San Mateo & San Francisco Counties

When Is Trenchless Sewer Replacement Not The Right Solution?

Trenchless sewer line repair has many benefits. We don’t have to dig or excavate to reach the pipes, and that generally means we can do the job faster for our clients. However, there are times when trenchless sewer line repair is simply not an option, and it’s important for homeowners to understand why excavation is necessary in some situations.

Collapsed pipes

The most common reason we can’t perform a trenchless replacement is if the pipe has completely collapsed. That’s because during trenchless, we need to send a cable down the length of the original pipe to demolish the old pipe and bring in the new one. If the original is severely damaged, there’s no place for that cable to go.

Back-pitched terrain

Sewer lines need to run at a downward angle from the house to the municipal pipes to function properly. If the pipe is flat or becomes back-pitched, the sewer will back up over time. If the contractor has determined this is the cause of the problem, trenchless sewer replacement is not a good option. In these cases, the original sewer line needs to be completely dug out and removed, then the soil needs to be regraded so that the new line will run on a downward slope.

The bottom line

Both customers and contractors see many advantages in trenchless sewer line repair. Usually, it’s faster and cheaper and it doesn’t require digging up the homeowner’s yard or driveway. However, there are situations where trenchless repair won’t work or would lead to recurring problems.


No matter how we go about making a sewer repair, we make every effort to limit the amount of time homeowners go without access to plumbing. We do a considerable amount of preparation work so that the crossover from the old system to the new one occurs as quickly as possible, usually during the course of a workday for the homeowner. We take pride in limiting these kinds of disruptions and communicating clearly with our clients.

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