plumbing pipes

Pipe Relining Vs. Replacement

Has your home recently developed seriously blocked drains in your sewer pipes from tree roots or a burst pipe? A plumber might suggest relining sewer pipes or pipe replacement through drainage excavation solutions as a pipe repair method to solve your plumbing problem.

Pipe replacement involves a team of plumbers digging trenches, removing concrete slabs, dismantling walls and anything else above ground to locate and completely replace a piece of pipe. Pipe relining effectively repairs the broken pipe from the inside out, using only a small access point of one square metre.

With over 25 years of experience of pipe repair, we’re breaking down sewer pipe relining vs. replacement for you.

Need Help?

Not sure if you should choose Pipe Relining or Replacement? Why not contact the professionals at Metropolitan Plumbing.

What is Drainage Excavation?

Drainage excavation used to be the only method to repair broken and damaged pipes or a sewer line. This pipe replacement method is often used for severely blocked pipes when traditional methods haven’t worked. With pipe relining becoming available, excavation isn’t always required now thankfully.

First, your plumber assesses the site to ensure gas and electricity lines are not disrupted. The blockage must be precisely located so only the necessary area is dug up for pipe replacement. A pre-excavation assessment ensures the pipe replacement process is more efficient and less disruptive.

Now, the digging begins. Depending on how deep the pipes are buried, safety measures must also be installed around the site. Excavator machines can be used, but quite often it is safer to dig by hand. Digging by hand is also less disruptive.

When the site of the blockage or damaged pipe has been excavated, it can be removed and replaced with a new pipe. The pipe can be repaired, however, it won’t be long before the problem will reoccur and it will need to be dug up again. This is why we recommend replacing damaged pipes with a new one, rather than pipe repair.

Drainage excavation requires a whole team of plumbers and can take a few days to complete. Moreover, your garden is dug up and the landscaping ruined in the process. On top of paying for a costly excavation and pipe replacement, you’ll also be up for landscaping costs to get your garden back in shape. These reasons are why we often find pipe relining wins out in the pipe relining vs replacement debate.

How Does Pipe Relining Work?

plumber working on pipe relining

Despite being available for a few decades now, sewer pipe relining is still a relatively unheard of plumbing method for pipe repair. Drainage excavation requires a team of plumbers to dig up your yard to locate the damaged pipe and replace it. Pipe relining, however, is a no-dig method for pipe repair. Only a small entry hole is required to access your pipes by a pipe relining specialist.

The major win for relining in the pipe relining vs replacement debate is that pipe relining is a more cost-effective method to repair broken pipes from the inside out. An epoxy resin-covered tube is inserted into the damaged pipe and inflated. When the inflated tube is flush with the pipe walls, the resin adheres to it. This forms a hard protective coat inside the damaged area of the pipe and seals it. Your sewer pipes are just about brand new!

Before inserting the inflatable tube for pipe relining, the pipe must be cleaned out. Your plumber might use an electric drain cleaner or a hydro jet for this step. CCTV drain cameras are used to inspect the pipes to ensure they are ready for pipe relining. With the tube inside and inflated, the resin must be left to cure. When the resin is cured, it has hardened and formed a seal on the inside of the pipe.

Is Pipe Relining Worth It?

When comparing pipe relining vs. replacement, pipe relining has a lot of benefits going for it and is an excellent method for pipe repair. From cracks to damage from tree roots, pipe relining can repair it all. It is more cost-effective than pipe replacement by drainage excavation and can be completed in a day for most cases.

Only a small access point must be dug, meaning pipe relining is far less disruptive to your garden and landscape. It’s also an especially useful preventative method. Homes with old pipes can have pipe relining done before major structural issues occur. To top it off, the life expectancy of pipe relining is between 20-50 years depending on the material! Damage from tree roots is a thing of the past when pipe relining is an option.

If pipe relining is so good, why do we still offer drainage excavation then? For all its benefits, pipe relining won’t work in all scenarios, and so pipe replacement by excavation is still required from time to time. Hence, the pipe relining vs. replacement debate begins.

If the pipe has been severely damaged or even crushed, pipe relining can’t save it. The damaged pipes must be excavated and replaced with a new pipe. Similarly, if there is a stubborn blocked drain that can’t be removed or extreme tree root damage, the pipe relining tube can’t be fit inside,  rendering it useless. Significant pipe alignment issues also cannot be repaired with pipe relining.

