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Pipe Relining vs. Pipe Replacement Difference Explained

Uncertain whether pipe relining or replacement will improve your plumbing? Here’s what you need to know to make the right decision.

Steven Bahbah

Steven Bahbah

Planning to conduct a sewer pipe relining because you have a blocked drain problem?

The unbridled growth of tree roots can lead to a broken pipe. If you face a similar problem, pipe relining or pipe replacement are the two options. Pipe repair can happen in any of these two ways, and you should go for the one that suits your purpose the best.

However, people delay fixing broken pipes as improving the sewer line is challenging. Replacing pipes and pipe relining techniques are quite different and serve different purposes.

And today, in this guide, we will delve into the age-old dilemma: pipe relining vs. replacement. With years of experience fixing sewer pipe problems, we will look into which method you should opt for to repair pipes effectively.

So, let’s dive right in!

Burst Blue Pipe Underground

Drainage Excavation

Drainage excavation was the only solution for a very long time for fixing sewer pipes. When traditional pipe replacement techniques failed, this was the only way to fix an existing pipe. However, with the improvement in technology, you can now get your pipes relined.

Firstly, the plumber would assess the damaged pipe to ensure that no electricity and gas lines are dismantled. Once the blockage is located, they would decide on a pipe repair method that suits the condition. After finding the blockage, they can determine which area to dig up and which to avoid.

Conducting a pre-excavation assessment is the best way to avoid unnecessary digging to fix a broken pipe. This makes the process more efficient and gives you a fair idea about the pipe relining cost.

After adequately understanding how deep the pipes are buried, it becomes easier for you to decide which method to opt for. Also, note that both pipes relining and replacement work can be dangerous, so proper safety mechanisms should be in place.

Moving Beyond Drainage Excavation

Digging can be done using an excavator machine. However, we always feel that hand digging is the best way to do it as it is less disruptive. After the excavation is done successfully, you can go for either pipe replacement or pipe relining work. You can get the pipe repaired, but soon enough, you might see the problem recurring.

Drainage excavation to fix a sewer pipe is challenging, as it involves a lot of work. Plumbing professionals would dig up your entire garden, completely disrupting the landscaping. So, after fixing the broken pipe, you have to pay more to get the landscape back in shape.

This is one of the major reasons we give an extra score to sewer pipe relining in the “pipe relining vs. replacement” discourse!

What Exactly Is Pipe Relining?

Methods for relining pipes are not very new and have been available for the last few years. But when it comes to fixing faulty pipes, people hardly opt for this method. Pipe replacements involve enormous work unless you opt for trenchless pipe replacement.

When it comes to fixing your pipe network, pipe relining is the most cost-effective option to choose. Unlike pipe replacement, relining pipes won’t disrupt the garden. A pipe relining specialist will dig a tiny strategic hole to access the affected pipe. After that, an epoxy resin tube is put into the existing pipes and inflated.

As soon as the tube inflates, it sticks to the pipe walls. This forms a pipe lining around the damaged area, so it seals properly. It fixes damaged pipes, and the pipes become almost brand new.

However, this technique fixes your pipes efficiently only when you do a few things first. Cleaning the pipes before beginning the process is crucial to producing usable pipes. Plus, plumbing professionals may use a hydro jet or a drain cleaner. To check for tree root intrusion, they might even use CCTV cameras.

The idea is simple, to fix the pipe damage properly, you must give some time for the resin to get cured first.

Close Pipe Relining Corroded Pipe

Pros Of Pipe Relining

  • Provides long warranty on relined pipes
  • Does not disrupt your landscaping
  • Takes less time
  • Durable pipe repair solution

Cons Of Pipe Relining

  • Can be cost-intensive
  • Roots can grow back in areas that are not relined
  • Problems can recur when the procedure is not carried out correctly

Why Opt For Pipe Relining?

Pipe relining has a lot of benefits over pipe replacement. When comparing pipe relining and pipe replacement, you have to keep effectiveness and cost in mind. You can opt for pipe relining methods to fix blocked drains too. It is not rocket science to understand that pipe replacements take a long time and money!

So, if you are tired of pipe replacements taking longer than usual, you should choose pipe relining. Fixing a damaged drain using this method does not involve too many processes and can be wrapped up quickly. To reline old pipes, only a small hole is dug to create an access point so that no harm is done to your landscaping.

If you have an old home, it is best to reline the pipes periodically to avoid severe plumbing issues. Getting it checked often might seem like a cost-intensive process, but remember that it can save you a lot of trouble.

Hence, pipe relining involves minimal digging and is a timely but necessary process. Unlike traditional methods like drainage excavation, pipe relining leads to minimal disruption and does not cause excessive deterioration of the area that is being dug. So, it is best to use this method to ensure minimal disturbance.

When Is Pipe Relining Not Suitable?

There’s no doubt that when you use the right materials for a pipe relining job, the life expectancy of the pipes can improve significantly. However, you might have to opt for a more traditional method if your pipe is severely damaged.

If that is the case, you would need to spend more than a few hours fixing the problem. You may have to completely excavate the old piping and replace it with a new one. For badly damaged pipes, this is the most cost-effective process.

This stands true even in case there is stubborn tree damage. When relining tubes cannot be installed, the entire process is pointless. However, professional plumbers might have different solutions to the problem. So, before you can decide which method to opt for, you should get the pipes checked by an expert.

A preliminary CCTV inspection would help the plumbers understand the pipes’ condition. Once the initial tests are done, the plumbers might conduct a few more inspection rounds to know how to repair the pipes.

Overall, replacing pipes is costly, and unless you are sure that the pipes cannot do without a replacement, you might not want to go ahead.

Which Pipe Repair Method Is Right For You?

The cost of sewer pipe relining vs. pipe replacement is almost the same, and both effectively repair pipes. You should ideally take the repair approach as a last resort. When there’s minimal damage, it is best to opt for pipe relining solutions simply.

Since replacing your old pipe with a brand new one can be costly, it is better to check out other options first. We recommend contacting a reputed plumbing company for more information in this regard.

FTD Pipe Relining have high-experienced Sydney plumbers who can assist you with repairing damaged pipes caused by tree roots or blocked drains. Reach out to us today for your pipe relining project!

After all, only a professional can understand the intensity of damage and fix the root cause of the plumbing issue. Some may even share useful tips and tricks to maintain your pipes and drains to prevent issues from your plumbing system.

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