pipe relining vs replacement worker with a pipe og

Pipe Relining vs Replacement: Which is Best for You?

When dealing with damaged sewer pipes, property owners have two main options: pipe relining and pipe replacement. Both methods have their advantages and disadvantages, and deciding on the best approach depends on various factors.

In this article, we'll discuss the differences between sewer pipe relining and pipe replacement, and key factors to consider when choosing between the two methods. By the end, you should have a better understanding of which option is best for your specific situation when dealing with broken or damaged pipes.

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What is Pipe Relining?

Pipe relining is a modern, trenchless method of repairing damaged sewer pipes by creating a new pipe within the existing one. This pipe relining process involves inserting a flexible liner impregnated with a two-part epoxy resin into the damaged pipe. The liner is then expanded and cured, hardening to form a new pipe inside the old one. This new pipe is strong, durable, and resistant to tree root intrusion and corrosion, effectively eliminating leaks and other issues associated with old pipes. 

Our Nuflow Pipe Relining solution comes with a life expectancy of up to 100 years and an insurance-backed product warranty of up to 50 years. We feel so confident in our team that we also offer a 10-year workmanship warranty on all installations.

One of the significant advantages of professional pipe relining solutions is that they are less invasive than traditional pipe replacement methods. There is no need to dig up your yard, driveway, or garden, which means less disruption to your property and a faster, cleaner pipe relining job. Additionally, pipe relining costs can be significantly lower than pipe replacement costs, especially when you factor in the costs of excavation, landscaping, and property restoration.

What is Pipe Replacement?

Pipe replacement, on the other hand, is the traditional method of fixing damaged or broken pipes. This process involves digging a trench to access the affected pipe, removing the old pipe, and installing a new one. Depending on the extent of the damage, this can be a time-consuming and labour-intensive process that can cause significant disruption to your property, especially if large sections of pipe need to be replaced or if the broken pipe is located under a concrete slab.

While pipe replacement is often more expensive than pipe relining, it can sometimes be the only viable option, particularly if the existing pipe is severely damaged or has collapsed. In such cases, pipe relining might not be possible or could result in further complications down the line. Additionally, pipe replacement provides a completely new pipe, which can be beneficial if the old pipes are made of outdated or substandard materials.

Which is the Best Option?

When deciding between pipe relining and pipe replacement, there are several key factors to consider. We'll go through these factors in the following sections to help you determine whether pipe relining techniques are the best solution for your damaged pipe repair needs.

Extent of Damage

The severity of the damage to your sewer pipes plays a significant role in determining the best repair method. If the damage is minor, such as small cracks or leaks, pipe relining can be an effective and efficient solution. However, if the damage is extensive or the pipes have collapsed, pipe replacement may be the only viable option. Severely damaged pipes, such as burst pipes or those with significant tree root intrusion, may also require pipe replacement.

Age and Condition of Existing Pipes

The age and overall condition of your existing pipes should also be considered. If your pipes are relatively new and in good condition, pipe relining may be the best choice to address isolated plumbing issues. On the other hand, if your pipes are old and suffering from multiple issues due to corrosion or wear and tear, pipe replacement may be a more long-term solution.

overflowing gutters with a grey roof

Cost and Time Considerations

The costs and time required for each pipe repair method can vary significantly. Pipe relining is generally faster and less expensive, as it does not involve excavation or property restoration. However, the pipe relining cost - including for pipe relining materials and equipment - can be higher than traditional pipe replacement materials. It's essential to weigh the costs of both options, including potential property damage and restoration when making your decision. In some cases, wanting a more cost-effective solution can make pipe relining worth it, while in others, pipe replacement may be more economical in the long run.

Environmental Impact

Pipe relining is often considered the more environmentally friendly option, as it requires less excavation and does not involve the removal of old pipes. This method is less disruptive to the surrounding environment and preserves existing landscaping, making it an attractive choice for property owners concerned about their environmental footprint.


Pipe relining causes minimal disruption to your property, as there's no need for excavation. If you want to avoid the mess and inconvenience associated with digging up your yard or dealing with broken pipes under a concrete slab, relined pipes are the way to go.

Local Regulations and Permits

Depending on your location and the extent of the work required, local regulations and permits may influence your decision. Pipe replacement may require permits and adherence to local codes while relining pipes can often be done without the same level of regulatory oversight. Be sure to research the rules and requirements in your area before making a decision.

Making the Right Choice

In summary, both pipe relining and pipe replacement have their advantages and disadvantages when it comes to repairing damaged pipes. Pipe relining is typically faster, less invasive, and more cost-effective, making it an ideal solution for minor to moderate pipe damage. Pipe replacement, however, may be necessary for more extensive damage or when dealing with older pipes that have reached the end of their lifespan.

By considering factors such as the extent of damage, age and condition of your existing pipes, cost and time requirements, environmental impact, and local regulations, you can make an informed decision on which method is best for your unique situation.

If you're still unsure which option is right for you, consider reaching out to a professional plumber or pipe relining service provider like Tunnel Vision. Our team of experts can assess your specific circumstances and recommend the most suitable solution for your needs, whether it's a full pipe replacement or a pipe relining project.

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