2022 Trenchless Sewer Repair: Pros, Cons, and More

Кэти Уиллис

One of the last things any homeowner wants to hear is that they’ve got a sewer problem. Considering that broken or clogged pipes can lead to backups, floods, and other costly consequences, a damaged sewer pipe needs immediate attention. But does trenchless sewer replacement, which promises less mess and faster service, really live up to the hype?

Learn more about how each type of sewer repair works to figure out whether you can really avoid digging up your yard.

Понимание канализационных линий

Before you can decide on how to replace your sewer lines, you have to understand how they work. Assuming you’re connected to your city’s sewer system, there will be a large pipe that runs from the street to your home. This pipe is your main sewer line, and it’s your responsibility—meaning you’re on the hook should it break, clog, or otherwise become damaged.

The traditional way to replace a broken or damaged sewer pipe is to dig it out. This involves digging a long trench that’s a couple feet wide and several feet deep, following the path of the sewer pipe from your home to the street.

As you can imagine, digging such a trench is labor-intensive work. And it’s only made harder when there are obstacles (such as buildings, pavement, and landscaping) in the way. Depending on your property’s layout, replacing a sewer pipe in the traditional fashion may involve removing these obstacles so a plumber can remove the old pipe and install the new one.

All said, traditional sewer line replacement can take a week or longer to complete, and it can cost up to $20,000 из-за проделанной работы, и это даже не включает стоимость замены деревьев, кустарников и тротуара, которые могут быть повреждены во время проекта.

large brick modern home in neighborhood

The cost to replace a trenchless sewer line is $155 per linear foot

What Is Trenchless Sewer Replacement?

Trenchless sewer replacement aims to replace sewer pipes without the extra labor and potential damage that comes with traditional, trench-digging replacement.

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Есть два основных способы бестраншейной замены канализации: pipe bursting and pipe lining.

With either method, a local sewer service first digs out access holes at the street and where the sewer line enters your home.

With the pipe bursting method, a missile-like device is inserted into one end of the sewer line. Its job is to slowly move forward, breaking up your old pipe as it progresses. Attached to the back of the device is a new, flexible sewer line that instantly occupies the space the old line once took.

When you choose pipe lining (sometimes referred to as trenchless sewer repair), your old pipe isn’t destroyed or removed. Instead, a crew inserts an epoxy-coated sleeve into your existing sewer drain. The sleeve is then inflated and allowed to cure, which actually creates a new pipe within the old one.

Trenchless Sewer Replacement Pros

When you compare the labor and installation processes involved in traditional sewer line replacement versus trenchless options, it’s clear that there’s a lot going for trenchless.

Reduced Property Damage

Because a plumbing crew doesn’t need to dig a trench following the path of your sewer line, everything in its way—including landscaping, hardscaping, and even buildings—are safe from damage or demolition. There may be minimal damage around the access holes, but many crews try to minimize this by containing dirt on tarps to prevent making a mess and preserving dug-up grass or shrubbery to replant later.

Potentially Lower Costs

Depending on the complexity of your project, it may cost less to choose trenchless sewer replacement over the traditional method. This is mostly due to the fact that there’s no need for as much manual labor. But in some cases, the cost for this service could be as much or even more as the traditional method. But you should take into account that you’ll still save on the time and effort of restoring your property because there won’t be as much damage.

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Faster Job Completion

Traditional sewer line replacement can easily take a week or more due to all. that. digging. When you choose a trenchless method, your crew only needs to dig two access holes and then run a new pipe or build a new one using epoxy. This means the crew can complete the job in as little as a day.

Меньше сбоев

Digging out an old sewer line is a big deal. In addition to all the trench work, your crew may also need to close your street to make way for equipment or to protect workers. And of course, as the crew works you won’t have any sewer services. This means no washing dishes, flushing the toilet, brushing your teeth—absolutely nothing that involves wastewater. It’s not exactly an easy way to live for days on end.

Longer-Lasting Results

Today’s sewer lines are made of stronger, more durable materials that last longer than yesterday’s go-tos. This means you can count on your new sewer line to last 50 years or more.

Минусы бестраншейной замены канализации

Если вам нужна новая канализационная линия, бестраншейная технология может показаться явным победителем. Тем не менее, могут быть случаи, когда это не подходит.

Requires Trained Technicians

First and foremost, you should only hire trained technicians to tackle trenchless pipe lining or replacement. This isn’t a job that any plumber can take on.

Qualified technicians undergo training and certification so that they can evaluate whether trenchless technology is suitable for a project and then properly execute the job. Even if a company advertises trenchless replacement, it may not have plumbers with the skills to do the job right, which could create even bigger problems down the line.

Not Suitable for All Circumstances

Как бы удивительно ни звучала бестраншейная замена канализации, это не всегда правильный выбор. Если вы имеете дело с рухнувшей трубой, неправильно установленной трубой или трубой, которая лопнула и нанесла ущерб окружающим коммуникациям, вы не сможете воспользоваться преимуществами бестраншейной технологии.

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In these cases, you’ll need to settle for traditional trenching to remove the old pipe, address the additional issues, and install the new sewer line.

Благоустроенные дворы

Выясняя, нужно ли вам заменить канализационную линию, важно сначала рассмотреть все ваши варианты.

Should You Go Pro or Try DIY for Your Sewer Line Repair? Here’s What You Should Know

Если вы заметили странные запахи, исходящие из ваших стоков, мокрых пятен на газоне или забитых труб, возможно, виновата ваша канализационная линия. Ваша канализационная линия является одной из самых важных частей вашей водопроводной системы. Поэтому неудивительно, что большинство домовладельцев начинают паниковать, как только понимают, что их канализационная линия, возможно, нуждается в ремонте или замене.

