Trenchless Sewer Replacement Reviews: Pros, Cons, & FAQ

Researching a trenchless option for a potential sewer replacement? As the number one resource on trenchless sewer repairs, get your insight here…

When a sewer issue arises, it does not give any warning signs first. The unexpected cost and high price entice most people to look for different options. Thankfully, alternative methods are available.

Trenchless Sewer Replacement techniques come in
two forms.

Trenchless Pipe Lining

Commonly referred to as cured in place pipe, or just simply CIPP.

This process of pipe lining involves using the existing pipe as a “host pipe.”

For pipe lining to successfully work, it is imperative the host pipe be free of mechanical defects, flat spots (bellies), roots, and scale. If you have a cast iron pipe, a “descaling” is necessary before a liner can be installed.

If your pipe has suffered material loss, CIPP can fix it. Commonly, the bottom of cast iron pipe wears away after many years. This erosion effect leaves a channel in the drain, which catches debris and allows subsequent backups. If your pipe has extensive material loss, don’t fret, CIPP can most likely repair it.


5 Advantages of Pipe Lining:

  1. You only need one access hole into the existing sewer
  2. More cost effective than trenching through your home
  3. 50-year warranty
  4. Non-invasive
  5. Most projects are completed in one day


5 Disadvantages of Pipe Lining:

  1. Doesn’t work if your pipe is collapsed
  2. The liner is not designed to make multiple bends
  3. Material cost is high- Might not always be the cheapest option
  4. Limited use in smaller diameter piping
  5. Not many contractors offer pipe lining service in town


Trenchless Pipe Bursting

Pipe Bursting is a technique in which a sewer is replaced by accessing each end of the drain. Hydraulic equipment is used to pull a bursting head (a tool which breaks open existing pipe) through the old pipe while pulling new pipe into place.


Pipe bursting is more commonly used when replacing your sewer line located outside of the property, whereas pipe lining is used more often on the inside (under the slab) of the property.

5 Advantages of Pipe Bursting

  1. In most cases, it is cheaper than trenching through your yard
  2. The pipe used to replace the sewer is HDPE. Resiliency and durability with HDPE is second to none.
  3. 50-year warranty
  4. If your existing pipe is three-inch in diameter, the new pipe pulled into place can be increased to four-inch.
  5. Preserves your yard from an irreversible scar that trenching leaves behind.


5 Disadvantages of Pipe Bursting

  1. Needing two holes to perform the sewer replacement can be a pitfall if the second hole is located somewhere in the house or the city street.
  2. The bursting head has limitations when making turns or bends
  3. If the existing pipe has a collapse, this technique does not work
  4. Pipe bursting cannot fix sags or bellies in the drain. In other words, if your current sewer line has an incorrect slope, pipe bursting is unable to correct the grade.
  5. Not useful in sewer pipes that are shorter than 15 feet.


Frequently asked questions regarding trenchless sewer replacements.


Which method of trenchless is best?

There isn’t one technique better or worse than the other. The right trenchless method for your property is usually determined after a professional can make an onsite evaluation.

Can this technology be used in different materials?

Yes. Trenchless methods can be employed in PVC, concrete pipes, ABS, clay piping, cast iron, and plastic.

What are the costs associated with trenchless sewer repairs?

Typical price ranges for most properties will range from $3500 to $8500. There are a few different factors that need to be evaluated before exact pricing can be determined. This article provides a more in-depth look into pricing.

How long does a trenchless replacement last?

These techniques are designed to last 50 to 100 years. At Plumber of Tucson, we provide a 50-year guarantee on all trenchless sewer replacements.

What should I look for in a company that provides this technology?

When you select your contractor, vet them for these characteristics.

  1. Certifications– Are they certified to provide a trenchless replacement?
  2. Insurance– Don’t ask them if they are insured, have them show you proof.

3.References– The key to accepting references is to actually call a few. Don’t be shy. These references may give insight to what it’s like working with this contractor.

  1. BBB rating- These listings come with a grade A through F.

If you see a “D” rating, steer clear.