The Ultimate Guide to Trenchless Pipe Repair | APT

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One of the most dreaded scenarios regarding plumbing issues is a damaged or deteriorating pipe. Traditionally, repairing or replacing pipes required extensive excavation, disrupting landscapes, driveways, and even entire roadways. However, thanks to technological advancements, there’s a game-changing solution: trenchless pipe repair.

In this ultimate guide, we will explore the world of trenchless pipe repair, its benefits, methods, applications, and more. Whether you’re a homeowner, a business owner, or a plumbing professional seeking a better understanding of this innovative approach, this guide will provide you with the knowledge you need.

Understanding Trenchless Pipe Repair

Trenchless pipe repair is restoring and rehabilitating underground pipes without extensive digging and excavation. It has revolutionized the plumbing industry by providing a less invasive and more efficient alternative to traditional pipe repair methods.

The concept of trenchless pipe repair originated in the 1970s and has since evolved into various advanced techniques and technologies. The primary objective is to repair or replace damaged pipes with minimal disruption to the surrounding environment, reducing costs, and expediting the repair process.

Advantages of Trenchless Pipe Repair

There are some definite advantages to using trenchless pipe repair vs. traditional methods. The most noted reasons are as follows:

  • Minimal disruption: Unlike traditional pipe repair, trenchless methods minimize disruption to landscapes, driveways, and structures. Excavation is limited to small access points, reducing the need for extensive digging.
  • Cost-effectiveness: Trenchless pipe repair can be more cost-effective in the long run. Although the upfront costs may be slightly higher than traditional methods, the excavation, restoration, and labor savings often compensate for it.
  • Time-saving: Trenchless repairs can be completed significantly faster than traditional methods, reducing the downtime and inconvenience associated with plumbing issues. Quick turnaround times make it an ideal choice for time-sensitive repairs.
  • Environmentally friendly: Trenchless pipe repair is environmentally friendly in multiple ways. Firstly, it reduces the need for extensive excavation, which minimizes the disturbance to ecosystems and reduces carbon emissions. Secondly, many trenchless methods utilize materials and techniques that are eco-friendly, such as cured-in-place pipe (CIPP) liners that rehabilitate existing pipes.
  • Versatility: Trenchless pipe repair methods can be applied to various pipe materials, including clay, cast iron, PVC, and concrete. It suits various residential, commercial, industrial, and municipal projects.

Common Applications of Trenchless Pipe Repair

Trenchless pipe repair methods are commonly used in various plumbing applications. Some of the most prevalent applications include:

  • Sewer line repairs and replacements: Trenchless methods can effectively repair and replace damaged sewer lines, addressing issues such as cracks, leaks, and root intrusion.
  • Water line repairs and replacements: When water lines develop leaks or suffer from deterioration, trenchless pipe repair offers a non-intrusive solution for restoring water flow and preventing further damage.
  • Storm drain repairs and replacements: Trenchless techniques can rehabilitate storm drain pipes, ensuring efficient drainage and minimizing the risk of flooding or water damage.
  • Gas line repairs and replacements: Trenchless methods are also employed for repairing and replacing damaged gas lines, ensuring the safety and functionality of gas supply systems.

By utilizing trenchless pipe repair methods, these applications can be addressed effectively and efficiently, providing durable and long-lasting solutions.


In this introductory section of the ultimate guide to trenchless pipe repair, we have explored the basics of this innovative approach. Trenchless pipe repair offers numerous advantages over traditional methods, such as minimal disruption, cost-effectiveness, and time-saving benefits. It finds applications in sewer lines, water lines, storm drains, and gas lines, providing reliable solutions for various plumbing needs.

In the next sections of this guide, we will delve deeper into the methods and techniques of trenchless pipe repair, signs that indicate the need for repair, the repair process itself, and the benefits of hiring professionals for the job. So, whether you’re a homeowner facing pipe issues or a plumbing professional seeking to expand your knowledge, stay tuned for the wealth of information that awaits you in this ultimate guide to trenchless pipe repair.

Methods and Techniques of Trenchless Pipe Repair

Trenchless pipe repair encompasses a range of methods and techniques, each tailored to specific pipe issues and conditions. Understanding these methods will help you make informed decisions about the most suitable approach for your pipe repair needs.

