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sewer repair

The act of tearing up the ground to expose sewer lines so repair work can begin is expensive, time-consuming, and potentially dangerous. Thankfully, there is an alternative to digging up massive trenches to work on sewer lines: trenchless pipe repair.

Trenchless technology is the modern solution to plumbing and pipe repair. It can remedy pipes in those hard-to-reach places and can be used in a variety of ways such, as municipal, commercial, and residential buildings.

There are several applications of trenchless technologies, and each one is used based on the integrity or damage of the pipe and its need, including:


The benefits of trenchless technology really all depend on the specific piping issue that needs to be addressed. Still, overall, these methods tend to be cost-effective, convenient, safe, and eco-friendly. 

The 10 Advantages of Trenchless Pipe Repair

Trenchless technology has the ability to repair nearly any plumbing problem in your home, business, or commercial property. If you do choose to hire an expert in trenchless technology to repair or replace your pipes accordingly, then you can expect the following 10 advantages detailed below.

1. Little Labor

Unlike traditional methods of pipe repair, trenchless technologies mean less manual labor because there is no digging involved. Your pro plumber will just need access to the entry points of your pipes.

There are two common trenchless technologies used for pipe repair/replacement:

  • Lateral Pipe Lining. Also known as cured-in-place piping (CIPP), this technology adds a layer of epoxy resin to reline the existing pipe. Basically, it creates a new pipe within the old one.
  • Pipe Bursting. This technique uses a pneumatic or hydraulic head that destroys the old, broken pipe and drags in a new pipe to replace it. 

Both of these methods are almost completely non-invasive and can be accomplished usually within a day, so your yard will stay intact and the fun can continue! 

2. Minimal Resources Used

When you evaluate the initial cost of trenchless sewer repair, it may seem either equivalent or more expensive than traditional repair costs. However, when you factor in the time, labor, and post repair costs of the two repair methods, trenchless technologies is far less expensive.

Plus, it’s the greener repairing method! Trenchless technologies use your broken or damaged piping as a skeleton for the new piping, so you’re not wasting resources by tossing out your old pipes.

3. Longer Lasting

Traditional pipe repairs and replacements generally have a quick expiration date or are likely to be just as fragile as when they were first installed. Trenchless water line replacement has the ability to last for over 50 plus years due to the durability of the material used to reline or replace the pipe.

4. Cost-Effective

Since there is no digging required with trenchless repair solutions, there is no re-landscaping fee. The plumber you have called may replace the lawn they removed to access the sewer line, but they will probably not replant your prized rose bed. The money saved on restoring damage due to the sewer line failure may outweigh the higher cost of trenchless sewer line repair.

Consider these added costs of traditional sewer pipe repair that won't be applicable with trenchless technology:

  • Excavating and removing the old piping and the additional labor needed to do this
  • Moving any large objects or structures located above the pipeline plus labor to do it
  • Professional landscaping to repair damage following excavation and repair
  • The nuisance factor for homeowners and interruption of business costs for commercial operations 

When you factor in the costs of replacing plants and lawns, trenchless sewer line repair can be the best fix and least costly method to get your water flowing freely.

5. Convenient 

Another advantage of trenchless technology repair is that it’s convenient because you don’t have to relocate and disrupt your lifestyle. 

Typical pipe repairs or replacements would have to be exposed requiring intense surface excavations in your lawn, streets, or sidewalks.

Trenchless technology only requires access to the pipe's entry hole. There is no digging or mess required, which is convenient for you and your neighbors. Plus, the materials used to line and replace your damaged pipe have the ability to last a minimum of fifty years.

6. More Eco-Conscious 

Do you care about the environment? Most Californians do! With traditional pipe repair, all excavated metal or PVC sewage pipes will usually be scrapped and new metal or PVC pipes will be laid in their place.

Because trenchless technologies repair the existing pipes, no material needs to be tossed in a landfill or manufactured. That's a win-win for the environment!

