Get One of the Top 50 Plumbing Blogs Directly to Your Inbox!

Posted by on

Repair VS Replace Water PipesDiscovering you have a burst water pipe on your hands is never fun. You have several options once this problem arises at your Sacramento home. You can repair the water pipe or you can replace it.

Your ability to simply repair it will be contingent on just how severe the condition of the pipe is in. Replacing water pipes in Sacramento can be costly, so evaluating the condition of your water lines is crucial when it comes to budgeting for plumbing systems.

Other factors will influence your decision as well. For example, if your plumbing pipes are many years old, then you may want to consider replacing it altogether rather than attempting to fix it. 

Repairing Water Pipes

When you attempt to repair the damaged pipe versus replace it the plumber will have to come and inspect the pipe.  He will determine where the pipe is leaking. Often times you will see water seeping through the ground in the spot where it is cracked. The plumber will then put an air hose into the pipe past the point of breakage. The air hose will empty out the remaining water in the pipe at that time.

Next, a pipe that is about one size smaller than the original pipe is inserted into the old one. Your Sacramento plumber must push it in well past the damage in the pipe, pushing the pipe until it hits the water. It should now be submerged.

A way to test the pipe’s depth is to blow air into it and listen for air bubbles in the water. In the groove between the two pipes, apply expanding urethane foam crack filler. The foam will expand and harden greatly to fill the void in between the two pipes. The intention of this is for the foam to run down to the water level and then foam back to the surface of the ground. You will see it ooze up after it seals the crack. Your Sacramento plumber will then clean up the excess foam and wait for it to harden. The last step is to connect the inner, smaller water line to the system and apply water pressure again.


Get a Free Estimate

Replacing the Water Pipes

Many times pipes are either so old or so worn that you need to fully replace them when a leak occurs. Freezing water is often the cause of busted pipes. When water freezes it expands. The pipes are not meant to stretch and are not made of pliable fabrics. No matter the material of the pipes, eventually the wear and tear of the expansion and contraction will weaken the pipe. Again you have several options in this category too.

Trenching is a means of replacing your pipe; however, there are many newer technologies that allow for cured in place pipe (CIPP) replacement. We will discuss the methods of each so you may see what works best for your Sacramento home! 



Trenching is an aged method that involves digging up the pipe in its entirety. The entire cylinder must be exposed, including the bottom of the pipe. Additionally, the whole length of the pipe must be dug up, not just the section with a crack in your plumbing system.

Trenching is not the most popular form of water line replacement currently, as it can be very costly and time-consuming. The process completely uproots your lawn and any landscaping you have in the area. This raises the price as you now have to pay to replace your lawn in the affected areas.  

It can be dangerous, too, in terms of slicing into cable wires and other wires of the like while digging. It is important to have your utility companies come out and mark the ground for where not to dig so you can keep your plumbing system protected. Luckily there are other options aside from trenching for pipe replacement.

Trenchless Pipe Replacement


Trenchless methods have become the new and improved way to replace pipes. In this way, you do not have to dig up the whole pipe. There are several cured-in-place pipe (CIPP) methods. One cured-in-place pipe method involves replacing the pipe from within the existing pipe. A machine is used to carry a new, slightly smaller pipe into the damaged pipe. The machine travels the entire length of the pipe by going in one end and out the other, laying the pipe simultaneously.


There are many benefits to CIPP methods. It is cost-effective, environmentally sound, and provides maximum durability. Cured-in-place pipe methods are a great advantageous alternative to traditional dig-and-replace methods in Sacramento. Water pipe replacement by way of trenching is a much greater expense than Cured in Place Pipe methods. CIPP does not require tearing up your entire lawn. Replacing landscaping impacts the overall price of trenching greatly.

Whether you are attempting to repair your water pipe or aiming to replace it altogether, you have several options in your endeavor that you must consider for your piping system.

Repairing your pipe can be a far cheaper option than replacing it.  That option is completely contingent on how bad the damage in the pipe is. If your pipe is old or has severe damage, you will want to replace it.

In terms of replacing it, you have even more choices. Trenching involves digging up the entire pipe for replacement. One con with this method is that you literally have to tear up a huge part of your lawn. Also, it’s quite time-consuming as the digging process takes much longer than other trenchless methods. Trenching is often referred to as the “old method” of pipe replacement.

Trenchless repairs can be quick and easy for copper pipes pipes. Cured-in-place pipe methods are ones that do not involve removing the pipe in its entirety but rather repairing it while it is still buried. One way is to use a machine that moves through the metal pipes, with a new pipe behind it. The new pipe is put in place so that it is secured and the old pipe’s damage will not affect the sewer’s performance.

Signs You Need Your Pipe Replaced or Repaired in Sacramento

Have you been hearing strange gurgling and banging noises from your water pipes? Are your water bills getting higher for seemingly no reason? These are signs that the pipe system in your home might need replacement or repair work - particularly if it's an older plumbing system. 

Common signs that indicate pipe replacement or repair needs include discolored water, slow drains or decreased drinking water flow, an increase in pest activity around your water line, and, of course, those strange noises coming from your pipes. While low water pressure can be the sign of more minor issues, it can also be caused by leaks in a cracked or broken main line. You should also look for signs of water damage around the house.

Additionally, if you have corroded pipes, you'll want to look into pipe replacement. We can determine if you have corroded pipes with a 

Don't wait until it's too late - make sure to get pipe replacement or repairs done as soon as possible before further damage can occur to your water main. 

Common Types of Plumbing Pipes

Plumbing is a vital part of taking care of any home. In order to ensure that one's plumbing system is safe and functioning, understanding the several common types of plumbing pipes is important. Galvanized steel pipes are durable and therefor usually reserved for water supply lines. PEX pipes are more flexible and often used for the drainage system. Copper pipe is great for both residential and commercial applications due to its favorable temperature control characteristics, while plastic pipe is both lightweight and cost-effective. Lead pipes were historically popular, however because of their toxicity in drinking water, galvanized steel, copper, plastic and PEX pipes have become the standard today.

Contact Us

We here at Express Sewer at anxious to help you decide whether you should repair or replace your burst water pipes. We help Sacramento homeowners with water line replacement and repair, trenchless water line replacement and repair, and a full suite of residential plumbing services.

Our professional team of plumbers knows all of the telltale signs, so we can easily help you diagnose the problem during your replacement project. We are here to help you determine if you require replacement or if the water line can be repaired in the Sacramento area, including Rancho Cordova and Fair Oaks. Contact us today and we will get started on a plumbing inspection to fix your Sacramento water pipes!

Pipe Bursting Special Sacramento

Topics: Pipe Bursting, Trenchless Technology, Pipe Leaks and Repair, Water Heaters