Pipe Lining (Cured-in-Place Pipe – CIPP)

Pipe lining, also known as cured-in-place pipe (CIPP) lining, is one of the most widely used trenchless pipe repair methods. It involves the insertion of a flexible liner coated with a specialized resin into the damaged pipe. The liner is then inflated and cured in place, creating a new, structurally sound pipe within the existing one.

The CIPP lining method offers several benefits. Firstly, it eliminates the need for extensive excavation, minimizing disruptions and saving time. Secondly, the seamless liner prevents leaks, root intrusion, and corrosion, extending the lifespan of the rehabilitated pipe. Lastly, CIPP lining is suitable for a wide range of pipe materials and diameters, making it a versatile choice for various plumbing applications.

Pipe Bursting

Pipe bursting is a trenchless pipe replacement method used when the existing pipe is severely damaged or needs complete replacement. In this process, a bursting head is inserted into one end of the damaged pipe, while a new pipe is simultaneously pulled into place. The bursting head fractures the old pipe, pushing the fragments into the surrounding soil as the new pipe takes its place.

Pipe bursting offers several advantages. It allows for the replacement of pipes made of different materials, including cast iron, clay, and PVC. The new pipe is typically made of high-density polyethylene (HDPE), which is durable and resistant to corrosion. Pipe bursting is an effective method for increasing pipe capacity and improving the overall flow of fluids or wastewater.

Slip Lining

Slip lining involves inserting a smaller-diameter pipe, usually made of HDPE or PVC, into the existing damaged pipe. The new pipe, known as the carrier pipe, slides inside the old pipe, creating a new pathway for the flow of fluids. Slip lining is typically used for pipes that have experienced minimal damage, such as cracks or minor leaks.

The slip lining method offers a cost-effective solution for repairing pipes without extensive excavation. It restores the structural integrity of the damaged pipe while improving its hydraulic capacity. Slip lining is often employed for rehabilitating sewer and drainage pipes, providing a durable and long-lasting solution.

Directional Drilling

Directional drilling, also known as horizontal directional drilling (HDD), is a trenchless method for installing new pipes or utilities without significant surface disruption. It involves drilling a small pilot hole at an angle from a starting point to an exit point. A reaming bit is then used to enlarge the hole, creating a path for installing the new pipe.

Directional drilling offers several advantages. It is particularly useful when installing pipes under obstacles like roads, rivers, or existing infrastructure. The technique allows for precise control and accuracy, minimizing the impact on the surrounding environment. Directional drilling is commonly used for installing water and sewer lines, gas pipelines, and telecommunications conduits.

Choosing the Appropriate Trenchless Method

Selecting the right trenchless method depends on various factors, including the type and extent of pipe damage, pipe material, soil conditions, and project requirements. It is very important to consult with experienced professionals who can assess the situation and recommend the best method for your needs.

Also, proper inspection and diagnosis are essential in determining the appropriate trenchless method. Technologies such as closed-circuit television (CCTV) inspections and pipe testing methods, such as hydrostatic or smoke testing, can help identify the extent of damage and locate any underlying issues within the pipe system.

By considering these factors and seeking professional guidance, you can make informed decisions regarding the trenchless method that will provide the most effective and long-lasting repair or replacement of your pipes.


In this section of the ultimate guide to trenchless pipe repair, we have explored some of the common methods and techniques used in the industry. Each method has unique advantages and applications, from pipe lining (CIPP) to pipe bursting, slip lining, and directional drilling.

Understanding the various trenchless methods allows you to assess which approach best suits your specific pipe repair needs. Consulting with professionals and conducting proper inspections will ensure that the chosen method addresses the extent of damage, pipe material, and project requirements effectively.

In the next sections of this guide, we will explore the signs that indicate the need for trenchless pipe repair, the step-by-step process of the repair itself, the benefits of hiring professionals, and the maintenance required after trenchless repairs. So, stay tuned to further expand your knowledge on the ultimate guide to trenchless pipe repair.

