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What is Trenchless Sewer Replacement?

Here in the “City of Trees,” we commonly find sewer and drain systems destroyed by tree roots. This is in addition to common obstructions like debris, sludge, and “flushable” wipes. One of the most reliable solutions to sewage system damage is a trenchless sewer repair. The Bonney Sewer and Drain professionals are here with a closer look at this service and answers to common questions we get from customers. 

What Exactly is Trenchless Sewer Replacement?

Many customers ask us, “What is trenchless sewer replacement?” Trenchless sewer replacement is an alternative solution to traditional open trench sewer replacement. As the name suggests, this process lets a professional replace old, corroded, or damaged sewer pipes without digging a full trench at your home or business. Instead, professionals run a large cable through your old pipe and connect it to a cone-shaped bursting head. Then, they attach your new pipe and pull it through the old pipe—literally “bursting” the old pipe out and pulling the new pipe in. Instead of mechanical fitting to connect the pipes (which fail over time), the pipes are melted together. This process makes these connections as strong (or stronger than) the actual pipe. 

How Does Trenchless Sewer Replacement Work?

The trenchless sewer replacement process works by pulling new, durable pipes through old corroded pipes. While it might sound complex, this process can be quick and easy with the right tools and expertise on your side. Let’s break down the steps of this process:

  • Step 1: Sewer Inspection—Professionals begin all sewer services with a camera sewer inspection. This lets experts gauge your system damage to ensure that trenchless sewer replacement is right for you. At Bonney, we always show customers their camera inspection results so that you can see the problem firsthand. We will discuss your trenchless sewer replacement scheduling and pricing to ensure there are no surprises. Experts may also make recommendations to help you avoid sewer issues in the future. For example, they may recommend you stop flushing wipes, increase your plumbing water flow, or engage in regular sewer maintenance inspections. 
  • Step 2: Locate and Dig—Once you decide on sewer replacement services, your sewage professional will locate the best entry and exit points for your new pipes. They then dig small openings that are much less invasive than an open trench replacement would require. 
  • Step 3: Heat Fusion—Using professional-grade tools, your sewer & drain expert will then melt your new pipes together instead of connecting them with unreliable mechanical fittings. These new pipes will be nearly ½-inches thick and a standard 4-inches in size. They are made with HDPE (High-Density Polyethylene), the industry-leading standard for trenchless sewer replacement. This step involves melting the HDPE pipes together. No metal connectors are used, which means you will not face the standard corrosion and failure that can occur a few years after metal connector installation. Instead, this leaves you with a custom, durable, upgraded system designed specifically for your home. 
  • Step 4: Insert Your New Pipes—Finally, your trenchless sewer replacement professionals pull a cable through the old pipe. We then attach the 5-inch bursting cone and new pipe to the cable line. Then, we can begin pulling them through the old pipe. This process bursts and breaks the old pipe to imbed it into the soil—creating a 5-inch path for the new 4-inch pipe. This cable ultimately leaves the replacement pipes in its pathway. 

Why Choose Trenchless Sewer Replacement?

Sewer systems and their components have a limited lifespan. Unfortunately, the traditional open trench sewer replacement method requires costly sewer service as well as a full trench. These trenches may require professionals to tear up the lawn, landscaping, driveway, parking lot, and more of a home or business. To provide an effective sewer replacement without the harmful trench, sewer and drain professionals turn to trenchless sewer replacement services. 

Can Trenchless Sewer Replacement Fix Any Sewer Issue?

While it is a reliable solution to some sewer troubles, trenchless sewer replacement is not the answer to all sewer issues. There are three alternative solutions available (depending on your situation)—sewer line cleaning, pipelining trenchless sewer repair, and open trench sewer replacement. 

Sewer Line Cleaning

Systems encountering blockage with no signs of structural damage may simply need a sewer line cleaning. Your system may require professional-grade snake cleaning, Hydro Jetter sewer clearing, a sewage pump, or a routine sewer & drain cleaning service. A professional will be able to tell which service is best for you during your camera inspection.

Pipelining Trenchless Sewer Repair

When you catch a sewer system issue early, you may be eligible for pipelining trenchless sewer repair. The pipe lining process involves lining your pipes with a sleeve covered in industrial-grade epoxy. The epoxy hardens to create a “pipe within your pipes.” However, the pipelining process only works on sturdy, round pipes in the early stages of decline. 

Open Trench Sewer Replacement

Conversely, if you delay your sewer service too long, your system will not be able to withstand the pipelining repair process or the trenchless sewer replacement process. Why? 

  • The trenchless sewer replacement process requires professionals to pull your new sewer system through your old pipes. When your system is too degraded or collapsed, it will obstruct the replacement pipe and prevent it from pulling through. 
  • Additionally, trenchless bursting has its limits. It cannot go through foundation footing or concrete. While it can pull through pipes surrounded by roots, it will not pull through if the roots are too large or intrusive. 
  • Finally, the bursting cone follows the pathway of the old pipe. If there are low spots or “bellies” in the system, it will usually pull through, but the bellies will remain—causing problems in the future. 

In these cases, your system will require open trench sewer replacement. You can find more information on open trench sewer replacement and additional sewer solutions here. This is why it is essential to get professional sewer service at the first sign of an issue. 

Local Sewer Repair and Replacement | Bonney

When you are ready for trenchless sewer replacement services, the team at Bonney is here for you! We complete a wide variety of sewer & drain cleaning, maintenance, repair, replacement, and installation projects for homes and businesses in the greater Sacramento area. Our service areas extend to Carmichael, Roseville, Sacramento, Citrus Heights, Folsom, Rancho Cordova, Gold River, Fair Oaks, Vacaville, Natomas, La Riviera, Rosemont, and beyond! You can explore our available coupons & financing options, make your appointment here online, or give the Bonney sewer and drain experts a call today to get started!