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Ultimate Guide To Trenchless Sewer Repair (Pros, Cons, Types, Equipment) & Company Startup

Ultimate Guide To Trenchless Sewer Repair (Pros, Cons, Types, Equipment) & Company Startup
Written by Okosun John

Are you looking to learn about “Trenchless Sewer Repair”? or you are planning on starting a “Trenchless Sewer Repair Company”? This post is for you!

Are you looking to learn about “Trenchless Sewer Repair”? or you are planning on starting a “Trenchless Sewer Repair Company”?

Whichever brought you, the information you need is entailed here.

First, we are going to cover all the details about trenchless sewer repair. Here we will be talking about the average cost, different types or methods, pros and cons of trenchless sewer repair.

While in the second section, we will cover how to start a trenchless sewer repair company. This would include the trenchless equipment needed and a lot more.

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You definitely, don’t want to miss any of this…

Let’s get started!

What is Trenchless Sewer Repair or Trenchless pipe lining?

Trenchless sewer repair or Trenchless pipe lining is a method of repairing sewage pipes without digging up the flooring, foundation, and walls.

Trenchless sewer repair or trenchless sewage repair, has been available since the 1970s.

It is the least invasive way of repairing damaged sewer pipes and was invented in Europe.

The trenchless sewer repair was first utilized in municipal and industrial (large diameter) pipe installations.

However, in the last 20 years or so, technology has improved to the point that trenchless sewer repair is now being used in single-family houses and high-rise structures.

Trenchless sewage repair, unlike traditional methods, does not necessitate the digging of the floor or the tearing down of walls.

Homeowners can comfortably remain in their homes while the work is being done.

How much does trenchless sewer repair cost?

The average cost of trenchless sewer repair (trenchless pipe lining cost) is between $136 and $210 per foot.

Trenchless sewer repair does not usually result in the digging of the floor.  And if your property isn’t destroyed,

That would mean fewer expenses to return it back to its previous condition.

This is the exact reason why trenchless pipe lining cost is moderate with good trenchless pipe lining reviews.

Trenchless sewer repair vs traditional sewer repair (pipe lining vs replacement)?

Traditional sewer repair or trenching sewer requires digging of the floor which could be intrusive, unlike the trenchless method.

Both methods of fixing sewage work perfectly, however, trenchless sewer repair allow the work to be done swiftly and with less hassle.

Traditional sewer repair requires heavy-duty excavation equipment, large trenches, which can bring massive piles of dirt into your home or building.

And the cost of putting things back together again is high.

How does trenchless pipe repair work?

When performing a trenchless pipe repair process, a high-tech, flexible, epoxy-saturated tube (liner) is put directly into the existing drainage pipes after your sewer lines have been properly inspected and cleaned.

The epoxy dries (hardens) to produce a new structural line within the old pipe, thereby producing a new pipe within the old pipe.

The new pipe is totally sealed and free of any past problems such as holes that the original pipe had.

The trenchless sewer repair completely fixes the problems of cracks, holes, channeling, age degeneration, scaling, or root intrusion in the old pipes.

However, trenchless pipe repair can only be used effectively if a significant section of the original pipe is still intact.

During the trenchless sewer repair process, the liner (tube) which is placed into the old pipe with linkages,

is able to maneuver around most common bends, plumbing connections, and even diameter variations because it starts off flexible.

When the liner becomes solid, it is 100 percent sealed thereby fixing all of the old faults and generating a new, structural surface.

The new lining has a 50-year life expectancy!

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The surface of the epoxy liner is smoother than that of many earlier materials, which may improve ease of use and flow capacity.

After the installation of the new pipelining,

a piece of robotic equipment is guided through the pipes to reopen branch lines that were blocked by the liner.

This intriguing machine features live cameras that allow the operator to see within the sewer systems and is controlled by a robotics professional remotely.

The reinstatement openings ensure that the complete drainage system has been repaired and is operating at peak efficiency.

Why Choose Trenchless Sewer Repair?

Sewer problems are unpleasant…

However, dealing with sewer problems is made a lot easier with trenchless pipe repair.

Unlike repairing a sewer pipe traditionally which takes days or weeks.

Before the problem can be solved, holes must first be dug in the yard.

Trenchless pipe repair is far more efficient.

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A camera is utilized to immediately find the issue in the pipes without having to drill any holes.

The problem can then be pinpointed to the specific spot with minimal effort.

Trenchless repair is far less intrusive than traditional repair procedures that tear up your entire yard because only one or two access points need to be dug to get to work on the problem.

The fixes using trenchless sewer repair will save time, money, and headaches, and they will last a long time.

Types of Trenchless Sewer Repair (Methods)

A skilled professional will always select the best tool for the job, and trenchless sewer repairs can be done in a variety of methods.

Credits: Pixabay

The following are four of the most frequent trenchless sewer repair methods:

Pipe Bursting

Pipe bursting is a common trenchless approach for repairing a damaged sewer pipe.