Signs You Need Trenchless Pipe Repair

Recognizing the signs that indicate the need for trenchless pipe repair is crucial in addressing plumbing issues promptly and preventing further damage. Here are some common signs that your pipes may require attention:

  • Persistent Blockages: If you notice recurring or stubborn blockages in your drains or toilets, it could indicate a more significant issue within your pipes. Accumulated debris, root intrusion, or pipe collapses can cause frequent clogs that require professional intervention.
  • Foul Odors: Unpleasant smells emanating from your drains or yard can be a sign of pipe damage. Cracks, leaks, or breaks in the pipes can allow sewer gases to escape, resulting in foul odors in and around your property.
  • Slow Draining:¬†Slow drainage in sinks, showers, or tubs may suggest a partial or complete obstruction within the pipes. It can be caused by the buildup of debris, sediment, or root intrusion, hindering the smooth flow of wastewater.
  • Water Pooling: If you notice water pooling in your yard, especially when it hasn’t rained recently, it may indicate a leaking or damaged underground pipe. The water might seep through cracks or breaks and surfacing on your property.
  • Unexplained Increase in Water Bills: A sudden and unexplained increase in your water bills can be a sign of a hidden leak within your plumbing system. Undetected leaks can lead to water wastage and higher utility costs.
  • Discolored Water: If you notice brown or rusty water from your taps, it could indicate corroded or deteriorating pipes. Discolored water is a clear indication that your pipes require attention.
  • Sinkholes or Sinking Ground: Depressions or sinking areas in your yard or driveway can result from underground pipe damage. The soil erodes around the damaged pipes, causing the ground to sink and potentially leading to sinkholes.
  • Noisy Pipes: Unusual sounds from your pipes, such as gurgling, rattling, or banging noises, may indicate pipe damage or blockages. These sounds can be caused by trapped air pockets, loose fittings, or pipe collapses.

If you observe any of these signs, you must contact a professional trenchless pipe repair company for a thorough inspection and assessment of your plumbing system. Early detection and prompt action can prevent further deterioration, minimize the extent of repairs, and save you from costly damages.

The Trenchless Pipe Repair Process

The trenchless pipe repair process involves several steps to ensure a successful and efficient restoration of your pipes. While the specific process may vary depending on the chosen repair method and the unique characteristics of your plumbing system, here is a general outline of the trenchless pipe repair process:

  1. Inspection and Diagnosis: A professional plumber will comprehensively inspect your pipes using advanced technologies such as closed-circuit television (CCTV) cameras. This allows them to assess the condition of the pipes, identify any damage, and pinpoint the location of the issues.
  2. Preparatory Steps: Before proceeding with the repair, the pipes must be cleaned and cleared of debris or obstructions. High-pressure water jetting or mechanical cleaning methods may be employed to ensure the pipes are in the best possible condition for repair.
  3. Selecting the Appropriate Trenchless Method: Based on the inspection results and the specific requirements of your pipe repair, the professional will recommend the most suitable trenchless method. Factors such as pipe material, extent of damage, accessibility, and budget considerations will influence the choice of repair technique.
  4. Executing the Repair Process: Once the trenchless method is determined, the repair process begins. For pipe lining (CIPP), a liner saturated with a special epoxy resin is inserted into the damaged pipe and inflated to conform to the pipe’s interior. The resin is then cured, creating a new pipe within the existing one. Pipe bursting involves breaking the old pipe while pulling a new one into place. Slip lining requires inserting a new pipe into the existing damaged pipe, while directional drilling entails drilling a pilot hole and installing a new pipe in the desired direction.
  5. Quality Control and Testing: After the repair is complete, the pipes undergo thorough quality control checks and testing to ensure the effectiveness and durability of the repair. Pressure tests, visual inspections, and flow tests may be performed to validate the success of the trenchless pipe repair.

By following this comprehensive process, trenchless pipe repair professionals can restore your pipes’ functionality and structural integrity without the need for extensive excavation.


In this section of the ultimate guide to trenchless pipe repair, we have covered the signs that indicate the need for trenchless pipe repair and outlined the general process involved in restoring your pipes. Recognizing these signs early on and taking prompt action can prevent further damage and mitigate potential risks to your property.

The next sections of this guide will delve into the benefits of hiring professionals for trenchless pipe repair, the importance of ongoing maintenance, and tips for selecting the right trenchless pipe repair company. Stay tuned to gain a comprehensive understanding of trenchless pipe repair and make informed decisions for your plumbing needs.

