Is Trenchless Sewer Replacement a Good Idea?

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Eric Spreen

Subject: As long as the roots can be

As long as the roots can be removed with a sewer snake or a jetter then relining your sewer line is not a problem. With the right equipment removing 95-100% of the roots is no problem. When you reline your pipe, you want it to be as clean as possible to avoid ripples behind the liner. The resin on the outside of the liner gets pushed into any broken pipe/cracks/joints and will encapsulate roots and will end their growth permanently. The liner is a seamless, jointless pipe that roots cannot penetrate, which is warrantied for 50 years!


Subject: Broken Sewer Line

Is it possible for Scotty to beam the old pipe out and a new one in? Because I don't like any of the options.


Subject: trenchless CIPP sewer pipe reline

Have 2 homes / rentals where I recently (past 2 years) had CIPP sewer relining through 2 different companies. One looks good except right where the relining meets the clay pipe at the street, apparently the plumber ( and his CIPP sub-contractor) didn't see that there was a crack right at that joint... the CIPP couldn't go any further than that joint... and wouldn't you know it, two years later, the roots grew into the new CIPP section clogging the main line. Plumber says well I don't know how to fix that except for digging up the street and replacing that clay portion. Jeeze guys, I would have done that the first time and install "pipe bursting" if I had known that. Now I have to have hydro jet every 18 months - just like before I installed CIPP!
2nd story - different plumber and CIPP subcontractor. 18 month ago during bath remodel with torn-up slab in bathroom, had my plumber recommend CIPP for hairline crack under bedroom & garage slab. Looked good but now its vinyl interior is delaminating & falling into the pipe clogging the mainline to the street.... toilets & shower overflowed with sewage. Called my plumber who puts me in touch with his sub contracted CIPP company and CIPP company says its a defective product from manufacturer at that time & they had similar problems with other installations. They can try pulling those pieces of vinyl that they see with a cable & auger and they successfully pulled a 2 foot pile of what now looks like tough plastic sheeting material. Some other spots were evident but only an inch or two dangling pieces that they couldn't grab. I paid my plumber who sub-contracted with and paid them so they say - talk with your plumber for a remedy ....! If I had it to do again I would pay another 35% or so to do pipe bursting and lay new pipe with hands-on sight and connections at each end....!
Double check your plumbers & CIPP folks and see who is liable if product delaminates or wrinkles -- manufacturer will always say its bad installation while installers will say its defective product... meanwhile you will need to deal with your plumber who is the actual purchaser of the service...@! good luck... go with pipe bursting ...!

Jeff Irwin

Subject: Sagging in sewerline

Building drain is sagging in numerous places - does this method work for this problem? What about branchlines in the middle?

preston theye

Subject: sagging sewerline/trenchless

pipe re-lining will not correct the existing sag in the pipe, it may stop the water from leaking out of the sag into the surrounding soil and further under-mining the sewer line which would cause the sag to grow or worsen. The pipe bursting method can straighten out sags (based on severity and other variables) but this would need to be evaluated by a qualified trenchless contractor. the pipe bursting method uses the old pipe ( host pipe) as a guide only for the bursting equipment that will then split the host pipe into 2-4 pieces and simultaneously pull in the new pipe. for straightening the pipe, the qualified contractor will then need to select the most rigid pipe to be the new pipe. with other options such as point packers, chemical grouting and directional boring OR drilling there are several options to choose from based on the situation and variables. Like Angie said in her prior response to trenchless.... it is all relevant to the restorative costs as to whether this will be a viable option.

Glad to help!
( I am a licensed Plumbing Mechanical contractor that DOES do trenchless but this it not intended to solicit service, ONLY to help the customer make an educated decision and help the Angie's List Community, again... thanks for letting me post!!)

Matthew Miglin - Chapelwood Home Services

Subject: Trenchless Sewer Pipe Replacement

Sagging in your sewer line is not always the cause of your blockage but it certain can collect more debris and add to your problem leading to a blockage somewhere in your pipeline. Although pipe relining is often your quickest, strongest and cheapest option, it is not always the best way to remove a sagging in your drain line. The best is a full excavation and replacing the pipe completely, the second best is to install a new pipe from within using pipe bursting which sends a new pipe in through the old and breaks up the old pipe to make room for new pipe which often creates enough space to remove the pipe sagging area. Lastly is sewer pipe relining which can make your pipe like new with a 50 year potential life span and make clogging more difficult because it will make your pipes really smooth and help waste water to flow much easier even though you may still have some sagging left in your line. All three systems will improve your situation you just need to make the best decision for your home regarding longevity and price. Hope that helps.

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I second the original question (still unanswered). Speaking as someone who logged in today to try to find an attorney, I see this category as one that's exactly what I have my Angie's List membership for:

1. It's important that I find a good one
2. I'm not an expert enough to know myself who is a good one
3. The industry is full of advertisements and misinformation
4. I wish I knew what experiences other people have had

I don't care about lawns--I planted mine in clover and don't have to mow it. When I do need to mow I use a rotary Fiskars mower, which is great--or a scythe. That's right--a scythe (the European type, which is smaller, and it's very good exercise). Gas-powered mowers, chemical fertilizers and weed killers--all nasty stuff that gets into everyone's air, soil, and water. I'm sure my neighbor doesn't like my wildflowers, semi-wild pockets of fruit bushes, and unmown areas and yes, dandelions (I have 10 acres) but that's too bad. It's better habitat for wildlife, especially the pollinators on which our food supply depends. I think this obsession with the Great American Lawn is a waste of time and resources. Plant some food instead.

I'm not sure Angie et. al. want you to have a complete answer to this question. By re-subscribing at the Indiana State Fair in 2012, I think I paid $20.00 per year for a multi- year subscription. Maybe even less. At the other extreme--and I hope my memory isn't faulty about this--I think the price, for my area, for ONE year was an outrageous $70.00. And they debited me automatically without warning. I had to opt out of that automatic charge. I like Angie's List, but if some of the companies they monitor behaved the way they do in this respect, they'd be on some sort of Pages of Unhappiness. I'll be interested to see if this comment gets published or censored out of existence.

That's very difficult to answer without seeing the house. As one poster said, the prep is the most important part. On newer homes that don't have a lot of peeling paint, the prep can be very minimal even as low as a couple or a few hundred dollars for the prep labor.

On a 100 year old home with 12 coats of peeling paint on it, then the prep costs can be very high and can easily exceed 50% of the job's labor cost.

A 2100 sq ft two story home could easily cost $1000 just for the labor to prep for the paint job. That number could climb too. Throw in lots of caullking  or window glazing, and you could be talking a couple or a few hundred dollars more for labor.

Painting that home with one coat of paint and a different color on the trim could run roughly $1000 or more just for labor. Add a second coat  and that could cost close to another $1000 for labor.

For paint, you may need 20 gallons of paint. You can pay from $30-$70 for a gallon of good quality exterior paint. The manufacturer of the paint should be specified in any painting contract. Otherwise, the contractor could bid at a Sherwin-Williams $60 per gallon paint and then paint the house with $35 Valspar and pocket the difference. $25 dollars per gallon times 20 gallons? That's a pretty penny too.

That was the long answer to your question. The short answer is $2000 to $4000 and up, depending upon the amount of prep, the number of coats, the amount of trim, and the paint used.