In the pipe bursting process, a winch is used to pull an HDPE (high-density polyethylene) replacement pipe of the same size or larger into the old pipe.

A bursting head leads the way, breaking apart the damaged pipe to make room for the replacement pipe.

Other trenchless technologies which will be discussed later, such as CIPP, are more expensive than pipe bursting.

In the pipe bursting process, digging is kept to a minimum. The job involves few man-hours, labor costs are likewise reduced.

Cured-in-Place Pipelining (CIPP)

Cured-in-Place Pipelining (CIPP) includes creating a new pipe within the damaged one using a unique two-part epoxy glue and an absorbent tube made of felt, fiberglass, or other material.

This process of trenchless sewer repair was first developed in Europe (in the 1970s).

it has since acquired huge acceptance due to its ability to do sewer repair in a fraction of time without causing property damage.

The Cured-in-Place Pipelining (CIPP) procedure entails inserting and inflating an epoxy-impregnated liner into the damaged pipe.

The liner can then be permitted to cure naturally or expedited using steam or UV illumination systems.

It’s removed when it’s dried for several hours, and the pipe is as good as new.

When compared to traditional methods, Cured-in-Place Pipelining (CIPP) saves you roughly 30-40% cost.

It is less expensive because it requires fewer man-hours and does not necessitate the excavation of your property.

Slip Lining

Slip lining is a trenchless sewer repair method for big pipelines that have been around since the 1940s.

It entails inserting a smaller diameter pipe (often HDPE) into an old pipe and grouting the gap between them.

For obvious reasons, this can lower the plumbing system’s flow capacity.

Because slip lining does not require digging up the ground, it causes the least amount of damage.

However, the long-lasting HDPE pipe has a life expectancy of 50-100 years.

Spray Lining or Brush Coating

Spray Lining or Brush Coating sewer repair methods are comparable to CIPP, except they don’t employ a felt or fiberglass lining.

 Instead, they use an epoxy, flexible polymer, or other resin to coat the old pipe’s structure.  

The resin can be brushed on or sprayed on and the end outcome is identical.

Because hard epoxy may crack when the building moves, flexible resins are frequently utilized for vertical pipes in high-rise buildings.

Spray lining or brush coating are excellent methods for preventing corrosion in cast iron pipes and removing sewer gas from leaking connections.

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These two procedures can also be utilized on pipes with a diameter of 1.5 inches.

Which to Sewer Repair Method Is the Best?

Pipe bursting. But however, the trenchless sewer repair that is best for you is the one that fits your needs, situation, and budget.

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For a variety of reasons, pipe bursting is one of the most preferred trenchless sewer repair procedures.

Here are some guidelines to influence your choice;

  1. Safe for the Environment:  Pipe bursting is an environmentally friendly trenchless sewer repair method because it does not require the use of any additional chemicals or contaminants.
  2. Lasts longer: Pipe bursting completely replaces the original pipe with high-quality HDPE pipe which makes it possible to last over 100 years.

Trenchless Sewer Repair Pros And Cons

Trenchless sewer repair may work in some cases, but they aren’t always cost-effective.

Traditional sewer repair may be more cost-effective if the damaged pipe isn’t too deep (i.e., it’s easy to reach).

Hence, it’s generally best to employ a trenchless sewer repair if it’s under the driveway or a new swimming pool.

Only in such a situation, will the expense of restoring the damage using traditional procedures lead to higher expenditure when compared to trenchless sewer repair.

Here are some of the benefits of using the trenchless sewer repair method.

Benefits of Trenchless Sewer Repair

  1. Faster: Trenchless Sewer Repair can be completed in just one day, whereas traditional procedures could take several days or weeks.
  2. Cost-effective: Trenchless Sewer Repair is less expensive than traditional method because it doesn’t require digging and fixing the floor.
  3. Minimally-invasive: Because sewer pipes are underground and difficult to access, repairs frequently necessitate some property destruction. However, trenchless repair keeps this to a minimum.
  4. Doesn’t wreak havoc on your home: Trenchless solutions can typically get the job done with just one or two tiny excavations dug outside to reach the pipe.
  5. Effective: Trenchless methods of sewer repair are exactly as successful as traditional approaches.
  6. Designed to last a lifetime: Trenchless sewer repair isn’t a short-term solution. The HDPE replacement pipes used in pipe bursting, for example, have a 50–100-year life expectancy.

Problems With Trenchless Sewer Repair

  1. Unexpected costs: Trenchless sewer repair, like any significant plumbing project, can come with hidden fees. Pipe lining and pipe bursting requires more care than trench digging, and many things can go wrong.
  2. Reduction in Pipe Diameter: The addition of a new layer or coating inside the old pipe may lower the pipe’s diameter and hence impede flow.
  3. Expertise and special equipment required.
  4. Limited Choices of Material: Pipe bursting other types of trenchless methods are limited to the use of specific pipe materials.