Benefits of Hiring Professionals for Trenchless Pipe Repair

When it comes to trenchless pipe repair, it is highly recommended to hire experienced and licensed professionals to handle the job. Here are some key benefits of entrusting your trenchless pipe repair needs to the experts:

  • Expertise and Knowledge: Professional trenchless pipe repair companies have the expertise and knowledge to assess, diagnose, and repair pipe issues effectively. They have undergone extensive training and possess in-depth understanding of different trenchless methods, ensuring that the most appropriate technique is selected for your specific situation.
  • Specialized Equipment and Tools: Trenchless pipe repair requires specialized equipment and tools that are not commonly found in a typical homeowner’s toolbox. Professional companies are equipped with state-of-the-art technologies and specialized tools to carry out the repair process with precision and efficiency. They have access to advanced inspection cameras, pipe relining materials, pipe bursting equipment, and directional drilling rigs.
  • Compliance with Regulations and Standards: Trenchless pipe repair must comply with local plumbing codes, regulations, and industry standards. Professionals are well-versed in these requirements and ensure that the repair work meets all the necessary guidelines. By hiring professionals, you can have peace of mind knowing that your pipe repair complies with legal and safety standards.
  • Time and Cost Savings: Professional trenchless pipe repair companies are experienced in executing efficient repairs, minimizing downtime and disruption to your daily routine. With their expertise and specialized equipment, they can complete the repair process quickly and effectively. Additionally, they can help you save on long-term costs by providing durable and long-lasting solutions, reducing the likelihood of future repairs.
  • Safety and Insurance Coverage: Trenchless pipe repair can involve working with potentially hazardous substances such as sewer lines or gas pipes. Professionals are trained to handle these situations safely, minimizing the risk of accidents or injuries. Moreover, reputable companies carry insurance coverage, providing liability protection in case of any unforeseen damages or accidents during the repair process.
  • Warranty and Guarantees: Professional trenchless pipe repair companies often provide warranties or guarantees for their work. This means that if any issues arise after the repair, they will address them promptly and at no additional cost. Having a warranty in place gives you added confidence and assurance in the quality of the repair work.
  • Ongoing Maintenance and Support: Professionals not only handle the repair process but also provide ongoing maintenance and support for your pipes. They can offer advice on preventive measures to extend the lifespan of your plumbing system and ensure its optimal performance. Regular maintenance and check-ups can help identify any potential issues before they escalate into major problems.
  • Peace of Mind: Hiring professionals for trenchless pipe repair provides peace of mind, knowing that your plumbing system is in capable hands. You can rely on their expertise, experience, and professionalism to deliver quality results and ensure the long-term integrity of your pipes.

Choosing the Right Trenchless Pipe Repair Company

To reap the benefits mentioned above, it is important to select the right trenchless pipe repair company. Here are some factors to consider when making your choice:

  • Experience and Reputation: Look for a company with a proven track record and extensive experience in trenchless pipe repair. Check customer reviews, testimonials, and references to gauge their reputation and reliability.
  • Licenses and Certifications: Ensure that the company holds the necessary licenses and certifications to perform trenchless pipe repair work in your area. This ensures compliance with local regulations and industry standards.
  • Range of Services: Verify that the company offers a comprehensive range of trenchless pipe repair services to address various plumbing needs. A company that specializes in multiple methods can provide tailored solutions for your specific situation.
  • Insurance Coverage: Confirm that the company carries appropriate insurance coverage, including liability insurance, to protect against any potential damages or accidents during the repair process.
  • Transparent Pricing: Request detailed quotes from multiple companies and compare their pricing structures. A reputable company will provide transparent pricing with no hidden fees, allowing you to make an informed decision based on your budget.
  • Customer Service: Assess the company’s responsiveness and professionalism in their communication. A company that values good customer service will be attentive, address your concerns promptly, and provide clear explanations throughout the process.
  • Warranties and Guarantees: Inquire about the warranties or guarantees offered by the company for their work. A reliable company will stand behind the quality of their repairs and provide assurance for the longevity of the repaired pipes.