Sewer line replacements and repairs have a reputation for being pricey, so you might be thinking about fixing the problem yourself instead of hiring a professional. But before you dive into any DIY repairs, there are a few things you need to keep in mind.

Does Your Broken Sewer Line Need to Be Repaired or Replaced?

When trying to decide between DIY and professional help, one of the very first things you need to consider is the extent of the damage. Typically, basic leaks and small cracks can be handled with repairs. However, if the pipes are very old or have extensive damage throughout the whole system, they will need to be dug up, removed and replaced with a brand-new pipe. If your sewer line is so damaged that it needs a full replacement, you’ll definitely need to call the pros. Go ahead and skip to the end of this guide if that’s the case.

If You Decide to DIY.

Если повреждения не так уж велики, вам повезло. Вместо того, чтобы платить за полную замену канализационной линии, вы можете обойтись более доступным ремонтом. Прежде чем решить, нужна ли вам профессиональная помощь, вы можете узнать немного больше о вариантах ремонта. Конечно, прежде чем приступить к любому проекту «сделай сам», обязательно примите все меры предосторожности, чтобы защитить себя.

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Pipelining for Cracked Pipes

Pipelining is often one of the simplest and most affordable ways of fixing a cracked or leaking pipe. This technique involves inserting an epoxy-covered tube inside of your sewer line. Once the tube is in place, you can inflate it. The epoxy will harden, creating a new, leakproof lining on your sewer pipe.

Though this repair does require specialized equipment, a homeowner with a decent amount of DIY experience may technically be able to do it themselves. However, in most cases, it is better to get professional help. Making a mistake while installing a pipelining can just damage your system further.

Разрыв трубы

Pipe bursting is another method of trenchless sewer repair. Like pipelining, it will involve feeding equipment through the existing lines. However, with pipe bursting, a bit destroys the pipe as it replaces it with a new one. This can be a little more expensive and somewhat complex. Usually, a professional plumber needs to operate the equipment.

Удаление корня дерева

Often, sewer lines get broken because tree roots have wormed their way into them. Depending on the situation, fixing this problem can be a DIY project. It may be as simple as running a chemical root removal solution through your sewer system or cutting away tree roots. Sometimes, just removing excess tree roots is enough to get your system running without leaks.

However, it is possible for tree roots to either crack or clog your sewer line. In these situations, you will need to be more cautious about making repairs yourself. You might potentially need to get a professional out to replace the line or provide more extensive repairs.

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When Should You Opt for Professional Services?

Ultimately, whether you should do DIY repairs or hire a professional just depends on your own expertise and the type of sewer line issue you have. That said, the majority of cases will require professional assistance. However, if you have a lot of plumbing know-how and a fairly simple leak, there is a chance you can do it yourself.

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Что нового на 2022 год

Большим преимуществом самостоятельного ремонта является то, что он может быть экономически эффективным. Поскольку вам нужно платить только за материалы, вы не платите сотни долларов за время сантехника. Кроме того, выполнение проекта самостоятельно дает вам больше контроля. Возможно, вы сможете закончить его быстрее, чем если бы вы планировали ремонт, и вы можете выбрать удобное для вас время.

При этом плюсы профессионального ремонта канализационных труб почти всегда перевешивают минусы. Канализационные трубы – одна из самых сложных частей вашего дома. Устранить их не так просто, как прочистить сливную линию или установить кран. Как правило, вам требуется современное оборудование, которое может быть дорогим для покупки или аренды. Кроме того, это может занять у вас много времени. На решение той же проблемы, которую профессионал может решить за несколько часов, у вас уйдут дни.

Depending on where you live, DIY sewer repairs might not even be an option. Many cities require you to get permits for sewer work, and they will only provide permits if a licensed plumber is fixing the issue. Trying to do a sewer project without having everything is up to code may put you in legal trouble or cost you extra down the road.

The final reason to get a professional for your project is simply that there is a big risk associated with DIY sewer repairs. When you try to fix a sewer problem yourself, there are many ways it can go south. A tiny leak can turn into a huge crack, or a small clog can end up backing up inside your drains. There are also hazards like methane gas exposure, salmonella infections and other dangers associated with handling sewer lines improperly. If you don’t go the professional route, you can end up spending a lot of time and energy trying to fix the problem later down the line.

Traditional Vs. Trenchless Sewer Line Repairs

Whether you go with DIY or professional repairs, you’ll end up hearing a lot about traditional and trenchless options. Traditional sewer line work involves digging a trench around the line to expose it. If you do the repairs yourself, you’ll usually have to go this route, which means you may end up damaging your whole lawn.

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However, some professionals offer trenchless sewer line repair methods. These use specialized equipment to fix your sewer without having to dig up the lawn. Trenchless sewer line repairs are often faster and more affordable, and they require less cleanup afterward.

Sewer Line Repair FAQs

Does Insurance Cover Sewer Line Repair?

Technically, a generic homeowners insurance policy might cover sewer repair. However, many policies have a clause that specifically states sewer lines or damage caused by sewage backup are not covered. Furthermore, your insurance might not cover damage caused by issues like natural disasters, lack of maintenance or invading tree roots.

How Deep Are Sewer Lines?

This varies quite a bit depending on your climate and your type of plumbing. Some pipes may be buried 12 inches below ground, while others might be buried as deep as 6 feet.

Is Pipelining Worth It?

Pipe relining is a cost-effective and simple way of fixing a sewer leak. It might not be worth it in cases of extensive damage, though; it only works properly when there is a section of intact pipe for the lining to adhere to.

How Long Do Trenchless Sewer Repairs Last?

Бестраншейный ремонт может быть столь же надежным, как и традиционные методы. Такие методы лечения, как конвейерная обработка, могут длиться до 50 лет.

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