What Is A Trenchless Sewer Repair?

A truck is parked on the side of a street.

Water and sewer pipes are vulnerable to damages, and it can be strenuous repairing them, especially when they’re underground. As its name suggests, a trenchless sewer repair is a method for fixing sewer pipes without having to dig trenches to reach underground pipes.

Necessity being the mother of invention, trenchless sewer repairs come to our rescue to save us the effort of having to tear the ground apart, digging trenches to fix and replace pipes. With this technique, sewer pipes can be repaired without damaging your landscape.

What problems can trenchless sewer repair solve?

  • Leaky sewer lines.
  • Collapsed sewer pipes.
  • Undersized pipes or over clogged pipes.
  • Broken pipes.
  • Severely blocked pipes.

Types of Trenchless Sewer Repair

If you’re looking for trenchless sewer equipment for sale, check out sewer equipment that’s available online. Here are the different types of trenchless sewer repair:

1. Pipe Bursting

Pipe bursting method uses a bursting head that goes into the damaged pipe, breaking it and replacing it with a high-quality polythene replacement pipe (HPDE). In pipe bursting, small holes are dug at both ends of the sewer pipe, which will allow the replacement pipe to go through.

The advantages of pipe bursting are that the new replacement pipe completely replaces the initial pipe. The replacement pipes are durable and long-lasting, HPDE pipes won’t corrode easily, and minimal digging is needed to complete the pipe installation.

Pipe bursting can also replace the initial pipe with a new pipe that has the same size or you can go larger. It’s a cheaper method and takes a shorter time installing.

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The downside of pipe bursting is that it won’t work if the initial pipe has been damaged beyond repair.

2. Cured-In-Place Pipelining (CIPP)

CIPP, also called structural pipelining, uses an epoxy resin to internally repair the damaged pipe. An epoxy-soaked liner is inserted into the damaged pipe, then inflated to take the original pipe’s shape. The liner is left to cure for some hours, and then it’s removed. After the liner has cured, it should fix all the damages in the pipe.

CIPP method doesn’t require digging, meaning there’s no need for access points. It uses less time for installation, durable, and can last for a long time–more than 20 years.

A disadvantage of CIPP is that it reduces the diameter of the initial pipe. This means a pipe cannot be repaired using this method multiple times, and it isn’t an ideal solution for pipes with smaller diameters.

3. Spray Lining and Brush Coating

These two methods use resins to coat the original pipe by spraying or brushing. Spray lining or brush coating is a perfect substitute for CIPP because it can be used on small diameter pipes.

These two methods can take hours to finish the repair process, unlike other methods that can take days. No digging is required, and the equipment used is flexible.

A disadvantage is that they work on small cracks or holes only and cannot work on collapsed pipes.

4. Slip Lining

Slip lining has been around for some time, which works similarly like a pipe bursting. In slip lining, a liner is inserted into the damaged pipe to fix pipes, and two holes are also dug at both ends of the sewer pipe. The difference between slip lining and pipe bursting is that slip lining doesn’t break the initial pipe, but forms a new diameter that fills the holes and cracks.

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Slip lining reduces the pipe’s diameter, just like in CIPP, which makes it a bad option for smaller diameter pipes. It’s a recommended option for large pipes to allow for diameter reduction when doing repairs.

On the good side, slip lining is still long-lasting and cost-effective.

Advantages of Trenchless Sewer Repairs

A man using a hose in a field while working on trenchless sewer repair.
Man worker holding pipe, providing sewer cleaning service outdoor. Sewage pumping machine is unclogging blocked manhole

1. Minimal Digging is Required

This is the first recognizable benefit. Although some trenchless repair methods need some digging, it’ll only require small holes, unlike the traditional methods where the ground had to be torn apart when fixing pipes. The repair process involves less work, hence restoring the pipes to a good condition faster.

2. Trenchless Methods Are Quicker

If working on larger pipes, trenchless systems can take 2-3 days to complete, and a few hours if working on small pipes. On the other hand, traditional systems could take even weeks to finish the repair process.

With trenchless sewer repair, restoring sewer pipes is now faster, making it more convenient. Also, don’t forget that you can always keep your home leak-free by working with professional plumbers

3. Prevent Future Problems

The epoxy linings introduced to the pipes help guard the pipes against issues that may arise. Problems like expanding roots can interfere with pipes, making them collapse. But, with the use of epoxy linings, the sewer pipes can withstand the intrusion.

4. Save Money

Trenchless sewer methods require few technicians to complete the task. There’s minimal digging, hence low workforce required. You can save a lot of money that could’ve been used to pay the workforce to dig up the entire landscape.

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Trenchless methods also have long lifespans that can last up to 50 years. After a successful trenchless repair, you can forget about another repair anytime soon.

5. Better For The Environment

By keeping everything intact and only disrupting a small area, trenchless methods protect the environment. In traditional methods, trees could even be uprooted to fix the sewer problems leading to problems like erosion.

Trenchless methods do less harm to the environment, which makes it a preferred method.

6. Easier To Identify Problems

Imagine having a faulty pipe, and you don’t know where the problem is. Unlike traditional methods where people had to dig into pinpointing a problem, trenchless methods use lowered cameras to help pinpoint a problem. You can also check online to find out more about how to find a sewer line.

It’s also easy to figure out a repair process after finding the exact cause of the problem.


Since it simplified the sewer repair process, trenchless sewer repairs are the best alternative for fixing damaged sewers. Today, you can even do some trenchless sewer repair on your own or with minimal help.

However, if the sewer problem in hand is too much to handle, consult with a professional for expert help.

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