In the past, the only way homeowners and commercial property owners could carry out sewer line repairs was by digging out the old or damaged pipes. Although this approach essentially got the job done most times, the problem with this method was that it was way too messy and expensive.

Usually, after the repairs or sewer line replacement has been completed, homeowners are also faced with the additional cost of fixing a messed up landscape. To make it more inconvenient, it consumes a lot of time. So when trenchless sewer repair methods became a thing, it didn’t take long before homeowners began to switch. 

In this post, we’ll look at the meaning of trenchless sewer line repair and the different types available today.


What is Trenchless Sewer Repair?

As the name suggests, the trenchless sewer repair method involves minimal digging of trenches in your yard. Usually, the only digging needed is to insert the new pipeline. Everything is done inside the pipes, underground, and you won’t have to start redoing your lawn or landscape of the pipe repairs. Trenchless pipe repair is as cost-effective as it is non-invasive.

And as mentioned earlier, it saves you plenty of time that would otherwise have been wasted in digging, searching for the pipes, covering up the pipes after repairs, and fixing your yard. Today, sewer and drain specialists have specialized equipment and gadgets that can be used to carry out a trenchless, non-invasive sewer line repair in both residential and commercial properties. The three types of trenchless sewer repair are pipe bursting, pipelining, and slip lining

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Pipe Bursting

In pipe bursting, a bursting head is pulled through a damaged sewer line and a new run of pipe is inserted into the old line. The new pipeline is attached to a hydraulic head and pulled through the existing old line. It is called bursting because the cone-shaped head uses hydraulic force to burst through the old line to make room for the new line.

Trenchless pipe bursting requires excavation at both ends of the pipe to be updated. The installation or repair crew excavates, shores, and exposes each end of the pipe that will be updated. A very strong braided steel cable is fed through the line that will be updated. A hardened steel cone-shaped pulling head is attached to the new sewer line.

The new pipe is a flexible HDPE pipe. The crew will attach the cone-shaped head and new pipe to the cable. The hydraulic pipe-bursting machine is placed in the opposite excavation. The hydraulic cable is pulled with approximately 60,000 pounds of pulling force. The result is that the pipe bursting head expands and bursts your old pipe, making way for the new line.


Cured-in-Place Pipelining (CIPP)

Cured-in-Place pipelining involves placing a flexible liner that is soaked with epoxy in the old pipe. After the liner has been placed inside the old pipe to be repaired, a specialized balloon or inflation tool is placed inside the liner to expand and hold the epoxy-saturated liner against the inside of the old line. Once the resin has hardened, the balloon is removed, leaving the liner cured in place inside the old pipe.

This fixes cracks and other damage in the old pipe. Cure-in-place pipelining (CIPP) is widely used all over the country. Many municipalities use CIPP lining to update their mains. Most major manufacturers have completed proper testing to meet the required specifications. Manufacturers often have warranties comparable to new pipes. CIPP decreases the diameter of the pipe being repaired.


Slip Lining

Slip lining is the initial trenchless sewer line repair technique, involving slipping a liner into a pipe to fix leaks. The slip liner is made from plastic materials. Slip lining is commonly used as pipe bursting and CIPP, but like pipe bursting, it also requires two small holes to be dug for the introduction of the new pipe. Note that slip lining is a less advanced form of CIPP, and it also decreases the diameter of the pipe being repaired.


Who Needs Trenchless Pipe Repair?

Trenchless pipe repair is most applicable for situations where there’s a leakage, drain line blockage, or any form of damage to your drainage pipes. Suppose you suspect that your sewer pipes are damaged. In that case, you need to speak with a sewer and drain specialist to address the situation immediately and prevent further damage to your property’s sewer system.

Trenchless sewer repair is recommended when you need to update your old failing sewer lines without having to open a large trench. Conventional open trenching is destructive, complicated, and can be risky. It is a very good alternative to traditional methods of sewer line repair. It saves you time and money.


Which Trenchless Sewer Repair Method is the Best?

When choosing trenchless sewer repair methods, you need to consider what is best for the situation, your budget, and your preferences. At N.W. Sewer & Drain, we have a team of trained and ready sewer and drain specialists to handle every drain issue you have. We service residential and commercial properties in the Greater Seattle area as well as Western Washington outlying cities such as Bellevue, Kirkland, Shoreline, Renton, Lake Forest Park, Bremerton,  Mountlake Terrace, Auburn, Mount Vernon, Oak Harbor, Marysville, Everett, Kenmore, Lynnwood, Bellingham, Anacortes, Edmonds, Arlington, and Bothell. 

We have a thorough and effective approach to trenchless sewer line repair. Have more questions about which trenchless sewer repair type is best for your needs? Feel free to reach out to us today at 206-931-7728 to speak with one of our experts.

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Frequently Asked Questions About Trenchless Sewer Repair

1. What does trenchless sewer repair involve, and how does it differ from traditional methods?

Trenchless sewer repair is a revolutionary technique that minimizes excavation by utilizing advanced methods like pipe bursting, pipelining, and slip lining. Unlike traditional approaches that require extensive digging and disruption to your property, trenchless repair is non-invasive and cost-effective.

2. Can you explain the three types of trenchless sewer repair methods?

Certainly! The three main types are pipe bursting, cured-in-place pipelining (CIPP), and slip lining. Pipe bursting involves breaking through the old pipe while pulling a new one into place. CIPP uses an epoxy-soaked liner to reinforce the old pipe, while slip lining involves inserting a plastic liner to fix leaks.

3. How does pipe bursting work, and when is it used?

Pipe bursting employs hydraulic force to burst through the old pipe and replace it with a new one. This method is ideal for severely damaged sewer lines and requires minimal excavation compared to traditional trenching.

4. What is cured-in-place pipelining (CIPP), and what are its advantages?

CIPP involves placing a flexible liner saturated with epoxy inside the damaged pipe. Once cured, it forms a durable new pipe within the old one, fixing cracks and damage. This method is widely used for its efficiency and longevity.

5. When is slip lining used, and how does it compare to other methods?

Slip lining is utilized for minor repairs and involves inserting a plastic liner into the existing pipe. While less advanced than CIPP, it offers a cost-effective solution for fixing leaks and improving pipe integrity.

6. Who can benefit from trenchless pipe repair?

Trenchless sewer repair is suitable for homeowners and commercial property owners facing issues like leaks, blockages, or damaged pipes. It’s a convenient, efficient solution that minimizes disruption and preserves landscaping.

7. Why is trenchless sewer repair considered a better alternative to traditional methods?

Unlike traditional trenching, which is messy and time-consuming, trenchless repair methods are non-invasive and cost-effective. They save time, money, and the hassle of restoring your landscape after repairs.

8. How do I determine the best trenchless sewer repair method for my needs?

Choosing the right method depends on factors like the extent of damage, budget, and personal preferences. Consulting with a qualified sewer and drain specialist can help you make an informed decision.

9. What are the advantages of trenchless sewer repair over traditional methods?

Trenchless repair offers numerous benefits, including minimal disruption, faster completion times, and cost savings. By avoiding extensive excavation, property owners can avoid additional repair costs and preserve their landscaping.

10. Where can I find reliable trenchless sewer repair services?

For expert trenchless sewer repair in the Greater Seattle area and beyond, trust N.W. Sewer & Drain. Our experienced team specializes in trenchless repair techniques and provides professional, efficient service to residential and commercial properties. Contact us today to schedule a consultation and experience the benefits firsthand!

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