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Thread: trenchless VS trenching method for line replacement???

  1. #1

    Unhappy trenchless VS trenching method for line replacement???

    We have a 1950's brick rancher that needs the sewer line replaced. (we've been cleaning this pipe out for years and the 200 yr old oak beside it has finally won.) This is a rental property now and the tenants have had the bath in the "partially dry" basement back up several times due to very heavy rain in Virginia. We have an est from a very reputable and service oriented company. Around $3600 for trenching, plus all the yard hassle afterwards and a retaining wall rebuild AND replace steps (all this at our cost). And $4800 for the trenchless. I have a minimal understanding of these 2 options. We have already opted for the trenchless because of less clean up and repair. Could someone go through what exactly happens during each. Also, will the roots get the best of this "liner" pipe and how soon? Will I be calling Roto rooter again kidding, but just want to know what to expect. Thanks
    I tried searching for this answer I know it is here somewhere but the seach was coming up with 1000's of answers! yikes!

  2. #2
    Plumber, Contractor, Attorney LonnythePlumber's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    Wichita, Kansas

    Default Trenchless

    We approved trenchless in my jurisdiction about three years ago and so far we have not had a problem. We require the installer the video the sewer before and after so we know they have no low spots. You should not need to have your house drain cleaned again. They dig a hole at the main and at the house. They send a cable through your existing pipe from the main. At the house they attach a metal head that burst the old pipe out of the way as it pulls in rolled plastic pipe in one piece. This is close to the same pipe we use on gas lines and it is very strong.

  3. #3

    Default thanks very much,

    I feel better about this now. I have to deal with our property management company now. They are trying to gouge us for $1200 ~ they called to get the estimate for us and that is the markup they are trying to charge, whew! Thanks again!

  4. #4


    We recently had a similar problem, but we used trenchless pipe restoration. It is great - they use an epoxy pipeliner that repairs the inside of the pipe. It saved us a bunch of money.

    The guys that helped were great - Accurate Leak - It is a cool technology.


  5. #5
    Moderator & Master Plumber hj's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2004
    Cave Creek, Arizona

    Default sewer

    A sewer that needs replacement backs up when the roots plug it and YOU use water in the building. HOW does water backing up from heavy rainfall indicate you need a new sewer?

  6. #6


    In some areas of Virgina, Richmond as one, there are combined sewer and storm water systems. My company works with this frequently.

  7. #7
    Moderator & Master Plumber hj's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2004
    Cave Creek, Arizona

    Default sewer

    Combined sewer or not, a sewage backup, by itself does not indicate the need for a new sewer. It may indicate a need for a backwater valve, but if so, that would be needed even after the new sewer is installed.

  8. #8
    DIY Junior Member Clog Pro's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Vancouver, WA


    Hey, I'm a Portland Oregon Plumber and I use trenchless piping often. We use the pipe bursting method. Here's a brief explanation of what it is: Instead of digging up the whole trench, plumbers dig two holes, and place the new line in the first hole, and pole the line through the existing pipe to the other whole where the pipe ends.

    The reason this is called pipe bursting is because as the new line is pulled through the old line, there is a head on the front of the new line that actually shatters the old pipe and pushes it into the surrounding dirt. This process only works, though, if the old pipe is made out of fracturable material such as clay, iron, concrete ABS, and PVC.

    The new type of pipe that is replacing the old pipe is much sturdier and is also smoother. It is called polyethylene pipe, also called PE pipe. It is electro-fused together which gives it the smoothness and makes it one seemless line, comparatively to your old piping. The new polyethylene pipe is also more resistant to abrasion. It will also not be damaged by microbiologically induced corrosion or chemically induced corrosion.

    Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/6926491

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