If you haven’t needed sewer line replacement in the last ten years or so, you may not be aware of trenchless plumbing. And you’re not alone. A survey by Angie’s List revealed that 78% of people had never heard of it.
Trenchless plumbing is a less expensive, less invasive alternative to the digging and disruption that once was the only available option.
There are two basic methods, known as (1) lining and (2) bursting. When possible, a single hole is cut in the existing sewer line and an epoxy pipe lining is injected and held in place by a balloon until it is set – a process that usually takes from two to six hours. That perma liner effectively creates a new interior surface for the old pipe. Then the balloon is removed.
If a pipe needs to be replaced entirely, two holes are cut and the old line is pulled out by a cable and destroyed as the new one goes in to replace it. Pipe replacement by the bursting method thus eliminates the need for any backhoe trenching. When a hole has to be dug all the way out to the street to access the sewer line, it becomes quite expensive and can even disrupt traffic.
Pipe lining is considered to be just as durable as bursting. Warranties can range from 10 to 50 years.
Advantages of trenchless plumbing include the ability to repair rather than replace pipes, avoiding damage to landscaping, minimal disruption to the homeowner and lower cost. In addition, there’s a 50 year life expectancy on the seamless materials used, better resistance to corrosion, no root intrusion and smooth interior surfaces for more efficient flow.
Your sewer line could need to be replaced if it’s 40 years old or older.
The trenchless pipe repair techniques have also been successfully used for the replacement of both gasoline and water lines.