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There is no easy way to deal with a damaged or failed sewer pipe. It's messy and creates problems until it's repaired or replaced. That said, with today’s trenchless technologies, you may not need to spend thousands of dollars on your sewer lines.

Trenchless pipe replacement is an alternative option to conventional pipe replacement, which can disrupt your life, yard, driveway, and parking areas if large sections of sewer pipe fail. There are 2 methods of trenchless pipe replacement, which is pipe lining and pipe bursting – both of which are far less invasive than conventional ways. Although the initial cost of trenchless methods of pipe replacement may be higher than conventional sewer line repair, the overall cost may be lower because you will not need to replace pavement, flower beds, and walkways.

Cost of Trenchless vs. Traditional Pipe Replacement

Replacing sewer lines can range between $6,000 - $12,000 for trenchless pipe replacement and $4,000 to $13,000 for dig-and-replace repairs. The cost of sewer line replacement depends on the size pipe used and how far your home or business is from the main sewer line. These factors are true for dig-and-replace and trenchless pipe replacement, but with dig and replace, you will also need to include the replacement of driveways and walkways, lawns, landscaping and the cost of labor for these jobs.

In some instances, you may only need a section of pipe repaired. Many older homes have sewer lines made from clay, cast iron, or Orangeburg that need trenchless pipe replacement. Even the best materials have a 50-year life cycle and many homes in Sacramento are over 100 years old.

Pipe Replacement Costs by Method

There are several methods of trenchless pipe replacement. Each method and their average costs are as follows:

  • Conventional dig and replace pipe replacement: The most common and traditional method of pipe replacement, dig and replace is $50 – $250 per foot. This equates to a rough cost of $3,000 - $6,000 for small pipe replacement jobs and can run $5,000 - $13,000 for repairs that are longer than 50 feet. The cost of replacing sod, landscaping, drive and walkway repair, and labor contribute to the cost of this method of pipe replacement or repair.
  • Trenchless pipe lining: Relining a damaged lateral or sewer pipe has a rough cost of $80 - $250 per foot, and averages about $160 per foot. The average cost of trenchless pipe replacement is $6,000 -$12,000 for trenchless sewer line replacement, in a standard home. Cost is determined on the length and diameter of the replacement line. Called “cured-in-place pipe,” or “pull-in place pipe,” the method uses a flexible tube coated with resin. It is blown or pulled into the damaged pipe and the resin hardens, creating a new pipe that is corrosion resistant, and seamless.
  • Pipe bursting trenchless pipe replacement: One of the most common methods of trenchless sewer line replacement is pipe bursting. The rough cost of pipe bursting is $60 - $200 per foot, which results in a cost that runs between $3,500 and $20,000 for pipe replacement. Pipe bursting uses a specialized bursting head that blasts the existing pipe out of the way while it runs the replacement pipe.
  • Lining applications for small-scale pipe replacement: Used for broken pipes that are less than 50 feet in length, pull-in-place lining can be done for roughly $3,000 - $4,000. As with other methods of pipe replacement, the cost will depend on the depth, location, and length of the pipe that is being replaced or repaired.

Professional Advice

Replacing sewer lines and plumbing is expensive and you want to use the best and most effective method available when faced with this decision. The professionals at Express Sewer & Drain have the knowledge and equipment for small jobs, or for trenchless pipe replacement in your business or municipality. As the area’s biggest provider of trenchless solutions, we can give you the advice you need to make a decision about replacing your pipes. Contact us today, for expert advice.

Trenchless Pipe Lining: The Ultimate Sewer Repair Solution

Topics: Trenchless Pipe Repair