Trenchless Sewer Repair: Are There Pros and Cons?

By |Published On: December 16th, 2020|Categories: Residential Plumbing, Sewer Systems|

What is Trenchless Sewer Repair?

What is trenchless sewer repair and how does it work? Trenchless technology has allowed modern plumbers and piping companies, to repair or replace sewer lines without tearing up your home. It’s a cost-effective, time-saving, non-invasive, and long-lasting solution to fixing your sewer lines.
Trenchless technology, compared to conventional trenching repair, does not involve digging in your home or property. New Flow Plumbing has mastered the craft of taking care of your problem and not leaving you with a hefty clean-up cost.


Trenchless technology is fast, only taking a few hours once the work begins. We can keep your home looking good while the work is being completed and you don’t need to relocate.


Trenchless Sewer Repair
Are there any pros or cons to trenchless sewer repair?

Are there any pros or cons to trenchless sewer repair? Below we’ve broken it up into the 2 methods of trenchless technologies.

Pipe Lining

Also called structural pipe lining, or cured-in-place-pipe lining (CIPP), pipe lining involves a special, epoxy-impregnated liner to create a new pipe directly inside your old one. Designed to last up to 50 years, working effectively for every single one.


We perform a CCTV inspection to see what’s going on in the pipe. If it is not falling apart and maintains its structural integrity, we can line the pipe. Then we use hydro-jetting to clear out any debris. Next involves the actual lining.


We find two access points and feed in a felt liner (cut for the pipe’s dimensions) saturated with a special epoxy and then insert it into the damaged pipe. A bladder inside the liner is inflated and pushes the epoxy against the walls of the pipe. After the epoxy cures, the bladder is removed, and you now have a brand new pipe within your old one.


Pros of Pipe Lining

  • Cost – Pipe lining saves you about 30 – 40% compared to the cost of conventional methods. It saves time and doesn’t require digging up your property.
  • Destruction – Pipe lining is minimally-invasive. Most repairs can be made without creating holes or pits in your floors, walls, or ceilings. Repairs can be made using existing access points.
  • Speed – Pipe lining can be done in 2-3 days. One day for cleaning, one day for lining, and a day for reinstatement (if applicable). Conventional methods may take weeks.
  • Life-use – CIPP is designed to last up to 50 years. They’re durable and resist corrosion. Excellent long term solution when done by a properly trained and certified pipe lining contractor, like us!
Trenchless Sewer Repair
Pipe lining saves you about 30 – 40% compared to the cost of conventional methods.

Cons of Pipe Lining

  • Pipe requirements – The old pipe cannot be collapsed or back-pitched (meaning the installing of the pipe was not angled incorrectly.)
  • Downtime – The epoxy in the CIPP can take up to one day to cure. But this is still faster than conventional methods.
  • Pipes that do not work – Pipe lining does not work with Orangeburg (tarpaper) pipes or pipes that are extremely fragile. Fragile pipes will get damaged if lined or cleaned with hydro-jetting.
  • Advanced work – Very technical and can easily be done improperly. For example, using the pull in place method in vertical stacks can be done wrong and lead to liners slipping. UV curing can cause shrinkage of the liner creating an annular space that allows for movement of the liner or hydrostatic pressure to build up potentially causing issues.

Read more about: Signs You Need Pipe Relining

Pipe Bursting

We perform a CCTV sewer camera inspection and see how the pipe is holding up. Next, we find our two access points, one on each end of the pipe typically in your yard. The brand new HDPE (high-density polyethylene) pipe is attached to a winch with a cone-shaped bursting head and is pulled through the damaged pipe.
The damaged pipe is broken apart as the new pipe takes its place. We perform another CCTV inspection to ensure everything is completed and then fill in any pits or reinstall any fixtures we removed.

Pros of Pipe Bursting

  • Cost – Pipe bursting is typically cheaper than pipe lining. Digging is kept at a minimum. You do not have to have someone come and replace or repair the damage done to your property. It also needs fewer man-hours, and they are a very cost-effective solution for lateral lines.
  • Destruction – This is a minimally-invasive trenchless method. It only requires two 4’ x 4’ pits at each end of the pipe.
  • Speed – Pipe bursting gets the job done quickly, due to less digging and much less time spent backfilling soil.
  • Life-use – HDPE replacement pipes are durable and will last from 50 – 100 years or more. They won’t rust, erode, or corrode. You can use a larger diameter pipe with pipe bursting to “upsize” the pipe and increase the flow capacity of the home or building.
Trenchless Sewer Repair
One of the pros for pipe bursting, is that it does not require long trenches to complete the work.

Cons of Pipe Bursting

  • Pipe requirements – The pipe replaced needs to be longer than 15 feet. There must be stable soil in between the two pits we dig for access.
  • Downtime – There is no downtime apart from the time it takes to complete the procedure. There is no epoxy, so the pipe does not have to wait to cure.
  • Pipes that do not work – If your damaged pipe is back pitched, pipe bursting will not be able to fix the issue. Conventional methods will have to be used if the pipe is already collapsed.
Whatever your problem, we at New Flow Plumbing will assess the situation using a CCTV sewer camera inspection and give you the best solution. Contact us today and receive a quote!

About the Author: New Flow Plumbing Inc.

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