pipes in the trench of ground.

How To Choose The Best Sewer Line Replacement Method: A Comprehensive Guide

Are you overwhelmed by the numerous sewer line replacement methods and unsure which one is right for you? Does the thought of digging up your yard or home to fix a broken sewer line make you cringe?

In this blog post, we will guide you through the process of choosing the best sewer line replacement method for your unique situation.

By the end of this post, you'll have the knowledge and confidence to make an informed decision that saves you time, money, and stress.

How To Choose The Best Sewer Line Replacement Method

workers repairing a broken pipe

Step 1: Find A Reputable Sewer Line Repair And Replacement Company

Look At Customer Reviews

Begin by researching local companies and reading customer reviews on sites such as Yelp to ensure you're working with a trustworthy and reliable provider.

Positive reviews indicate satisfied customers and a history of successful sewer line repairs and replacements.

Check For Licenses And Bonding

Verify that the company has the necessary licenses and contractor bonding to perform sewer line repairs and replacements in your area.

Proper licensing and bonding, combined with competent years in business, ensure that the technicians are trained and knowledgeable about various sewer systems and replacement techniques.

Step 2: Get A High-Quality Sewer Video Inspection

Checking sewer manhole with borescope inspection camera.

A sewer video inspection should reveal:


  • Any immediate problems with the pipe


  • The linear footage of the pipe


  • The number and location of any branch connections


  • The diameter of the pipe


  • Any transitional changes in the diameter of the pipe


  • The material type(s) being used for your existing piping system


A sewer camera inspection is crucial for identifying the extent of the damage and the most suitable repair or replacement method.

It can reveal common issues such as blockages, cracks, offsets or shifted joints, and even tree root intrusion in sewer pipes and sewer lines.

Here at Dirt Cheap Sewer, we pride ourselves on our ability to show the homeowner exactly what the issue is with their sewer pipe using our high-quality video equipment to perform a sewer inspection.

Step 3: Get A Report Outlining All The Problems With Your Sewer Pipe

worker holding clipboard

A sewer inspection report should include:


  • A detailed explanation of the issues found during the inspection


  • Recommendations for the most appropriate repair or replacement method


  • An estimated timeline for completing the project


  • A detailed cost breakdown, including sewer line replacement costs


The inspection report will help you understand the severity of the sewer line damage and make an informed decision about the best course of action for your sewer line repair or replacement.

Step 4: Choose A Pipe Replacement Or Repair Method That Best Fits Your Situation

The 3 Main Sewer Line Replacement And Repair Methods

Assorted HDPE pipes

Trenchless Pipe Bursting

Trenchless pipe bursting is a method that involves using specialized equipment to break the existing, damaged sewer pipe while simultaneously pulling a new, high-density polyethylene (HDPE) pipe through the old pipe's path.

This method requires only small access points at the beginning and end of the pipe, minimizing the disruption to your property. In other words, no large excavation equipment on your property!

Trenchless pipe bursting is an excellent option for homeowners with pipes that are too damaged for relining or those looking to replace old pipes with a larger diameter pipe.

Homeowners love this method because it ensures that the pipe joints won't be invaded by tree roots or pests, and because it is a continuous length of replacement pipe, it makes the pipe less susceptible to separation or offsets.

This method also reduces the sewer line replacement cost compared to traditional trenching.

Trenchless Pipe Lining

Trenchless pipe lining, also known as cured-in-place pipe (CIPP) lining or trenchless sewer repair, is a method where a flexible, resin-coated tube is inserted into the damaged pipe and then inflated.

The resin hardens and cures in place, creating a new pipe within the old one, effectively sealing any cracks or damage. The result is a smooth, continuous, uninterrupted flow of effluent.

This method is less invasive than traditional trenching techniques, as it only requires one or two small access points,  similar to pipe bursting.

Trenchless pipe lining is ideal for pipes with minor to moderate damage and can extend the lifespan of your sewer line by decades.

Traditional Trenching Technique

A sewer pipe lying in a trench

The traditional trenching technique involves digging a trench to access the damaged sewer pipe, removing the old pipe, and replacing it with a new one.

This method is the most invasive and can cause significant disruption to your property, including damage to landscaping, driveways, and other structures.

However, in some cases, traditional trenching may be the only viable option, such as when the pipe's damage is too extensive for trenchless methods or when local regulations require it.

Keep in mind that the sewer line replacement cost may be higher when using this method due to additional labor and restoration expenses.

Questions To Consider When Choosing A Sewer Line Replacement Method

Man Digging Out Clogged Sewer Line Closeup

How much damage to your home will a traditional excavation pipe repair cause?

Consider the potential impact on your landscaping, driveways, walkways, and other structures.

Trenchless methods typically cause less damage and disruption, but in some cases, traditional excavation may be necessary.

Weigh the potential damage against the benefits of each method to make the best decision for your situation.

Is the sewer line issue located under the foundation slab, behind the walls, or outside in your yard?

sewer pipe under a foundation

The location of the problem will affect which method is most suitable. Trenchless methods are often preferable for issues located under the foundation or behind walls, as they minimize the need for invasive excavation.

For outdoor problems, the chosen method will depend on factors such as accessibility, extent of damage, and sewer line replacement costs.

How much will it cost to repair damage to finishes such as floors and walls?

mildew in large stains is located on white interior wall in apartment

If the sewer line issue is inside your home, consider the cost of repairing or replacing any damaged finishes resulting from the repair process. Keep in mind that insurance may cover some interior costs.

Trenchless methods may result in lower overall costs as they require less demolition and restoration work.

Compare the sewer line replacement cost of each method to make an informed decision.

How much time will I have to spend away from home during the repairs?

Trenchless methods generally take less time to complete than traditional excavation, meaning you'll likely experience less disruption to your daily life.

However, the project's timeline will vary depending on the specific method, the extent of the damage, and other factors.

Discuss the expected timeline with your chosen contractor to better plan for any disruptions.

How long will the repair take?

Excavator digging out lawn to access sewer line for sewer line replacement

The duration of the repair process will depend on the chosen method, the extent of the damage, and the complexity of the project.

Trenchless methods are often faster than traditional excavation, but it's essential to discuss the expected timeline with your chosen contractor.

Be sure to ask about any potential delays, such as permitting or weather-related issues that may affect the project's completion.

Here at Dirt Cheap Sewer, we complete every job as efficiently and thoroughly as possible.

Here's how long some of our services typically take:


  • Spot repairs and clean-outs can take 2-3 days, including inspections


  • Pipe bursting can take  2-5 days


  • Pipe lining can take 2-5 days


  • Full excavation projects, depending on the length and depth of the pipe, can take 4-10 days


*Keep in mind that these are our best estimates. Some projects may take longer due to unique conditions.

Dirt Cheap Sewer Are Your Local Sewer And Outdoor Plumbing Experts

By following the steps outlined in this blog post, you've gained valuable insights into choosing the best sewer line replacement method for your specific needs.

With this knowledge, you can confidently understand what needs to be done to address your sewer line issue and protect your Seattle home from potential damage.

If you need expert assistance with sewer line repair or replacement, Dirt Cheap Sewer is here to help!

Our experienced professionals specialize in various sewer line replacement techniques, ensuring your project is completed efficiently and effectively.

We understand the importance of a functional sewer system and are committed to providing top-notch service to keep your home running smoothly.

For fast and friendly service, fill out our contact form today or give us a call to discuss your sewer line concerns and schedule an appointment.

Don't let sewer line backups or damage disrupt your life any longer – contact Dirt Cheap Sewer today for a reliable solution!