Is Trenchless Sewer Line Repair Cheaper? - AP Plumbing

Is Trenchless Sewer Line Repair Cheaper?

Maintaining a functional sewer system is essential for any property owner. However, when issues arise, such as broken pipes or tree root invasions, the question of repair or replacement costs becomes a major concern. 

Traditional methods of sewer line repair have long been the norm, but a modern alternative known as trenchless sewer line repair has gained significant attention for its potential cost-saving benefits. See how the cost of trenchless sewer line repair vs. traditional sewer repair differs while exploring the factors that influence these costs and the long-term financial implications for property owners.

Understanding Trenchless Sewer Line Repair

Trenchless sewer line repair is a relatively new method that has revolutionized the way damaged sewer lines are restored. Unlike traditional methods that involve digging up the entire length of the pipeline, trenchless repair techniques are minimally invasive. There are two primary trenchless methods: pipe lining and pipe bursting.

Pipe Lining: Pipe lining involves creating a new pipe within the existing damaged pipe. A resin-saturated liner is inserted, and once cured, it forms a strong and durable inner layer. This method is particularly effective for addressing issues such as minor cracks, leaks, and corrosion.

Pipe Bursting: Pipe bursting is used when the existing pipe is severely damaged and needs to be replaced. A bursting head is inserted into the old pipe, and as it moves through, it breaks apart the old pipe while simultaneously pulling a new pipe into place. This method is ideal for more extensive repairs.

Cost Comparison: Trenchless vs. Traditional

Trenchless sewer line repair has gained popularity due to its efficiency and reduced impact on the surrounding area. The cost of trenchless repair can vary depending on factors such as the length of the damaged pipe, the severity of the damage, and the chosen method (pipe lining or pipe bursting). 

The average cost of trenchless repairs can range from $60 to $250 per foot of pipe. The pipe lining method tends to be on the lower end of this range, while pipe bursting, which involves more labor and equipment, can be on the higher end.

Traditional sewer line repair involves excavation, which can be labor-intensive and time-consuming. The cost of traditional repair includes not only the labor and materials for digging and replacing the damaged pipe but also the expenses associated with restoring the landscape once the repair is complete. Traditional pipe repair costs anywhere from $50 to $450 per foot of pipe, without accounting for digging and repairing landscaping. 

Factors Influencing Costs:

  • Labor Costs: Trenchless methods generally require less labor, as they involve minimal excavation and shorter repair times. Traditional methods, on the other hand, demand more manpower for digging, removing debris, and then restoring the area.
  • Material Costs: Both methods involve material costs for pipes, liners, resins, and other equipment. However, traditional methods may have added expenses for backfill materials and landscaping.
  • Time and Disruption: Trenchless pipe repairs are completed more quickly, reducing the inconvenience caused to property owners. Traditional repairs can take longer, leading to higher labor costs and potential disruptions to daily life.
  • Additional Costs: Traditional methods often come with hidden costs, such as landscape restoration and possible damage to existing structures, which can come out to thousands of dollars. Trenchless methods eliminate these concerns.

Long-Term Financial Implications

While the upfront cost of trenchless sewer line repair might appear higher, it’s crucial to consider the long-term financial implications. Trenchless repairs can offer significant savings over time due to their reduced labor, shorter repair duration, and minimal post-repair expenses. Additionally, trenchless repairs are less likely to disturb surrounding structures, resulting in potential savings from avoiding collateral damage.


If you’re wondering whether trenchless sewer repair or replacement is cheaper,  the answer is not always straightforward. While the initial costs of trenchless repair might seem higher, the potential savings from reduced labor, shorter repair times, and minimized disruption make it a compelling choice for many property owners.

 To make an informed decision, property owners should contact a reputable company like AP Plumbing. Before we quote your sewer line repair, our Syracuse or Rochester plumbers will consider factors such as the extent of damage, repair method, and long-term financial implications. We even offer camera inspection to help accurately assess the situation and choose the most cost-effective solution.

To schedule a trenchless sewer line replacement in Rochester or Syracuse or learn more about sewer line replacement costs, give us a call today!

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