Both pipe relining and drainage excavation are costly plumbing jobs and so are only recommended as a last resort. Where possible, we recommend pipe relining first as it is more cost-effective and will minimise disruptions to your home.

The next time you need to discuss pipe relining vs. pipe replacement repair approach, contact Metropolitan.

Need Help?

Give us a call or contact us below and we’ll have your blocked drains sorted in no time.


Published: 27 Jul, 2020

Need a Plumber Today?

Electrical, plumbing and air conditioning work is essential and we will be available to do the jobs you require in your home. Our friendly technicians are taking all precautionary measures and keeping to best hygiene practices.

Plumbers You Can Trust

Our Promise to You

Honest Plumbing Services Icon

Honest

We believe in transparency. We will guide you through our process, answer your questions and provide you with an upfront, no obligation fixed prices.

Committed to Plumbing Service Excellence Icon

Committed

No matter how big or small the job is, whether you're a new or returning customer, we treat every job as important and strive for success.

Professional Expert Plumbers Icon

Professional

We know our job site is your home and we completely respect that. We arrive neat and clean, and tidy up after we've completed the job.

zip pay Options
Zip Pay Payment Options Image

Now Available!

Interest free plumbing with trusted pay later options

What Our Happy Customers Have to Say

This is why we do, what we do!

Metropolitan Plumbing are proud winners of the 2020 Product Review award in the plumbing category. This award highlights our dedication to outstanding customer satisfaction. Product Review provides a platform for real-life experiences. Check out some of our customers' reviews below:
5 stars rating

Thank you to Matty and Peter C for their expert help and advice with a new hot water service. Matty is a superb plumber with a can-do attitude and great knowledge. Peter is efficient and knowledgeable. Both plumbers worked quietly and efficiently and tidied up afterwards.

Prudence - VIC
5 stars rating

I rang Metropolitan to have a blocked drain cleared, they sent a local lad, Caleb. The response was within two hours and now I’ll be using Caleb and Metropolitan on a permanent basis.

Peter - SA
5 stars rating

Callum showed up on time, was very communicative, solved the issue with no hassle. Polite and courteous. Quality young tradesman. Would definitely have him back to fix any issues in the future.

Kye - QLD
  • Wilson Hot Water Logo

    Wilson is an Australian owned and operated hot water system supplier with products to suit any need. Rest assured our technicians can install and service your Wilson hot water system.

  • Vulcan Hot Water Logo

    Vulcan hot water systems are forged tough so that they can handle Australia's changeable climate without missing a beat.

  • Thermann Hot Water Logo

    Thermann is one of the most efficient water heating systems around, with a range of options from solar boosted to heat pumps. We can install, service and repair your Thermann system.

  • Saxon Hot Water Logo

    Unfortunately, Saxon no longer produces heating units, but Metropolitan can still service, repair or replace your old Saxon system.

  • Stiebel Eltron Hot Water Logo

    Stiebel Eltron was established in Germany, 1924. With over 95 years of experience in making hot water units, you can expect quality.

  • Rinnai Hot Water Logo

    Rinnai is one of the biggest names in hot water systems. Metropolitan Plumbing has worked with Rinnai hot water systems for over 25 years.

  • Rheem Hot Water Logo

    Rheem has been going steady, hot and strong since 1939 with a comprehensive range of solar, heat pump and gas hot water solutions.

  • Everhot Hot Water Logo

    No matter how big or small your requirements are, Everhot has the right system. We at Metropolitan can help install or service your Everhot system.

  • Edwards Hot Water Logo

    Edwards is recognised for its superior performance and outstanding range of ground and roof mounted units offered in a range of colours.

  • Dux Hot Water Logo

    Dux is the big name in residential and commercial solar, heat pump and gas water heating. We can service and repair your Dux hot water system.

  • Chromagen Hot Water Logo

    Chromagen is an internationally recognised manufacturer of highly efficient hot water systems.  Metropolitan can service, replace or repair your Chromagen system.

  • Bosch Hot Water Logo

    Bosch provides quality hot water to thousands of Australians with its wide range of solar, gas and electric units.

  • AquaMAX Hot Water Logo

    AquaMax is the household name in hot water. We can take care of all of your Aqua Max needs from installation to repair.

Metropolitan Plumbing - With over 600+ 5 Star reviews on Product Review, Metropolitan Plumbing is the name you can trust Metropolitan Plumbing - With over 600+ 5 Star reviews on Product Review, Metropolitan Plumbing is the name you can trust