Trenchless Sewer Line Repair

Sewer Line Repair Service Options

Read below for an overview of the difference between traditional and trenchless sewer line repair options.

Traditional Sewer Line Repair Methods

While we almost always recommend one of our trenchless methods – relining, pipe bursting or directional drilling – to save you time and money, sometimes traditional sewer line repair or replacement is the only option.

Just like we start all sewer repair services, we’ll start the project with a camera inspection of your sewer line. If it is determined that your sewer line needs to be replaced using the traditional method, we will then dig a trench alongside the sewer line. This trench allows us to easily remove the existing sewer line and replace it with a new one. When we are finished, we will fill in the trench with the same soil that was removed.

Depending on the location of your sewer pipe, you may need to be prepared for landscaping, deck, patio, sidewalk or driveway repairs prior to the new sewer line installation.

Trenchless Sewer Line Repair Methods

Trenchless sewer line repairs are usually the most favorable option because they allow us to avoid digging up your yard or disturbing your landscaping. Trenchless sewer line repair uses cured-in-place pipe (CIPP). We reline your existing sewer pipe, or create a “pipe within a pipe” to restore function to your main sewer line.

If your sewer pipe is beyond repair and needs to be replaced, there are trenchless options for that as well. The most common, pipe bursting, uses a hydraulic machine to pull a replacement pipe through your existing sewer line. It breaks up the existing sewer pipe and leaves the new pipe in its wake.

While both techniques – CIPP and pipe bursting – repair your damaged sewer lines without the need for costly excavations, they require very different operations and equipment. Whether relining or pipe bursting is better for your situation depends on several details, including:

  • The depth of your pipe
  • The extent of the damage to your pipe
  • Where is the pipe located beneath your home or office and the remainder of your property

Because the final cost and safety of the best trenchless method for you depends on such unique circumstances, the first thing you should do when you’ve uncovered a problem is contact a plumbing professional who offers BOTH services. Call Invisible Excavations, Plumbing & Drain today to schedule an inspection and receive an in-home estimate: 216-741-5131.

How Does Trenchless Sewer Pipe Relining Work?

Basically, we’re creating a “pipe within a pipe.” We install a permanent liner – which is more durable and resilient than your existing pipe – inside the sewer line. Because we don’t have to remove the old sewer line, we can avoid digging up your entire yard or business property, and simply dig a small access point to insert the liner instead.

The process, described in more detail below, usually only requires one to three full days of work, so you won’t have to go without water or use of your bathrooms too long.

Step 1: Inspection

We inspect your sewer line with a camera and document the location and severity of all potential problems such as cracks, blockages and root invasions. During this process, we also measure the length and diameter of the sections of pipe that need repair.

Step 2: Cleaning

We completely clean out the sewer lines with a method called hydro jetting to remove anything that could disrupt the new pipe lining, such as roots or dirt.

Step 3: Local Repairs

At this point, if any parts of the sewer line are too damaged to insert the new lining, we address those through local repairs.

Step 4: Lining

A pipe liner is measured and cut to the dimensions of your pipe. Then the liner is coated with an epoxy resin and fed into the old pipe through an upstream access point. A bladder is inflated inside the epoxy-coated liner, causing the liner to take the shape of the pipe while it cures in place. After the epoxy has cured, the bladder is removed and you’re left with a brand-new pipe inside of your existing one.

Step 5: Reinstatements

Once the epoxy resin has cured and the main pipe is lined, all branch lines leading to the main sewer line are reinstated, or reopened, using a fibro optics cutter.

Now, your main sewer line is ready for use!

Is Trenchless Sewer Lining Possible in My Home or Small Business?

There are multiple sewer line repair methods and a variety of pipe types and materials fit for trenchless sewer line repairs.

Invisible Excavations uses these two main methods for installing cured in place pipe (CIPP).

Continuous Inversion with Robotic Branch Reinstatements

Typical Uses: Continuous Inversion can be used to install horizontal or vertical lines 2-24” in diameter.

Required Access: Only one access point is required to install the liner – usually a cleanout or a roof-vent.

Advantages: The epoxy cures on the outside of the liner, adhering to inside of the existing pipe, which prevents slipping in a vertical stack.

Pull in Place (P.I.P.)

Typical Uses: Pull in Place is only used to install horizontal lines 2-24” in diameter.

Required Access: Two access points are required to install the liner. One access point allows us to feed the liner into the pipe. The second access point allows us to pull the liner in place.

Advantages: Pull in Place does not require much equipment and quickly be set up.

What Types of Pipe Can Be Lined with Trenchless Technology?

Type of Pipe:

  • Vertical Stacks
  • Branch Lines
  • Underground Main Lines
  • Lateral Lines
  • Rainwater Leaders
  • Underground Storm Lines

Pipe Material:

  • Cast Iron
  • Clay
  • PVC (and other plastics)
  • Concrete
  • Copper DWV
  • Steel

    Sewer Pipe Repair For Your Specific Pipe Material

    Sewer pipe repair – like trenchless or traditional methods – can be completed on a wide range of pipe types and sizes. These pipe repair methods can also be executed in a variety of soil and site conditions. However, there are some limits.

    As you read through the information on the different pipe types below, remember that any specific questions regarding your pipe’s material and condition should be addressed with sewer line repair experts, like the team at Invisible Excavations.

