damage and give you an estimate on the exact cost of the trenchless sewer line repair.

When’s the Right Time for Trenchless Sewer Line Replacement?

Even though trenchless sewer replacement sounds fantastic, it’s not always the best option. You might not be able to employ trenchless sewer line replacement technology if you have a collapsed pipe, a pipe that was improperly installed, or a pipe that has burst and damaged nearby utilities. 

The overall condition of the damaged pipe will determine whether or not a trenchless pipe repair is the best choice. However, the pipe’s depth, location, and degree of damage previously sustained must be considered as well. If you need to remove the old pipe and install the new sewer line, then you’ll have to make do with conventional trenching. 

Moreover, trenchless techniques could be successful in some circumstances but still expensive. That is when you need to contact a trustworthy plumbing service that specializes in trenchless repairs. 

If you’re in Tucson, Arizona, then Cummings Plumbing, Heating & Cooling is at your service! We can help you solve your plumbing issue fast, from repiping to drain replacement and even burst pipe fixing – our plumbing service has you covered!

Contact us today and get a free estimate of your plumbing issue. 

Choosing Trenchless Repair: Your Best Bet

Trenchless sewer repair is a practical and economical way to fix sewage line issues. It’s a great option whether you need repairs because of damage or want to stop any future damage.

Trenchless sewer line repair is essentially the use of specialized tools to locate and fix problems with your sewer system without having to dig up your entire property. This can help you save time, money, and inconvenience from repairs. 

As an industry that is expanding with the progression of technology, it comes as no wonder that many would prefer this method as opposed to the traditional one. 


Is trenchless sewer repair worth it?

Out of all the repair options available today, trenchless sewer pipe repair is the best option, cost-wise. Comparing the cost of lining sewage pipes to replacing the existing line with a new one, residential and commercial buildings can save up to 75%. Moreover, less time is required to perform the trenchless process, which lowers labor costs. 

What are the two most common trenchless sewer operations?

The two main trenchless sewer replacement techniques are pipe bursting and pipe lining. With the pipe bursting method, a device is put at the ends of the sewage line and slowly destroys the existing pipe. The pipe lining operation includes inserting an epoxy-coated sleeve onto the current drain and slowly replacing the old sewer pipe.

How long does pipe relining last?

Most epoxy pipe lining jobs will last between 30 and 50 years, which is roughly the same amount of lifespan you could anticipate from having all the pipes in your building replaced with new ones. The only difference is with pipe relining, you get your pipes fixed for a fraction of the price, disturbance, and time.

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