Explaining the Two Types of Trenchless Sewer Repair

June 10, 2021

Without a sewer line, all of the drains around your home would be essentially useless. Your sewer is where all of your drains lead to, and therefore it is what transports all of the collected waste and wastewater from your property out to either the public sewer system or to your septic system for processing. Problems with your sewer line can have rippling consequences throughout your property, including causing drains to back up with sewage, leaks to form in your lawn, and potentially even damage to your foundation and the land around your home.

Sewer problems used to be nothing short of a nightmare to repair in the past. Something like a clog or a leak used to mean a major digging project in order to access the damage and repair the area. A severely damaged sewer would involve digging a huge trench across your property to uncover your sewer, removing it from the ground, and then installing a new one in its place. The process was laborious, invasive, disruptive, and took a long time to complete. However, it doesn’t necessarily have to be the way your problem is solved anymore thanks to the two different types of trenchless sewer repair technology.

Pipe Relining

Also known as “cured-in-place” pipe repair, this type of trenchless sewer repair is a great way to solve pipes that are leaky, cracked, or corroded, but are otherwise free from problems that might require a total replacement. This method involves feeding a fabric liner that is soaked in a special resin through the damaged section of sewer line. Once in place, this liner is inflated like a balloon, filling the entirety of the space inside the line. The liner then dries in place, becoming a rock-solid and totally-sealed new segment of line directly inside the old one. This seals off the leaks, prevents root intrusion, and even improves the structural integrity of the old line to a degree as well!

Pipe relining is a great choice for sewer lines that are free from any major issues like separation, major cracking, or any collapsed sections. Because it uses the old line as a guide to create the new one, this process is fast, effective, and capable of completely restoring an old sewer line without removing any segment of the old one. This minimizes digging, prevents you from having to reconstruct your yard, and can preserve your sewer line for decades to come. However, this type of repair does not fix lines that have issues like warping or sagging, improper slope, or major cracks or even total separations.

Pipe Bursting

Pipe bursting is a two-fold process that simultaneously destroys the old sewer line and puts a new one in place, all without overturning your property to dig the old line out. This process uses a tool known as a bursting head and a powerful winch to tear apart your damaged sewer line while it still sits underground. A bursting head is essentially a conical-shaped piece of tremendously hard metal that is slightly larger than the diameter of your sewer line. As the head is pulled through the line, it literally rips the old line apart underground.

However, while it does this, the bursting head is simultaneously pulling a flexible, plastic replacement sewer line directly into place in the void vacated by the old line. This process is fast, seamless, and can entirely replace a sewer line without any more digging than a couple of small holes on either end of the damaged segment. Likewise, the new sewer will be able to withstand the use and abuse of day to day living for years to come.

Much like cured-in-place pipe relining, pipe bursting won’t be able to help you if your sewer line has sustained any particularly serious damage, such as total separation or significant sagging. However, this problem can fix some issues that pipe relining cannot. For example, if your sewer line has sustained significant corrosion damage or has become extremely weak due to wear and tear, pipe relining may not be possible. However, trenchless pipe bursting might be the idea choice for getting rid of the old line and instead replacing it with a new one that has its integrity completely intact.

Do you need to replace a sewer line? Call the team at Winters® Home Services at 617-221-5899 today and schedule an inspection and initial consultation and talk with our team about whether a trenchless sewer replacement option is right for you.