Owning a home can be expensive, and hearing that a pipe needs to be repaired on your property can be the worst. When that’s the case, it’s only a matter of how much it will cost. Traditionally, fixing a pipe underground involved several days and a lot of digging, and a lot of property damage. Now, however, with trenchless pipe repair, plumbers are able to fix a pipe with minimal digging in less than a day. And while this technique is becoming more common, many homeowners have questions. Here’s what to consider.
Traditional pipe repair is slightly cheaper, and it’s possible you’ll have more options in choosing a plumber, as it’s more common. The average cost of a traditional pipe repair ranges from $50 to $250 per foot, and that’s not including costs like having the property repaired.
The cost of trenchless pipe repair depends on the method used, of which there are two:
- Lateral Pipe Lining: This method uses the existing pipe, creating a layer of epoxy to go over any cracks or disturbances in the pipe, essentially creating a new pipe. Costs for lateral pipe lining can range from $80 to $250 per foot.
- Pipe Bursting: Using a pneumatic or hydraulic head, this method destroys the old pipe, and drags in a new pipe to replace it. This is cheaper, usually, than lateral pipe lining, ranging between $60 and $200 per foot of pipe replaced.
On paper, traditional repair methods appear to be cheaper, but that isn’t always the case.
Traditional pipe repairs incur costs that aren’t in the initial estimate. For instance, the cost of excavating the old pipe may not be included, or may require another contractor to complete the job. There may even be a cost involved with having to move any heavier objects that are over the sewer line.
Even when the initial cost covers everything, it probably won’t cover the cost of repairing a driveway or landscaping that gets destroyed in the process. It often costs thousands of dollars for homeowners to get their property back to where it was.
Conversely, trenchless repairs bypass these costs, because they are minimally invasive. Nothing gets ripped up, and nothing has to be repaired afterward. As a whole, trenchless repairs are cheaper, more cost-effective, and an easier route to go when repairing a broken pipe.