Trenchless Liners: the “New” Alternative for Sewer Line Replacement

How would you like to fix that sewer line problem for good without cracking through a driveway or sidewalk, or even digging up your yard?  That’s now possible, with big cost savings to boot.  Your clogging or leaking problem may have been caused by damage due to shifting ground, failed joints, and/or mineral build-up (“calcification”).  But the most common cause is the intrusion of tree roots through joints or tiny flaws in the sewer pipe.  If your local plumber says they have to dig a trench to replace the sewer line, it’s time to call someone else!  Because nowadays there are much better alternatives like trenchless liners.

Older Methods

In some cases, it may be possible to dig down to the pipe in a single location and make a spot sewer pipe repair of just the damaged section.  But if the line is old or in poor condition most likely there will be a new problem before long.  So it’s often best to go ahead and replace the entire sewer line.  That once meant digging a trench along the length of the pipe, often breaking through driveways, patios, walkways, and sidewalks that must later be repaired.  Some companies offer hydro-tunneling that can avoid demolishing a narrow section of pavement.

Pipe bursting avoids trenching by using a hydraulic device that works its way down the line, bursting the old sewer line apart and pulling a new HDPE pipe behind it.  Many people consider pipe bursting to be a type of trenchless lining.

What is Trenchless Pipe Lining?

This modern alternative for trenchless sewer line repair leaves the old pipe intact and installs a “cured in place” pipe (CIPP) inside the existing line, for a “pipe inside a pipe.”  That seals joints, cracks, and holes with a solid layer some 1/8 inch thick.  It’s actually not all that new.  The process was patented in 1977 (  So it’s a time-tested technology in use by cities for over 35 years and in commercial buildings for over 25 years.  The patent expired in 1994, and CIPP has been used for homes over the last 15 years.  All told this particular type of trenchless pipe liners has replaced millions of feet of sewer lines.

So how does it work?

First an in-pipe video inspection lets us determine the nature of the problem and assess the condition of the line.  If pipelining is the chosen solution, we thoroughly clean the existing line of roots and mineral scale, typically by using high-pressure hydro jetting.  Then we insert a non-toxic epoxy-saturated liner and press it into place by inflating a bladder (sometimes called a calibration tube or bladder).  The epoxy lining heats up and cures (solidifies), typically in under an hour.  We then deflate and remove the bladder and perform another remote video camera inspection to make sure that everything is as it should be.

Benefits of Trenchless Liners

Trenchless liners are a permanent and lasting sewer pipe repair solution without sticker shock, and can often be completed in a single day.  There’s no disruption from jackhammering through concrete, digging, plumbing work, and restoration.  Nor the common delay of a day or more between those 3 or 4 contractors.  Typically a single area of only some 3 by 4 feet outdoors is affected.

The plumbing costs themselves are usually around 30% more expensive than traditional alternatives, but when trenching and repaving costs are included overall savings typically range from 30% to 60%.  The process leaves the inside of the sewer line around 1/4 inch smaller in diameter, but the much smoother surface actually increases flow over an older clay, concrete, or cast iron pipe.

Pipelining is most definitely not a temporary fix.  Most services provide a 10-year warranty, and those following ASTM D790 Standards or ANSI/NSF Standard 14 have a 50-year expected lifetime.  Without joints and with the epoxy coating impervious to cracks, you should never have another tree root problem.

ASAP Drain Guys & Plumbing, Your Local Trenchless Liners Expert

With us, you’ll avoid plumbing rip-offs due to a local plumber using out-of-date methods.  Right now we’re offering a special $100 off coupon for our trenchless liners, so give us a call anytime 24/7. We’re nearby, experienced, fully insured, and properly licensed.