Trenchless Sewer Line Installation Guide

Trenchless pipe lining is a no-dig, environmentally safe method of repairing broken pipes during commercial sewer line replacement. To be totally successful, this method must involve three key steps:

  • Inspection using a camera
  • Cleaning of pipelines
  • Pipe lining with epoxy

At the very beginning of the commercial sewer line replacement, a camera check is conducted to determine the degree of the pipe damage.

To do this,

Cameras are inserted into the pipes through small access holes for the pipes to properly diagnose the problem.

This check also helps to know if the pipes are to be cleansed of any debris or garbage.

In case any is found, the pipes are cleaned up with hydro jetting.

After the cleaning of the pipes, the repair stages begin with preparing an inflatable tube to be placed into the pipe.

This is done with the application of an even coat of epoxy resin straight to the tube, making sure there is enough coating to adequately patch the inside of the sewage or water line.

Then the liner is inserted into the damaged pipe, where the leak, crack, or break is.

After that, the liner is inflated with compressed air, which causes it to expand and fit snugly inside the pipe.

The epoxy resin is transferred from the tube to the inside of the sewer pipe by the pressure of expansion, filling in cracks and leaks before sealing them with a thick layer of resin.

The epoxy pipe lining material resin cures and hardens in a few hours, resulting in the liner adhering to the inside of the host pipe.

Epoxy Pipe Lining Pros And Cons

Let’s take a look at some of the advantages and disadvantages of Epoxy pipe lining material since it is used for trenchless sewer repair.

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Pros of Epoxy pipe lining

  • Cost-effective
  • No displacement
  • Eco-friendly and safe
  • Durable

Epoxy pipe lining problems

  • Susceptible to delamination
  • Reduction in pipe diameter

Trenchless Gas Line Installation

At times, surface features prevent a trench from being dug for a gas line installation or repair.

A trenchless gas line is usually installed.

These gas lines are installed by pipe bursting or pipelining, and both methods are commonly employed to replace or repair an old gas line that has deteriorated to the point of being inoperable or dangerous.

Gas lines must be fixed as soon as possible for safety reasons, which necessitates using the quickest and most effective manner feasible.

Trenchless procedures are one such option, and they’re commonly employed in a variety of situations including gas line repairs.

How to start a Trenchless Sewer Repair Business

In the previous part of the post, we did our best to cover everything you need to know about trenchless sewer repair.

Credits: Pixabay

Having all that information, we can now go ahead with how to start a trenchless sewer repair business.

Market research

The trenchless sewer repair business is not a competitive business. The cost of equipment is high and not everybody has knowledge of trenchless sewer equipment.

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Studying the market and possible competition will give you an advantage in the market.

Business registration/legal requirements

If you are going to set out performing trenchless sewer repairs, then registering your business would be advantageous.

This will also prevent you from falling into legal problems.

Create Business name & logo

These are going to be the forerunners of your trenchless sewer repair company.

You need to be creative with the name and also you hire a graphic designer to help with the logo.

Apply for permits & Business insurance

Certain states require you to apply for permits before you can start your own business. You should consult the services of a legal practitioner to know what to do.

While for insurance, though it’s expensive, it has its advantages.

How to grow your Trenchless Sewer Repair

When you become your new line of business, you have to consider ways to get customers for your business.

Credits: Pixabay

During the market research, you must have come in contact with strategies operated by your competitors.

That would be a good start. Also, here are strategies I apply for any new business I open.

Create a website

The advent of the internet changed a lot of things.

One of the new-age advertising channels for businesses includes running a personal website.

It would let you showcase what you do to the world.

Here is what you need to do

  1. Hire a developer
  2. Create a website yourself

Word of mouth

Telling people about your new business never gets old.

It’s a strategy that would always work for local businesses. So, why don’t you take a walk around your neighborhood and talk about your new trenchless sewer repair business?

Trenchless Sewer Repair Equipment

The majority of homeowners now prefer this procedure to traditional digging.

Credits: Pixabay

Your pipe repair company requires the most effective trenchless equipment available to stay competitive in a developing market.

If the trenchless equipment is worn, old, or faulty, a job that would ordinarily take 30 minutes or less can take hours.

This leaves you searching for the best pipe bursting equipment to put in your trenchless pipe repair kit.

However, when you are starting up, you could purchase used pipe bursting equipment for sale in other to save cost on trenchless equipment.

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You could also get pipe bursting equipment for rent in many trenchless equipment companies during your first few gigs.

Here are basic trenchless sewer repair equipment or pipelining machines that every trenchless sewer repair company should have in their pipe lining kit.

These you can find in any trenchless equipment company near you.

  • Hydraulic Pumps
  • Pulling Units
  • Water Line Slitters
  • Pipe Liners
  • Resin
  • Video Camera
  • Water Jetting Equipment

You can get these pipelining systems or equipment from local shops whether you are looking for used pipe bursting equipment for sale or pipe bursting equipment for rent.

However, you can also purchase this trenchless equipment online.

This could be the easier and most affordable option.

About the author

Okosun John

A B.Eng. holding mechanical engineer with love for content creation and web development.

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