If your home’s sewer pipes are more than 40 years old, it may be time to replace or repair them. Conventional repair and replacement methods are not only expensive, but also require a lot of digging. Say good-bye to any landscaping or hardscapes near the repair site.
For those who want to keep their yards – and sanity – in check, there’s the option of trenchless pipe repair.
Signs Your Sewer Pipe Needs Replacing
Sewer pipes are designed to last several decades, but they can deteriorate more quickly due to poor maintenance or a variety of other factors.
According to Pipe Surgeons, a sewer repair specialist, homeowners should be on the lookout for the following signs:
· Recurring leaks
· Discolored water
· Poor water pressure
· Corrosion on exposed pipes
If you’re seeing any of the above signs, it may be time to call a sewer repair company. If replacement is necessary, you’ll need to consider whether you want to go with conventional repair (which involves excavating), or trenchless repair (which does not require digging).
What is Trenchless Pipe Repair?
There are two main types of trenchless repair: pipe bursting and pipe lining.
With pipe lining, also known as “cured in place pipe,” a resin-coated, flexible tube is injected or pulled into the damaged pipe area. Once in place, it is inflated and left to cure. The resin hardens after several hours. Essentially, this creates a pipe within a pipe.
Pipe lining will reduce the diameter of the lateral by about a quarter of an inch, which won’t have much of an effect on the efficiency of your sewer system.
The pipe lining method only requires the digging of one access hole. But if the pipe has joints or has collapsed, the lining method may not work. In this case, pipe bursting can be done.
With pipe bursting, a new pipe is pulled through the damaged one. The process fractures the original pipe outward. Pipe bursting requires the digging of an access hole on each end of the lateral.
Both methods are equally durable, and they often come with long warranties that range from 10-30 years.
Is Trenchless Repair Worth the Cost?
In most cases, trenchless repair methods will save you money. This is especially true if you’re also responsible for maintaining the condition of the sewer line connection to the sewer main.
In this case, you may be required to dig up the street in order to repair or replace piping near the city’s main connection. It can cost upwards of $4,000 or more just to dig up the street. The cost of the repair itself can easily bring the total bill to more than $15,000.
The cost of trenchless repair varies greatly, depending on material prices, sewer line depth and soil type. For example, costs may be 30% higher in California because material costs are so high.
For some, trenching is still a feasible option. If you aren’t particularly attached your landscaping and there’s no need to dig up the street to make repairs, it may be more affordable to go the conventional route.