Further, digging up a long stretch of land to get at the sewer pipes beneath is highly destructive. Many plants will need to be relocated or even replaced after trenching is completed. However, this isn’t the biggest environmental impact of digging up a trench.

In many cases, disturbing the soil around a deep sewer line can release buried toxins into the air. These toxins can become hazardous to the health of those near the dig site and may re-deposit in water sources and soils downwind.

Going trenchless reduces the risk of unearthing these deposits and having them infiltrate the water supply.

7. Better Flow

One type of pipe used when making trenchless sewer line repairs is known as cured-in-place pipe, CIPP, and is flexible when being applied. The resin that it is infused with will be set after it has been installed, making a solid pipe.

This offers a seamless replacement section, and the pipe made in this manner lasts longer than many other sewer line materials. Seamless pipes offer fewer obstructions than PVC, clay, or iron sewer pipe, offering a freer flow of water and waste through the sewer line.

8. Safer

The safety of your family and neighbors are the first priority, which is why expert plumbers like our team avoid digging if we can. You may think that digging is harmless, but when you are digging near pipelines, you can unearth mold or asbestos into the air.

9. Doesn't Take as Long

With a trenchless solution, you do not have to wait for days as the trench area is marked off and excavated before the pipe can be worked on, then wait days more as the excavated trench is re-filled and the damage to the area repaired.

The trenchless repair process is simple. Plumbers need to identify the problem using a sophisticated camera, determine the best repair method, do it, and then they are done. The video below shows how this process works:

10. Commercial and Residential Friendly

This isn’t just for residential buildings, either. Your home can certainly benefit (as well as your condominium), but your business can benefit as well. Thanks to lateral lining and lateral reinstatement, we can repair any drainpipe we can get access to.

And as professional plumbers, we can get access to all of them without any worries about service disruption to any part of your building.

An Overview of 5 Trenchless Technology Techniques

As noted above, one of the first steps to performing trenchless technology is to conduct a video inspection to get a visual of the pipe's condition and to pinpoint the location and extent of the damage. After a thorough video inspection, expert plumbers like the team at Express Sewer & Drain can assess which of the five trenchless techniques would be the most ideal for your situation.

Lateral Lining and Reinstatement

This method is ideal for reinforcing the inside of pipes underground or within walls; also, this is beneficial for reinstating sections of complex pipe systems without having to tear through walls for repair access.

Manhole-To-Manhole Lining

This trenchless technology works similarly to the lateral lining and is ideal for patching up pipe damage while bypassing pumps to keep the sewer and water systems running.

Sectional Point Repair

Sectional point repair is typically performed to repair damaged pipe segments when full pipe repairs are impractical.

Pipe Bursting

Pipe bursting is used for full pipe replacement. It utilizes a bursting head that will fragment your existing pipeline and seamlessly lay a new one in its place without having to dig a hole.

Water Line Replacement

This trenchless technology is ideal for replacing water pipes. The old pipe gets pulled out and the new one is simultaneously pushed into place.

Traditional or Trenchless Pipe Repair?

Overall, the advantages of trenchless technology over the older, outdated methods of digging up lines and destroying property cannot be understated. Municipalities such as Sacramento can save their taxpayers time and money by:

  • Not clogging up the roads
  • Not destroying public property and having to pay to replace it
  • Not paying for extra earth-moving equipment
  • Not paying for extra contractors to operate said equipment
  • Not paying for local businesses' loss of revenue
  • Not having to re-do the whole process again and again because new pipes keep breaking down.

Next time your pipes need mending, try weighing out the advantages and disadvantages when comparing traditional and trenchless pipe repair methods and make an educated decision that best addresses your unique needs. 

Contact the pros at Express Sewer & Drain to learn more about trenchless pipe repair!

Trenchless Pipe Lining: The Ultimate Sewer Repair Solution

Topics: Trenchless Technology, Pipe Leaks and Repair