Repair of old rusty metal heating pipes. Construction works on the iron pipes at a depth of excavated trench

What is Trenchless Sewer Repair?

September 18, 2023

The plumbing beneath our homes and streets often remains hidden, silently performing its vital role in ensuring a hygienic and functional environment. However, when sewer lines encounter problems like clogs, leaks, or damage, the resulting disruptions can be both messy and costly. Traditionally, repairing or replacing sewer pipes required extensive digging, causing a slew of inconveniences and disruptions to property owners and communities.

Trenchless sewer repair is a revolutionary solution that has transformed the way we address sewer line issues. This innovative technology has been making waves in the world of plumbing, offering a cleaner, faster, and more efficient alternative to the conventional, labor-intensive method of excavating large trenches. In this blog, we’ll delve deep into the world of trenchless sewer repair, exploring what it is, how it works, and the many benefits it brings to homeowners, businesses, and municipalities alike. So, whether you’re a homeowner dealing with a plumbing crisis or just curious about the latest advancements in the field, join us on this journey to unearth the future of plumbing solutions.

How Does Trenchless Sewer Repair Work?

Trenchless sewer repair, also known as “no-dig” or “trenchless technology,” is a modern and innovative method for repairing or replacing damaged or deteriorating sewer pipes without the need for extensive excavation. This process offers numerous advantages over traditional digging methods, including reduced disruption, faster completion times, and cost-effectiveness. Here’s how trenchless sewer repair works:

Inspection and Assessment

The process typically begins with a thorough inspection of the sewer line using specialized cameras and sensors. This inspection helps identify the location and extent of the problem, whether it’s a crack, break, root intrusion, or a blockage. The data collected during this assessment is crucial for planning the repair.

Cleaning and Preparation

Before any repair work can begin, it’s essential to ensure the inside of the existing pipe is clean and free from obstructions. High-pressure water jetting or mechanical cleaning methods are often used to clear out debris, scale, and tree roots.

Repair Techniques

There are two primary trenchless sewer repair techniques:

Pipe Lining

  • In pipe lining, a flexible resin-saturated liner, typically made of fiberglass or felt, is inserted into the damaged pipe through an existing access point, such as a cleanout or manhole.
  • The liner is positioned precisely within the damaged area using the inspection camera as a guide.
  • Once in place, the liner is inflated and exposed to heat or UV light, causing it to harden and adhere to the inner walls of the existing pipe. This creates a new, seamless, and durable pipe within the old one.

Pipe Bursting

  • Pipe bursting is employed when the existing sewer line is severely damaged or requires upsizing.
  • A special bursting head, attached to a new pipe or replacement section, is inserted into the old pipe through an entry point.
  • The bursting head breaks apart the old pipe as it moves through, simultaneously pulling the new pipe into place. This process effectively replaces the old pipe with a new one while removing the debris.

Quality Assurance

After the repair or replacement is complete, another inspection is performed to ensure that the newly rehabilitated sewer line meets quality standards and is free of defects.


The access points used for the repair are sealed, and any disturbed surfaces, such as landscaping or driveways, are restored to their original condition. Trenchless sewer repair minimizes disruption to property and reduces the need for extensive restoration work.

What Are the Benefits of Trenchless Sewer Repair?

Trenchless sewer repair offers numerous benefits that make it an attractive option for homeowners, businesses, and municipalities when dealing with sewer line issues. Here are some of the key advantages:

  • Minimal Disruption: Trenchless repair methods require minimal excavation, reducing disruption to the property, landscaping, driveways, and sidewalks. This means less mess and fewer inconveniences for homeowners and neighbors.
  • Cost-Effective: While the initial cost of trenchless sewer repair may be slightly higher than traditional methods, it often proves more cost-effective in the long run. Reduced labor and restoration expenses, coupled with faster completion times, can lead to significant savings.
  • Preservation of Landscape: Homeowners can avoid the costly and time-consuming process of restoring landscaping, hardscapes, and other outdoor features that would typically be disrupted by traditional sewer repairs.
  • Longevity: Trenchless repairs are known for their longevity, with many new pipes having a lifespan of 50 years or more. This can provide peace of mind for property owners.

Trenchless Sewer Repair in Charleston, SC

Whether you’re facing a sewer line emergency or seeking to proactively address potential issues, our experienced team at Zippity Split is here to provide efficient, cost-effective, and environmentally friendly trenchless sewer repair services. With our state-of-the-art trenchless sewer repair solutions, we’re committed to helping Charleston homeowners and businesses maintain their sewer systems with minimal disruptions. Contact us today to learn more about our trenchless sewer repair services.