A damaged pipe in the drainage or sewer can be a pain. They are inconvenient and difficult to repair. Thankfully, they don’t need to be as tricky as they used to be, as you may not need to dig a trench to get the work done.
While that’s true, it does beg the question of how much trenchless pipe repair costs. Thankfully we have all the answers for you. We’ll look at the types of trenchless repairs, why they are so popular and how much they cost. Read on to find out more!
What is Trenchless Pipe Method?
Trenchless pipe methods are subsurface constructions that entail installing, repairing, and renewing pipes underground while using techniques that are not invasive. These non-invasive techniques greatly minimize the need for excavation and, in some cases, eliminates the need for any excavation.
The trenchless pipe method uses cameras on thin, flexible pipes to inspect and correctly estimate the level of damage. The repairs are then carried out using a high-tech, flexible, epoxy-saturated tube (liner).
Why do people do Trenchless Piping?
There are several reasons why people choose trenchless piping, the biggest of which is its non-invasive technique over the traditional method. While not digging a trench is often seen as the most significant positive, there are some other great advantages too, and here we look at a few of them.
- Trenchless piping is faster compared to the traditional method. Think of the time you used to excavate alone, and the trenchless piping comes out ahead. This can be vital in cases where excavation is hugely disruptive.
- Although it may look expensive, the damage cost to your property is non-existent compared to the trenched method. With trenchless repairs, you don’t need to worry about any secondary damage.
- The trenchless method is convenient for everyone. Whether on the road or at home, you won’t get much damage. Less means less stress and a happier situation for everyone involved.
- The trenchless piping technology is effective and long-lasting. You don’t need to worry about having a lesser solution as the results are similar to trenched repairs.
How Much Does Trenchless Pipe Repair Cost?
The price of the trenchless pipe repair may vary depending on the trenchless method you are using during the repair. There are generally three types of trenchless repair methods. This section will compare the types of trenchless repairs to the traditional repair cost.
1. Trenchless Pipe Bursting
This repair type is dig-free but requires high-tech equipment due to using a small tunneling device. On average, the trench pipe bursting will cost you between $70 and $220 per foot. This could go as high as $20,000 for a single pipe repair project.
Trench pipe bursting is the trenching technique for completely replacing underground pipes. So the repair cost depends on the size and length of the damaged pipe.
Pipe-bursting professionals usually get the job done within a day. These professionals use a pneumatic head that destroys the old pipe while dragging in a new pipe to replace the old pipe.
2. Trenchless Pipelining
Relining pipes are when a new lining is applied to the old pipe. This is done by creating a layer of epoxy that effectively creates a new pipe inside the old one.
This trenching method is more expensive than the pipe-bursting method. It will cost anywhere from $90-270 per foot. Working on a piping project can cost north of $20,000, similar to the pipe bursting method.
3. Comparing the Traditional Method
The traditional method generally entails digging up the entire section of the pipe that needs to be replaced. You can typically replace the pipes for sums between $50-200 per foot, with it often being a cheaper option for smaller jobs.
While it can be cheaper, the cost of landscaping and repairs of the damaged property can quickly add up. For smaller projects, the traditional method can cost about $6,000, and about $15,000 for larger projects.
For example, if you need to dig up a road to get to the pipe, you’ll need to factor in the cost of resurfacing the road. However, these are factors you often don’t need to consider with trenchless pipe repair.
Factors That Affect the Pricing of Trench Repairs
Trench repairs vary in cost. For a rough estimate of your trench repair, there are certain factors you have to consider. Here are some of them.
- Location – Location has everything to do with costing of your pipe repairs. The material the pipe is going through, the landscape around the pipe, and the disruption caused will all change from one location to the next.
- Pipe Size – Smaller pipes will usually cost less than larger pipes. The size of your pipe in question will hint at the kind of cost you can expect. That being said, even a small pipe can be expensive to repair if other factors come into play.
- Pipe Condition – The damage or condition of the pipe to be replaced will also play a massive role in the repair cost. Minor damage usually makes the process easier, while significant damage will mean a more complicated repair.
How to Repair Trenchless Pipes
Whether you are using trenchless pipe lining or trenchless pipe bursting, there are generally four steps the plumbing professional will follow.
Inspection – The plumbing professional uses cameras on a flexible road attached to a screen to assess the damage the pipe has suffered.
The inspection allows the professional plumbing company to estimate the materials needed and the cost incurred.
Cleaning – More often than not, the damaged pipes need to be cleaned. The cleaning removes debris or other materials that may still be present in the pipe and is likely to hinder repair. The cleaning can is done using low-pressure or high-pressure. But, again, it depends on the pipeline system.
This debris may include trees, clothes, grease, and other items detrimental to the piping system. Cleaning the piping system allows the repair work to flow smoothly and ensures the repairs last a long time.
Repair – Whatever trenching method you have opted for, this is where the plumbing professional gets to work on it.
If the lining method is the preferred choice, the plumber inserts the liner coated with epoxy into the pipeline. The liner is directed using a tube. When it gets to the damaged area, the liner is inflated against the damaged area of the pipe.
The next step is to allow the liner to cure. The tube is then removed, and the new pipe is in place. The liner is typically favored when the damage on the pipe is not so bad.
The plumber inserts a pneumatic head into the pipeline if the bursting method is preferred. The pneumatic head has a new pipe attached to it, destroying the old pipe while bringing in a new one. This tunnels straight through the old pipe.
Final Inspection – The plumber inspects the work to ensure everything is in order. They will also test it to be sure it works properly.
How to Prevent Trenchless Pipe Damage
While trenchless pipes are long-lasting, they still get damaged from careless use or environmental issues.
It’s important to know what they are as the same issues that caused the original pipe to fail may happen again in the future. So here are the signs to check out to ensure that your pipes don’t need to be repeatedly repaired.
Tree root infiltration – Pipes that have been in place for a long time tend to be exposed to trees and plants. These trees can and do often grow through them because of the water content through the pipes.
If you have a tree near your pipe system, you can either install root barriers next to the pipe, cut the roots to prevent infiltration, or cut down the tree and remove the root system altogether.
Sagging sewer lines – Overtime pipes that have been in place for a long time tend to sink because of the soil around them. It doesn’t matter what your pipeline system is, it can be affected by the soil structure.
Sagging sewer lines will constantly cause blockades in the pipeline. If you are getting repeated pipe issues, there may be a problem with the soil around it.
Flushing debris – When people flush hard materials or items like grease down the pipes, they tend to cause blockages, increasing pressure in the piping system and causing damage. You might need to change your drainage habits if a blockage was found during the inspection phase.
Poor maintenance and inspections – Pipelines, sewer systems, and drainage systems must be constantly checked or maintained to help identify and tackle issues. It’s always good to inspect drains to prevent minor issues from becoming major ones.
Traditional pipe repairs are still quite popular but have some huge disadvantages. Trenchless pipe repairs offer a quicker solution, less disruption, and often don’t cost much more than the old style of pipe repair.
You can generally expect to pay $50-$250 per foot for trenchless price repair, but as we’ve seen, this can change based on various factors. Hopefully, now you have a clear idea about whether or not trenchless pipe repair is for you.