Sewer line blockages, maintenance requirements, leaks, etc. are truly the bane of our existence. These sewer problems are vexing and dirty, and the repairs can take a lot of time. 

What’s worse? The solution for sewer problems is super expensive, labor-intensive, and exhaustingly time-consuming. Unless you are smart and opt for trenchless sewer line repair.

Wondering what exactly this method is?

If your interest is piqued and you want to avoid the hassle of too much labor, dirt, and digging, it is time to switch to trenchless sewer line repair. We have everything you need to know about it! 

What is Trenchless Sewer Line Repair?

Trenchless sewer line repair is a convenient alternative to the traditional repairing practice. This particular method of restoring sewer lines avoids using destructive means to expose the sewer pipes and lines. 

The word ‘trenchless’ indicates that there is inherently no trench digging involved. There is no concept of digging up large holes in the ground, destroying the foundations, or ripping out large portions of the flooring to get to the sewer pipe. 

Instead, before conducting repairs or replacement, a camera is transported to the relevant location to examine the extent of the damage. After evaluating the damage, the best repair solution is chosen. 

Based on the evaluation, different methods of trenchless repair are employed to fix the sewer line. 

So, compared to the weeks or months-long elaborate process of conventional sewer line repair with large holes, ample destruction, and the time consumed in putting everything back together, the new trenchless repair practice is time, money, and labor efficient!

Types of Trenchless Sewer Repair

There are three different ways of performing trenchless sewer line repair: pipe bursting, cure-in-place–pipe (CIPP), and slip lining. 

Pipe Bursting

One way to perform trenchless sewer repairs is through pipe bursting. Here’s how pipe bursting works.

In this method, the goal is to expand and burst the old and damaged sewer pipe and replace it with a new high-density polyethylene (HDPE) pipe.

The process involves digging two pits, as entry and exit points, at each end of the damaged pipeline. Through these pits, a device known as the bursting head is inserted down into, and through the old pipeline. 

The bursting head comprises blades to destroy the old pipeline. It also comprises an expander which is 30% larger in diameter compared to the new pipeline. Finally, connected at the other end of the bursting head is the new flexible pipeline. 

As the bursting head goes through the old pipeline, the blades destroy the pipe from the inside. Simultaneously, the expander expands the old pipe, pushing its broken fragments into the ground, and makes room to lay down the new polyethylene pipe attached to it, replacing the old one.

Although the process involves some excavation, the digging is minimal compared to the destruction caused by conventional sewer repair methods. In addition, this process allows the installation of larger sewer lines without causing large-scale disruptions.

Cure-in-place-pipe (CIPP) Relining

The cure-in-place-pipe method is also known as sewer lining or the sewer sleeve method. It is especially used to repair leaks, cracks, and other damage to the pipeline. 

CIPP relining internally reinforces and seals a damaged sewer pipe. This method of trenchless sewer repair does not involve digging of any kind. 

In CIPP, a liner completely covered in epoxy (a liquid chemical) is inserted into the old pipeline that needs to be repaired. 

An inflation tool is also used with the liner to ensure that it dries up in the shape of the pipe. Once the liner dries up, it ends up patching up and fixing all the leaks, cracks, and other imperfections in the pipeline. 

The drying up or curing process can be sped up using UV, steam, or hot water. Compared to other means of trenchless repairing, CIPP is more cost and time effective. 

However, there is a slight catch. While CIPP repairs are durable and last for decades, they can decrease the diameter of the sewer line. 

Hence, this method is not recommended if the damaged pipeline has been repaired multiple times before or if the original pipeline already has a small diameter. Otherwise, it could disrupt the functionality of the pipeline altogether. 

Slip Lining

Slip lining is known as one of the oldest and most original trenchless sewer line repair techniques. It involves slipping a liner into the host or damaged pipe to fix the leaks and cracks. 

Like the pipe bursting method, slip lining also requires making entry and exit excavation points at the two ends of the damaged pipeline. And like CIPP, slip lining also reduces the pipeline diameter. 

This method involves a 7-step process that takes place as follows:

  • Damaged Pipe Inspection: 

The extent of damage is assessed by transporting a camera to the pipe.

  • Cleaning The Damaged Pipe:

To ensure that the host (damaged) and carrier pipe fit properly, the host pipe must be free of any dirt, debris, and other blockages.

Water jets are used to thoroughly clean any build-up and dirt from the host pipeline.

  • Connecting Carrier Pipes:

Carrier pipes are joined at sections to match the length of the host pipe that needs to be repaired.

  • Performing Excavation:

Excavation is done to create entry and exit points at both ends of the damaged pipeline. 

  • Liner Installation: 

The carrier pipe is installed by either pushing or pulling it through the host pipe through the entry and exit points. 

  • Restoring Lateral Connections:

The carrier pipeline is allowed to rest and adjust for 24 hours. After that, lateral connections to pipes are re-established. 

  • Restoring Terminal Connections:

Using grout, the gap between the host and carrier pipes is filled to stabilize the liner. Finally, all the existing terminals are reconnected to the now-repaired host pipe. 