By considering these factors and conducting thorough research, you can select a trustworthy and competent trenchless pipe repair company to handle your plumbing needs effectively.


Hiring professionals for trenchless pipe repair brings numerous benefits, including their expertise, specialized equipment, compliance with regulations, time and cost savings, safety assurance, warranty coverage, ongoing support, and peace of mind. Their experience and knowledge ensure that the repair process is carried out efficiently and effectively, while their ongoing maintenance services help prolong the lifespan of your plumbing system.

When choosing a trenchless pipe repair company, consider their experience, reputation, licenses, range of services, insurance coverage, transparent pricing, customer service, and warranties. By selecting the right professionals, you can have confidence in the quality of the repair work and enjoy a fully functional and reliable plumbing system for years to come.

Maintenance and Care after Trenchless Pipe Repair

After completing trenchless pipe repair, it is crucial to prioritize ongoing maintenance and care to ensure the longevity and optimal performance of your plumbing system. Here are some essential steps to follow:

  • Follow Professional Recommendations: The trenchless pipe repair company will provide specific guidelines and recommendations for post-repair maintenance. It is essential to follow these instructions diligently to maximize the effectiveness of the repair and minimize the risk of future issues.
  • Conduct Regular Inspections: Schedule regular inspections of your pipes to identify any potential problems early on. This can help detect issues such as small leaks, root intrusion, or developing cracks before they escalate into significant damage. Professional plumbers can perform periodic CCTV inspections to assess the condition of the pipes and address any emerging concerns promptly.
  • Monitor Water Flow and Pressure: Keep an eye on the water flow and pressure in your plumbing system. If you notice sudden changes, such as decreased water pressure or fluctuations in water flow, it could indicate a potential problem. Timely detection allows for prompt action and minimizes the risk of further damage.
  • Practice Proper Drain Care: Be mindful of what goes down your drains to prevent clogs and pipe damage. Avoid disposing of grease, oils, food scraps, and non-biodegradable items down the drain, as they can lead to blockages. Use drain guards or strainers to catch hair, debris, and other materials that can accumulate in your pipes.
  • Be Cautious with Chemical Drain Cleaners: Avoid relying on chemical drain cleaners as they can be harsh on your pipes and cause damage. Instead, opt for natural or enzymatic drain cleaners that are gentler on your plumbing system. When in doubt, consult with professionals for recommendations on safe and effective drain cleaning solutions.
  • Maintain Proper Landscaping Practices: If your pipes run through your yard, be mindful of landscaping activities that could potentially damage them. Avoid planting trees or large shrubs near your pipes, as the roots can infiltrate the pipes and cause blockages or breaks. Consult with professionals to determine suitable landscaping practices that won’t compromise the integrity of your pipes.
  • Address Plumbing Issues Promptly: If you notice any signs of potential plumbing issues, such as persistent leaks, strange noises, or unusual odors, address them promptly. Ignoring these warning signs can lead to more extensive damage and costly repairs down the line. Contact a professional plumber to assess the situation and provide the necessary repairs or maintenance.
  • Stay Informed and Educated: Stay up to date with the latest plumbing practices and technologies. Educate yourself on proper plumbing care and maintenance techniques to ensure you are taking the necessary steps to keep your plumbing system in optimal condition. Knowledge empowers you to make informed decisions and take proactive measures to prevent future problems.

By following these maintenance and care practices, you can extend the lifespan of your repaired pipes and minimize the likelihood of future plumbing issues. Regular inspections, proper drain care, cautious landscaping, and prompt attention to emerging problems contribute to a well-maintained plumbing system.

Importance of Professional Maintenance

While you can perform some basic maintenance tasks on your own, it is essential to enlist the services of professional plumbers for periodic maintenance. Here’s why professional maintenance is crucial:

