Updated: Nov 8, 2021
When a plumbing truck zooms by and you see the words trenchless and sewer repair together it can conjure thoughts of a magician pulling back a curtain to reveal miraculously rehabilitated piping.
I'm sorry to say that's not how it works. While there are methods that do not require digging, some methods that provide structural support to your pipes do require at least a small hole. The equipment to rehabilitate your sewer needs access to your sewer line some how, but depending on what portion of your sewer line and the method you use to rehabilitate, the hole can be dug outside. So even though there is some digging involved, I'm sure you'll find it far more convenient and cost effective to use a trenchless method.
Now, why are we saying rehabilitation instead of replacement? There are several methods used but 4 of the most common are
1) Air inverted Lateral CIPP (Cured-In-Place-Pipe)
2) Pull-In Place (CIPP)
3) Pipe Bursting
4) Epoxy Coating
(Please see our next several posts where we will get into the details of each). The pipe bursting method is the only method that displaces the old pipe and replaces it with a brand new pipe. This method has its benefits but also has several drawbacks which we'll get into at a later time. The other methods actually use the existing pipe as a host for the application of an resin saturated sleeve or the epoxy itself. So the pipe is still there but it is no longer the medium in which transfers the waste from your home to the city. Trust me though, most of these methods are far superior then just trenching though your beautiful home. That said... let's get into the benefits of trenchless sewer line rehabilitation
First, do you really want to tear up all the tile, carpet or hardwood? Everything that is demoed is going to need to be replaced. Is the tile discontinued? Is the room large and all the carpet needs to be replaced? And the more of your foundation is sawcut or jackhammered the more likely it is for a post tension cable to be cut in the slab of your home. Now, with some thought and planning your plumber can place his access point at a location with the least amount of destruction to your property.
Second, is Downtime. The time it takes to open the hole(s) and rehabilitate your piping is going to be far less then making a trench through your whole house and yard. The plumber can do the work needed for the day and board up the hole at night and put the system back in service.
Finally, with the benefits mentioned you may expect the price to make you wanna buy a new home instead of fixing the plumbing. That's not the case. It's typically comparable in price. Why is that? While the cost of labor and material or rehabilitation can make the process not on the cheap side, you have to compare it to the man hours it takes to jackhammer and dig a trench that long. In some cases you can't (or don't want to) live in your home while all the demo is being done so you may have to include the cost of a hotel for several days. How much is your time and convenience worth? Then as was mentioned earlier the replacement of everything destroyed during the demo process. In fact, depending on the fixtures and finishes in your home has it has the potential to be cheaper. Finally there's THE DUST!!! OH SO MUCH DUST!!! The clean up alone will make a trenchless method worth it.
So, if you are having problems with your sewer clogging and your plumber says it needs to be replaced. Please, Please ask for pricing on trenchless rehabilitation. You'll be glad you did. Leave us your sewer line rehab question in the comments and we'd be happy to lend our expertise.
Please visit our next post where we will start our break down of each of the different Trenchless Sewer Rehabilitation methods.
See an in depth look at:
Pipe Lining - Here
Pull-in-Place - Here
Pipe Bursting...Coming Soon
Epoxy Coating...Coming Soon
Your Friendly Neighborhood Plumber,