Trenchless Sewer Repairs and Why They are the Way to Go


Sewer repair has come along way in a short amount of time. 15 years ago construction workers would have to dig out entire streets and foundations to get to broken pipes even if all they were doing was checking on them to see if there was an obstruction or leak. Construction is always frustrating to the public and to businesses so finding other methods was important to being able to keep sewer and drain replacement going when needed. That is when trenchless sewer repair was introduced. This method has been around for about 15 years for residential areas and in the past few years has been employed to commercial areas as well.

The life of the sewer depends on a few factors but generally speaking all sewers over 40 years old will need replacing. Even in a new home, the plumbing could be connected to older pipe and sewers.

Pipe Lining
There are two types of trenchless sewer repair. These are known as pipe lining and pipe burst. Pipe lining is also known as cured in place pipe. This is when a tube is inserted into the pipe needing repair and inflated. The resin that is coding the tube hardens and essentially creates a pipe inside the pipe.

Pipe lining does reduce the diameter of the pipe but only by a quarter inch and this does not affect the efficiency of the pipe and waste flow. Pipe lining usually only requires one hole to be dug in order to gain access.

Pipe Bursting
The pipe bursting method is similar in the way that a new pipe is pulled through a broken one but in this case the old pipe is actually fractured as the new one is being pulled through. This method usually requires to access holes at both ends of the pipe.

Trenchless sewer repair costs
The trenchless method can save money because of the less time and manpower it takes to finish the job. If the homeowner is responsible for pipe repairs, this is a very attractive method for them as it can cost almost half of what traditional pipe repairs would cost.

Exact numbers depend on the city and state but for example:
Traditional trenching requires having to dig up the street while paying for traffic to be rerouted and can come out to about $20,000.
Pipe bursting are lining does not require rerouting traffic and will not disturb the street and can be done for around $12,000.

Know that you know the methods that are available to you, here are a few things that you should know before deciding how to replace the sewer line.

  1. Locate the main
    A manhole cover will protect the main near the road. It can either be on the side of the street or in the middle. Having to cross the street does affect the price considerably.

  2. Locate the house trap
    This is usually in the basement or the yard. Basements content to be pricier because of having to cut through concrete floor. You’re lucky if the trap is in your yard because all that is required is a 10 foot pipe to check the depth.

  3. Locate the obstruction
    Once the main and the trap are located you can generally assume that the line runs straight across between the two. The first place to look for an obstruction is underneath large trees that may have roots stretching down to the pipe. A tree’s roots have the ability to grow up to three times the width of the tree and commonly stretch down to sewer lines for water. However, if there are no trees you may require a camera inspection before beginning repairs. I camera drain inspection can show you exactly where the obstruction is while maintaining a trenchless sewer repair option.

Once all of these things are in place, the work can begin. Having to fix your pipes is a big hassle to think about but the planning is actually the worst of it. After that stage is complete then it will only be a matter of days before you can enjoy the effects of your new pipes.


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