The plumbing system in any building, whether residential or commercial, plays a vital role. A ruptured drain pipe or sewer backup, for instance, can lead to costly expenses, but it doesn’t have to be. A timely routine check can pinpoint most of the issues in any plumbing system before it becomes a massive issue. 


When you experience cracked, damaged, leaking, or broken pipes in your home’s drain system, trenchless sewer line repair is often a recommended solution for such plumbing issues. Compared to the traditional sewer line repair method, trenchless pipe repair is most reliable because it is fast, effective, less expensive, and environmentally friendly. The most commonly used trenchless sewer line repair system today is called pipe bursting. 


From the name, the method does not involve digging trenches in your yard, thereby preserving your landscape and lawn while effectively replacing the bad pipe. Read on to learn more about the pipe bursting method of sewer line repair and how it can benefit you. 

What is Pipe Bursting?

Pipe bursting is a sewer line repair or pipe replacement process in which the replacement pipe is pulled right through the old pipe, replacing and bursting it in the process. Pipe bursting requires the help of a sewer and drain specialist to perform the procedure; they use special equipment, and the process itself requires expertise to carry it out successfully. 


During pipe bursting, the sewer and drain specialist pulls the new pipe through the existing pipe, using a hydraulic or pneumatic expansion head, a flexible cable that can travel through the pipeline, and a winch. The original pipe bursts as the new pipe is installed simultaneously, with little disturbance to your landscaping. Some sections of the replacement pipe are secured by heat-welding above ground to make your connections solid and long-lasting. 


The only requirement for digging that we might encounter is the access point — the place where we insert the new pipe to be introduced into the ground. This is a widely used pipe replacement method. It is pretty popular because it is very effective and causes very minimal disruption in your home’s plumbing system. According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), pipe bursting sewer line replacement is most appropriate for pipes with an internal diameter of 100-600 mm (4 to 24 in.). 

Pipe Bursting Benefits

Considering whether or not to use pipe bursting to replace your old, damaged pipe? Here are some pipe bursting advantages that can help you make up your mind:


  • Pipe bursting trenchless pipeline repair is an eco-friendly technique, so you get to avoid messing up your yard landscaping, driveways, or excavating your lawn. In order words, it minimizes property damage
  • Since there is no excavation involved in the process, it reduces the risk of damaging underground utilities. 
  • The newly replaced pipes are highly durable and can last for up to 100 years without needing repairs or replacement
  • The replacement actually helps to increase the flow capacity of the drain pipes by installing equal or larger-diameter pipes
  • Life at home can continue as normal  during the replacement process. 
  • It is unlike most types of existing materials used for making plumbing and sewer pipe materials (aside from HPDE and some ductile iron and reinforced concrete)

The Pipe Bursting Process

If you’re a homeowner who’s new to pipe bursting techniques, you want to keep in mind that it is a solution that eliminates the need to dig any part of your yard. Also, note that it is an alternative to sewer pipe lining that creates a small entry and exit points above ground. Remember that the new pipe pushes or is pulled through the old damaged one and bursts the existing pipe in the process.


Here’s a more detailed description of the pipe bursting process: 

Sewer Camera Inspection

At N.W Sewer and Drain, we typically precede any pipe bursting process with a camera inspection to understand the nature and extent of the damage in the old pipe. The process of inspecting camera lines involves inserting a unique camera into your sewers piping. With a live monitor above ground, the specialist can see where there’s any problems with the pipe and what they need to do to fix it.

Create Small Entry and Exit Points

At this stage, the drain specialist digs up two almost unnoticeable access points out from the top of the ground.

Weld New Pipes in Place

The new sewer pipe you’re installing is heat welded above ground to ensure no breaks or tree roots invasion can cause any problems with your sewer line in the future.

Actual Pipe Bursting Occurs

The new pipe is placed within the existing pipe by pulling new pipes through the existing old or damaged pipes. This process is also facilitated by using a hydraulic or pneumatic expansion head; the new pipe is pulled through the old pipe, which bursts the old pipe and installs the new one simultaneously.

Why Pipe Bursting is the Best Solution for Your Pipeline Needs

There are actually two methods of trenchless sewer line repair; one is called pipe relining, while the other, which is most preferred among homeowners and drainage contractors, is called pipe bursting. If you’re stuck with a sewer line issue in your home’s plumbing system, consider signing up first for a sewer line camera inspection. 


Pipe bursting is most often preferred because it is fast, less expensive, and yields the right results. Are you looking for professional help to clear up your blocked drains or replace your damaged sewer pipeline? 


Our drain pipe repair procedure at N.W. Sewer & Drain includes an initial inspection of your sewer line using a specialized live camera (a process known as sewer camera inspection) to detect the exact location of the clogs. For highly effective, affordable, and timely drain pipe cleaning, sewer pipe repair, do not hesitate to contact us at 206-931-7728 to schedule an inspection of your sewer line and pipes.


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