    Clay Sewer Pipe Repair

    If you live in a home built prior to 1980, your home most likely has clay sewer pipes. Clay sewer pipes have an approximate life expectancy of 50 years.

    While many homes have clay sewer pipes, this material is awfully susceptible to root invasion. The tiniest root can enter the joint of a clay pipe and, as it grows, eventually break the clay.

    Similarly, if the earth around the clay pipe shifts substantially, the sewer line can break. Clay pipes are also highly susceptible to pipe corrosion, calcification, and scale.

    ALL clay pipes eventually need repaired or replaced.

    If sewer line issues are caught early enough, trenchless sewer repair is an option with a process called relining.

    Cast Iron Sewer Pipe Repair

    Just like clay sewer pipes, cast iron was another preferred pipe material up until the mid-1980’s. On average, cast iron pipe was designed to last 50 years.

    While there are several variables and factors that can contribute to the deterioration of cast iron sewer pipe, the main issues are typically rusting and corroding. As wastewater continues to run through the cast iron pipe, the pipe naturally crumbles, cracks, breaks, leaks, and so on.

    ALL cast iron pipes eventually need repaired or replaced.

    There are a few repair and replacement options, but specifics depend on your exact situation. If caught early enough, traditional and trenchless methods can be viable options. With trenchless, you could repair or replace your cast iron sewer line without the expense of digging.

    Orangeburg Sewer Pipe Repair

    Orangeburg sewer pipes – also known as “no-corrode” piping – were used between approximately the 1940’s through the early 1970’s. It was used because of a shortage of cast iron materials around World War II. On average, orangeburg sewer pipes have a lifespan of 50 years.

    Orangeburg is a type of bituminized fiber pipe, which is lightweight, brittle, and easily absorbs moisture and deforms under pressure. Tree roots are the biggest reason orangeburg sewer pipes are compromised.

    Orangeburg sewer pipe repair is possible, but the method used depends on the condition of your pipes and urgency to get them repaired (or replaced altogether). Any specific questions regarding your pipe’s material and condition should be addressed with the sewer line repair experts at Invisible Excavations.

    What are the Advantages of Trenchless Sewer Line Repair?

    • No Digging
    • Preserve Home Interior
    • Preserve Landscaping
    • Increase Flow Capacity
    • Keep Roots Out
    • 50 Year Guarantee

      Trenchless Sewer Line Repair FAQs

      How much does it cost to repair a sewer line from the house to the street?
      If your pipes are able to be repaired – as opposed to replaced via a traditional method due to extensive damage – trenchless sewer pipe relining may significantly reduce your overall costs. For an accurate quote, your situation needs to be assessed so we can determine how complex the issue is, where your pipes connect to the public sewer line, and other important factors.

      Keep in mind that repairing a sewer line from your house to the street using trenchless sewer lining is minimally invasive and more cost effective. For an accurate quote, contact the excavation experts at Invisible Excavations today.

      Are broken sewer pipes covered by homeowner's insurance?
      While every homeowner’s policy is different, broken sewer pipes are – on average – not covered by insurance. This is to say: If a backup or sewer line issue occurs under your ownership, the property damage and expensive repairs are generally not covered by a homeowner’s insurance policy.

      Many insurance companies place sole responsibility of repairing and replacing sewer lines that lead away from a home on the homeowner.

      Just as it’s vital to know the state of your pipes, it’s imperative to know your homeowner’s policy and adjust coverage accordingly. As you review your policy and make changes as needed, keep in mind that some sewer pipe repairs may be able to be covered.

      How long does trenchless sewer repair last?
      Not only is trenchless sewer repair less invasive, more affordable and can be done is less time than traditional sewer line repair and replacement methods, a trenchless sewer repair is designed to last 50 to 100 years.
      How long does it take to repair a sewer line?
      With trenchless technology, repairing a sewer line can take as little as a day, depending on certain factors. The total length of time it takes to repair, however; depends on the length and size of your pipes and how many sections you need repaired.

      Once you contact Invisible Excavations to assess your issue via a video pipe inspection, our team of licensed excavation experts will be able to give a more accurate timeline.

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      Invisible Excavations gives great customer service. They were quick, efficient, and helpful with questions that I had. What a great team! They responded immediately to my call.

      Linda K.

      We highly recommend Invisible Excavations. The crew that came to reline our sanitary sewer were very professional and experienced. They did in one day what we thought would take two days. They thoroughly cleaned the job site . We couldn’t be more happy with the job.

      Richard B.

      Had basement flooding through a cracked wall and due to collapsed drain pipes around the house. After many estimates with other companies, this one stood out. The work was done in a timely fashion with care taken for the property and landscaping. I highly recommend them! 

      Rachel S.

      Frequently Asked Questions

      Ask the Pros.

      What is Invisible Excavations' service area?

      Invisible Excavations serves several counties surrounding Cleveland and Akron Ohio, including Cuyahoga, Erie, Lake, Lorain, Mahoning, Medina and Summit. If you are slightly outside of this service area, please call 216-741-5131 to see if we may still be able to accommodate you.

      Does Invisible Excavations have a payment program?

      Yes, we offer a payment plan. We understand that many cannot afford the upfront costs associated with pipe lining – especially if you encounter a problem unexpectedly. To accommodate all customers, Invisible Excavations offers financing.


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