When it comes down to it, there’s really no easy way to deal with pipe damage, or worse, severe pipe failure.
That said, you don’t necessarily need to drain tens of thousands of dollars on repairing your home’s pipe or sewer lines; with innovative trenchless technologies, digging, and the remedial landscaping that follows, is largely avoided.
Using liquid epoxy-resin solutions, trenchless technicians can cure in-place entire new sections of pipe within your damaged line, via small or even pre-existing entry points.
The most expensive components of traditional, dig-and-replace pipe repair aren’t the materials or tools used, but rather the hard labor, displacement of earth, and long hours spent restoring the pipe in question. Extraneous costs, like these, are why traditional pipe repair typically costs 25-30% more than cured-in-place pipe.
Breaking Down the Cost: Trenchless vs. Traditional
To put things simply, the equipment and skill required for trenchless pipe repair will usually cost marginally more than up-front dig-and-replace repairs ($80-250 per foot, compared to $50-250).
The average cost for trenchless pipe repair is typically around $6,000-$12,000, while dig-and-replace repairs are usually between $4,000-$13,000 (the larger cost range accounting for manual digging, depth and pipe location).
However, this cost can as much as double when streets, utilities, sidewalks or driveways lie above the broken pipe. Displacing or restoring these ground-level fixtures can run traditional pipe repair costs as high as $25,000, if not more, for a single job. In these instances, the cost of trenchless remains the same; as digging is no longer necessary, trenchless specialists can fully repair or replace your damaged pipe without unnecessarily digging an inch of soil.
When it comes to pipe repair, the most expensive factors aren't the machinery or materials used, but the uprooting, landscaping and lawn damage that ensues.
The Hard Facts on Pipe Repair Cost
A more detailed look at pipe repair costs and averages is as follows:
- Traditional, dig-and-replace pipe repair: $50-250 per foot, resulting in roughly $3,000-$6,000 for small jobs, and $5,000-$13,000 for repairs over 50 feet. Any additional landscaping, road closure and labor will contribute a great deal to cost.
- Trenchless pipe bursting: one of the most common dig-free pipe renovation techniques, pipe bursting costs roughly $60-200 per foot, resulting in $3,500-$20,000 for an entire repair. Bursting is essentially underground pipe replacement, and cost depends on the length and depth of your existing, damaged pipe. Using a cone-shaped bursting head, trenchless experts can typically replace an entire pipe in a single day.
- Trenchless pipe lining: relining your damaged lateral or sewer pipe will typically cost $80-250 per foot, with an average of around $160 per foot. For standard sewer lines, repair costs can vary between $4,000 and $20,000, depending on circumstance. In most cases, homeowners pay between $6,000 and $12,000 to repair critical sewer connections.
- Small-scale pipe lining applications: for broken pipes below 50 feet in length, lining can typically be completed for around $3,000-$4,000, again depending on the location and depth of the pipe.
Whether pipe bursting or lining is right for you depends on your situation; how deep your pipe is, its location on your property and how extensive the damages are.
For shallow pipes with no nearby utilities or obstructions, digging through and replacing the pipe manually would likely be more affordable than relining it internally. However, if your damaged pipe runs under your driveway, any large trees or sidewalks, dig-free pipe lining could save you as much as $10,000 in repair costs, if not more.
As total repair costs are entirely circumstantial, the first and most important step in finding the right repair for your home is contacting a trenchless pipe repair expert in your community to inspect your pipes.
Following a nonintrusive video inspection, you can identify the most affordable repair option for your home, and potentially save yourself thousands of dollars in unnecessary landscaping costs.