How Much Does Trenchless Sewer Line Repair Cost?

The cost you will have to bear for trenchless sewer line repair services depends on certain factors. For instance:

  • The depth of the host or damaged pipeline
  • The effort it will take to access it
  • The extent of damage (leaks, cracks, etc.) on the pipeline
  • The size and length of the pipeline to be repaired
  • Distance between your property and the main sewer line

Trenchless sewer repairs such as pipe bursting and slip lining can cost around $3000 to $12000. This is much cheaper compared to traditional repair methods which cost about $4000 to $20,000.

The expenses for trenchless repair vary based on the factors above and the complexity of the repair which can increase or decrease the labor costs. 

Although, with trenchless repair, you bypass hidden costs such as extra labor costs for digging trenches and re-establishing the foundation. If the project drags on, you have to pay more for the workers’ time and service. 

Depending on the situation and location of damage, this cost can be paid by the county, municipality, Homeowners insurance company, etc. Regardless, the trenchless repair option is more cost-effective. 

Why Should You Choose Trenchless Sewer Line Repair?

There are several benefits to choosing trenchless sewer repair over the traditional repair method. Here are 5 perks you will enjoy if you opt for it

  • There is Reduced Damage

Opting for the trenchless repair method means reducing the mess of excessive destruction and damage.

Trenchless repair, as the name suggests, happens without any ripping up off the ground, digging of deep trenches, and disrupting any unnecessary area. 

At most, this modern technique involves the digging of two small pits to access the pipeline. The pits allow the equipment to conveniently reach the pipeline and can easily be filled once the job is done. 

  • You get High-Quality Work

Trenchless sewer repair offers high-quality mending and restoration of the pipeline, especially when you choose a company that specializes in trenchless repairs

The modern equipment used is time and cost-efficient, and extremely meticulous in its work.

Without creating destruction and mess, trenchless repairs can install high-quality pipes and liners which have durable functionality. 

  • It is Time Efficient

‘Trenchless’ means no time will be wasted in the elaborate process of digging up and fixing the ground later. 

Instead, the labor can directly get to the problem, access the pipes with just 2 holes in the ground, and perform the entire repair procedure quickly and efficiently. 

This process, at most, requires 2 to 3 days or less if the damage is smaller. 

  • There are No Interruptions

With traditional methods, you’re aware of the kind of interruptions that could disrupt the process. People get annoyed with the noisy machinery used to dig up the ground and complain.

Depending on the damaged pipeline’s location, there could be restrictions on digging the ground. For instance, there are specific guidelines to start large excavations to avoid hitting other utility pipelines and causing unnecessary damage. 

However, you will have to face none of these problems with trenchless repairs. The work does not involve damaging anyone else’s property, excessive noise, or any other interruptions. 

  • It is Affordable

Given that the process does not require a lot of heavy machinery, too much time, or extensive labor, the overall cost for trenchless sewer line repair is extremely economical! 


Q) What makes trenchless sewer repair better than traditional sewer repair methods?

Trenchless sewer repair methods avoid unnecessary large-scale destruction, are time efficient, more economical, and provide long-lasting solutions. 

Q) What are the disadvantages of trenchless pipe lining?

The disadvantage of trenchless pipe lining is that this solution does not apply to pipelines that have been repaired multiple times or have a smaller diameter. 

That is because this solution itself tends to shorten the diameter of the repaired pipeline. 

Q) What are the advantages of trenchless sewer repair?

There are several advantages of trenchless sewer repair. For example, it is affordable, uses less time, does not destroy the external environment, provides a quick solution to sewer problems, and isn’t a noisy process. 

Q) What are the different types of trenchless pipe installations?

Trenchless pipe repair, based on the extent of the damage, can be done in three ways: pipe bursting, cure-in-place-pipe (CIPP) relining, and slip lining. 

Q) What is the most common material used for trenchless repair?

Most commonly, a high-density polyethylene (HDPE) pipe is used to repair or replace the damaged one in trenchless repair. 

A Summary of Our Learnings Thus Far!

In a nutshell, trenchless sewer line repair is the new and increasingly popular modern solution to all your sewer problems! 

Compared to the traditional method, this procedure is cost-effective, time-efficient, and produces high-quality and long-lasting repair results. 

Depending on the damage, you can opt for one of the three trenchless repair options that best suit you. 

The best part is, this process is the least disruptive method of repairing sewage lines. The condition is that you must hire the right and skilled professionals to perform the repairs for you. 

Partner With Trench Sewer Line Repair Experts – All Service Plumbers!

If you live in Southern California All Service Plumbing is the only service provider you need for all your plumbing troubles.

With our skilled expertise and a range of solutions for all kinds of plumbing problems – residential, commercial, and industrial – you will not feel the need to find anyone else across Southern California for your troubles. 

At All Service Plumbing, our services are available 24/7. If you’re facing sewer repair emergencies, call us now at (888) 300 9648 or contact us for more information, bookings, and estimates. 

Find out whether we operate in your area by browsing the list below!

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