Trenchless pipe replacement is the buzzword among plumbing professionals. This method of sewer pipe repair has revolutionized the process, reducing costs, labor, mess and time.
So why haven’t your heard about it? Most homeowners are somewhat familiar with conventional sewer repair, but very few have heard of trenchless technology.
Here is a look at what it is, how long it’s been around and why it is transforming how plumbers handle sewer line problems.
What Is Trenchless Pipe Replacement?
Trenchless pipe replacement is much less invasive than conventional sewer repair and replacement methods. Like the name says, it requires much less digging than standard methods. Just one or two access holes are all that are needed.
There are two main methods of trenchless pipe replacement. Here is a quick overview of each.
Pipe lining. This is commonly called cured-in-place pipe, or CIPP. A flexible piece of tubing, which has been covered in resin, is either pulled through or blown into the old pipe. The tube is inflated, and over the next few hours, the resin hardens. This creates a new pipe within the damaged pipe. Usually one access hole needs to be dug.
The diameter of the new pipe is about one-quarter inch narrower than the old one. But experts say this isn’t enough to impact the capacity of your line.
Pipe bursting. Sometimes the damaged pipe needs to be removed. This is done by first pulling a new pipe through the old pipe. At the same time, the old pipe is fractured outward, leaving just the new one. With this method, two access holes are needed, one on either side of the old pipe.
How Long Has It Been Around?
The first cured-in-place pipe was created back in 1971 in England. It started getting attention in the U.S. among plumbers in the 1980s.
Because plumbers have been touting its many benefits, homeowners have been slowly becoming more aware of the process since the late 1990s.
What Can It Do for You and Your Pipe System?
Trenchless technology is fully tested and is currently be used by millions of customers. Both pipe lining and pipe bursting methods result in new pipes that meet or exceed industry standards. They are durable, lasting for decades.
The biggest advantage of this technology is that your landscaping and outdoor structures remain safe and undamaged. Conventional methods mean digging up your lawn, flowers and shrubs. If the sewer line runs under the patio, driveway or walkway, technicians need to cut into the surface.
All that restoration adds significantly to the overall cost of the sewer pipe replacement. Going trenchless saves you from the cost of putting things back to the way they were.
You also need to factor in city costs. In many towns, the municipality charges you for the cost of digging up the street if the plumbers need to gain access to the city sewer line. Plus you pay for having traffic diverted and for any damage to city property. Using the trenchless method, you don’t deal with this situation.
The upfront cost can be 30% to 50% more than traditional methods. But it is still the more cost-effective choice in most situations because you don’t have restoration or city expenses.
This method is also much less time-consuming. The entire operation takes days, even a single day, instead of weeks. Your home is back to normal and you have full use of your plumbing system much more quickly.
Trenchless pipe replacement saves you time and money. It is the well kept secret that is saving homeowners big on sewer line repair.