“What Are the Pros and Cons of Trenchless Sewer Repair?” Expert Advice for Jen in Citrus Heights, CA

trenchless sewer repair pros and consJen in Citrus Heights, CA just bought a house with the understanding that it’s time to have some work done on her sewers, but she’s trying to decide what route to go, specifically whether trenchless sewer repair is right for her. Jen asks:

“I bought a great new home in Citrus Heights with classic towering Northern California trees in the yard, great landscaping, and neighbors who seem very nice. Before I bought the house, though, the previous owner was very clear that given the age of the home and some recent issues with sewage backing up into a mudroom sink, it may be time very soon to have maintenance performed on the sewer lines, the pipes that take water and waste away from the house.

I appreciated the honesty, of course, and the price of the sale was adjusted accordingly. Now that we’re all moved in, I’m going about the business of getting the sewer lines repaired. I’m particularly interested in the pros and cons of trenchless sewer repair. Is this the way to go? And what can I expect from the process if so? I don’t know much about it and would really appreciate some expert advice in making a list of benefits and disadvantages. Thanks!”

First of all, Jen, it sounds like you already know this but you should definitely be grateful to the previous owner of your lovely new Citrus Heights home for cluing you in about the potential sewer problems. Having a plumbing and sewer inspection when buying a new home is a must, in my opinion, but it’s also something that too many people tend to bypass.

Putting together a trenchless sewer repair pros and cons list is actually a great idea for anyone who needs work done on their sewer lines. Unlike traditional methods, trenchless sewer repair does not involve elaborate and intrusive digging to reach a home’s plumbing, making it a great option for most homeowners. But, it may not be the right route to fix residential plumbing problems for every house. Knowing the good (and the not-so-good) of trenchless sewer repair can help you pick the proper pipe solution for your new (or not-so-new) home.

The Cons of Trenchless Sewer Repair

the benefits of trench less sewer repair for waterIn the past, I’ve given what I think is a great trenchless sewer repair homeowner’s guide, but I’ve never explicitly broken the subject matter down into pros and cons. Let’s start today with a look at the cons for repairing your sewers this way.

  • Pipe damage may be too extensive: In rare instances, the amount of damage to a sewer line may be so severe that trenchless sewer repair is not an option. As I described above, trenchless sewer repair typically involves installing a new lining or a new pipe into a damaged area. This isn’t possible, though, if there’s more than just a few small sections of damage. In instances where damage is extensive, the only option is usually digging to reach the entire affected section of pipe.  
  • Pipes may be too old: Excessively old or corroded pipes typically require traditional pipe replacement methods. Inflating a new lining or blowing a new pipe into an older system can, in fact, cause even more damage because these methods of trenchless sewer repair aren’t built to handle such intensive work. The method is much better suited for damage to newer pipes less than 50 years old or minor issues, such as the ones Jen has described. Either way, an experienced plumbing professional can use video equipment to ensure that trenchless sewer repair is a viable option for your home.
  • Trenchless sewer repair takes greater precision: To put it simply, trenchless sewer repair must be performed by a professional plumber. Both methods—pipe bursting and pipe lining—are very precise operations that leave a lot of room for error. There’s no situation in which I would approve of a do-it-yourself job. You really need a pro to make sure it’s done right, versus inflicting more pipe problems on your home sewer system.

 The Pros of Trenchless Sewer Repair

Now we get to the good stuff, the many reasons why I suggest Jen, and most homeowners, take advantage of the trenchless sewer repair option. The pros are:

  • Less expensive repair costs: Trenchless sewer repair involves less digging (usually no digging, in fact) which means it’s far less labor intensive. With less labor comes a great reduction in service costs. Most professional plumbers are more than willing to quote homeowners prices for both jobs at the same time, though, so you can make your own comparison.
  • A faster repair process: Traditional sewer repair, with all the digging and refilling of holes in your yard, can take a week or two to complete; trenchless sewer repair, on the other hand, can often be completed in an afternoon.
  • Less invasive repair work: From Jen’s brief description, it sounds like she’s pretty happy with the looks of her new home and yard. The last thing she probably wants to do is have a team of workers out to dig massive holes in her new landscaping in order to reach her pipes. As the name suggests, with trenchless sewer repair there are no trenches, which means that the beautiful grounds of her home will go undisturbed.

There you have it, the trenchless sewer repair pros and cons list that a homeowner needs to make his or her decision. Trenchless sewer repair is quickly becoming the most preferred option among the homeowners we have the pleasure to work with—and I suspect it will be right for Jen, as well.

If you’re still wondering which route you should go, my last suggestion is to have a professional plumber out to give you an individual consultation so you can get all the answers you need. Basically, they can make your pros and cons list for you, saving you the trouble of having to dig out a pen and paper to write it all down yourself.

Learn whether trenchless sewer repair is right for your home—and whether there are other maintenance steps your house is in need of, from an HVAC system upgrade to a window or insulation install. Contact the experienced professionals at Bell Brothers today.

Wondering how to finance needed upgrades? HERO is a unique financing option that helps California homeowners afford energy efficient upgrades to their home. Contact Bell Brothers, a HERO-approved contractor, to learn more. Our local HVAC, plumbing, and window specialists will walk you through the entire process, from applications to installation.

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