  • Expert Assessment: Professional plumbers have the expertise to conduct thorough assessments of your plumbing system. They can identify any potential issues that may go unnoticed by untrained eyes, ensuring early detection and prevention of major problems.
  • Specialized Tools and Equipment: Professionals have access to specialized tools and equipment designed for comprehensive pipe inspections and maintenance. CCTV cameras, hydro-jetting machines, and advanced diagnostic tools allow them to conduct in-depth assessments and perform precise maintenance tasks.
  • Compliance with Warranty Requirements: If your trenchless pipe repair comes with a warranty, regular professional maintenance may be a requirement to keep the warranty valid. Following the recommended maintenance schedule ensures compliance and safeguards your investment.
  • Preventive Measures: Professional plumbers can provide preventive measures and advice tailored to your specific plumbing system. They can offer insights on water conservation, pipe protection, and proactive maintenance practices to minimize the risk of future issues.
  • Long-Term Cost Savings: Investing in professional maintenance can save you money in the long run. By identifying and addressing small issues early on, you can prevent them from escalating into major and costly repairs. Regular maintenance also contributes to the longevity and efficiency of your plumbing system, reducing the need for premature replacements.


Maintenance and care after trenchless pipe repair are essential for preserving the integrity and functionality of your plumbing system. Follow professional recommendations, conduct regular inspections, monitor water flow and pressure, practice proper drain care, maintain landscaping practices, address plumbing issues promptly, and stay informed about proper plumbing practices.

Seeking professional maintenance services ensures expert assessment, compliance with warranty requirements, preventive measures, and long-term cost savings. By prioritizing ongoing maintenance, you can enjoy the benefits of your trenchless pipe repair for years to come, maintaining the efficiency and reliability of your plumbing system.


In this ultimate guide to trenchless pipe repair, we have explored the world of innovative and efficient solutions for addressing pipe issues without the need for extensive excavation. Trenchless pipe repair offers numerous advantages, including minimal disruption, cost-effectiveness, time-saving benefits, environmental friendliness, and versatility. It finds applications in various plumbing systems, such as sewer lines, water lines, storm drains, and gas lines, providing reliable solutions for residential, commercial, industrial, and municipal needs.

Understanding the signs that indicate the need for trenchless pipe repair is crucial in addressing plumbing issues promptly and preventing further damage. From persistent blockages and foul odors to slow draining and unexplained increases in water bills, recognizing these signs allows homeowners and professionals to take proactive measures and seek the necessary repairs.

The trenchless pipe repair process involves several steps, including inspection and diagnosis, preparatory measures, selecting the appropriate trenchless method, executing the repair process, and conducting quality control and testing. By following this process, professionals can restore the functionality and structural integrity of pipes without extensive excavation, ensuring minimal disruption to landscapes and structures.

Hiring professionals like Advanced Plumbing Technology for trenchless pipe repair brings numerous benefits, including their expertise, specialized equipment, compliance with regulations, time and cost savings, safety assurance, warranty coverage, ongoing support, and peace of mind. Their experience and knowledge ensure that the repair process is carried out efficiently and effectively, while their ongoing maintenance services help prolong the lifespan of repaired pipes.

Maintenance and care after trenchless pipe repair are essential for preserving the integrity and performance of your plumbing system. Following professional recommendations, conducting regular inspections, monitoring water flow and pressure, practicing proper drain care, maintaining suitable landscaping practices, addressing plumbing issues promptly, and staying informed contribute to the long-term success of your repaired pipes.

When selecting a trenchless pipe repair company, conducting thorough research, checking licenses and certifications, assessing experience and expertise, verifying insurance coverage, considering transparent pricing, inquiring about warranties and guarantees, evaluating professionalism and communication, reviewing references and portfolios, and assessing the level of customer service and support are important factors to consider. Choosing the right company ensures that your trenchless pipe repair needs are met with professionalism, quality workmanship, and reliable solutions.

By following the information and tips provided in this ultimate guide, homeowners and professionals can navigate the world of trenchless pipe repair with confidence. Whether it’s addressing a sewer line issue, rehabilitating water lines, or replacing storm drains, trenchless methods offer efficient and effective solutions. With minimal disruption, cost savings, and long-lasting results, trenchless pipe repair is the future of the plumbing industry.

Stay informed, consult professionals, and prioritize ongoing maintenance to enjoy the benefits of trenchless pipe repair for years to come. By taking proactive measures and addressing plumbing issues promptly, you can ensure the longevity and optimal performance of your plumbing system, providing peace of mind and a reliable infrastructure for your home or business.

If you are having issues with your plumbing system and need help determining what the problem is feel free to call us at 800-800-PIPE for help anytime!