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

Posted by on

Trenchless sewer line repair via CIPP lining is faster and easier than unearthing the pipe, removing the damaged sections, and then replacing them.If you have a major problem with the sewer lines servicing your home in Sacramento, you might be wondering what the best way to fix them would be. You probably want the job to be done quickly, and with a minimum of disruption to your home and daily life. However, you also don’t want to pay too much.

The problem with traditional sewer line repair techniques is that they’re slow, disruptive, and it can be hard to predict the actual cost because of the variables for parts and labor. Trenchless sewer line replacement is an alternative to the process of ripping up your lawn to get at the pipes in need of repair/replacement. The question is: is the trenchless option right for my home?

Why Trenchless Sewer Line Replacement Is a Smart Choice For Homeowners

Dealing with a cracked, deteriorated or aging pipe system is never easy. With the wrong repair techniques, you could wind up spending thousands of dollars on remedial landscaping, labor and materials.

Before trenchless, traditional trenching was the way to replace pipes. Technicians would dig around the entire surface of the pipe, which included the entire length and circumference around the cylinder. Not only is this method time consuming due to its demanding physical labor, it's also quite costly. Since it requires so much digging, practically your entire lawn would be ruined. Adding landscaping to your bill is not something many homeowners want to do. Plus, it takes several days for the job to be completed.

This is where non-invasive, single application trenchless repairs are worth their investment. Pipe lining, manhole-to-manhole curing and pipe bursting can repair significantly damaged pipes with ease, and end up costing you a fraction of what traditional, digging repairs would.

Trenchless Technology Options

To help you gauge whether or not trenchless is right for your home, you're going to need to understand what the different trenchless methods are. While all of them are useful for repair and replacement work, some methods might be a better fit for what you're looking for. 

General Pipe Lining

For general pipe damage, such as those caused by soil shifting, cracking, penetration or other environmental causes, cured-in-place pipe (CIPP) lining is quickly becoming the go-to solution for homeowners nationwide.

By using epoxy resins and plastic perma-liners, trenchless specialists can fully repair your damaged pipe lines in a mere matter of hours with these techniques. Plumbers using this method can enter pipes at existing entry points and apply perma-liners to the interior walls with the help of specialized camera equipment. After the liner has been applied, it is then cured and re-inspected before the pipes can continue to be used as normal. 

Sectional Point Repair

For pipe damages localized around a smaller area of pipe, such as a joint or isolated crack, trenchless sectional point repair can almost always fully restore that pipe section with the same epoxy solutions as full relining.

In these applications, trenchless experts will use two small, controlled entry points to insert lining resin and the curing air bladder. Once in place, specialists will cure the resin to the localized pipe damage section, completely resolving minor damages without having to reline your entire pipe. 

Trenchless technology is all about efficiency. Sectional point repair takes an already efficient process and improves upon it, granting the same benefits as standard pipe lining in circumstances where full lining would be impractical.

Pipe Bursting

Sometimes a pipe will be damaged so thoroughly, or situations so dire, that pipe lining solutions will be ineffective in repairs. In these circumstances, homeowners are forced with fully replacing their existing pipe.

By using a sturdy, conical bursting head, specialists completing pipe bursting in your home will literally burst through your old, damaged pipe, and seamlessly install a replacement line at minimal risk to your lawn. The replacement pipes, in these cases, are physically attached to the burst head, and slide into place as the bursting head cracks, fragments, and pushes away the damaged pipe.

trenchless sewer line replacement_470545853

Factors to Consider for Trenchless Sewer Line Replacement

Now that you know how trenchless sewer line replacements are executed, you need to also consider outside factors that determine whether or not these processes make sense for your home. Take some time to consider each of these factors that can come up when replacing sewer lines. Will these be deal-breakers for traditional sewer line replacement methods? If so, you may want to go trenchless instead. 

Your Landscaping

One of the major issues with traditional pipe replacement methods is that to do it, you have to unearth the pipe so it can be removed and replaced. That’s going to take a lot of digging—quite possibly right through your azaleas (or, your more water-efficient cactus garden).

This begs the question, “who’s going to replace/repair my landscaping when the pipe’s done?” Most plumbers might replace the sod and soil they had to dig up, but odds are that you’ll need an experienced landscaper to replant your displaced garden, which then inflates the total cost of your sewer line repair.

Total Time for the Fix

If the wrong pipe is broken, you could be left without one of the most basic necessities of a modern home—clean water. Or, if the drainage pipe needs repairs, you could be letting toxic runoff seep into the soil of your yard. Either situation isn’t what most would consider desirable. So, time is of the essence.

Here, traditional repair that relies on trenching could take days—one or two days to verify the placement of other utilities and dig up the pipe, a day to replace it, and another couple of days to replace the landscaping.

Trenchless pipe repair and replacement is typically much faster than traditional repairs. In fact, some trenchless repairs can be done in as little as a day.

Disruption of Your Daily Life

An often-overlooked aspect of plumbing repairs is the disruption your repair solution can cause. Having to deal with a plumber digging up a wide swath of your yard for days on end can be a little bothersome, to say the least.

However, by keeping work time to a minimum and eliminating the need for excessive digging, trenchless pipe replacement technology reduces the disruption to your daily life significantly.

Health Risks

In some areas, there may be hidden deposits of toxic materials deep beneath the surface. Unfortunately, traditional trenching solutions can release these toxins into the air. Most plumbers are aware of how to deal with such dangers, but they can still pose a risk to you and your family.

Because of their minimally-invasive nature, trenchless pipe replacement and repair solutions are much less likely to expose you and your family to the risk of unearthed toxins.


The cost of an extensive sewer line repair can be pretty hefty. Here’s one area where trenchless technology isn’t always better.

A traditional sewer line replacement operation has a variable cost for labor depending on where your damaged sewer line is located. If the sewer line is buried deep under the ground and under hard to move objects, then labor costs go up. If the sewer line is shallow, and there’s nothing but grass and dirt above it, then labor costs will probably go down.

Plus, when you trench your yard and/or garden, you’re going to need to repair that landscaping—whether you do it yourself or hire a professional.

Trenchless sewer replacement has a higher base cost, but a stable cost for labor because the actual depth of the pipe has less of an impact on the amount of labor needed to make the repair. Also, there’s less damage done to your landscaping, so you minimize those costs as well.

For many Sacramento homeowners, trenchless sewer line replacement can be an ideal solution. It’s faster, easier, and less disruptive than tearing up your property. Trenchless technology is a good fit for most homes where the sewer lines are deep and difficult to excavate.

The experts at Express Sewer & Drain are experienced in all kinds of trenchless sewer line replacement methods. To learn more about trenchless technologies such as CIPP lining and pipe bursting, reach out to our team today!

Trenchless Pipe Lining: The Ultimate Sewer Repair Solution

Topics: Trenchless Technology, Pipe Leaks and Repair, Home Plumbing, Sewers