What Is Pipe Relining?

Last Updated On June 21, 2024

Updated on April 27, 2023



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This blog post talks about pipe relining and all the different processes to reline broken or cracked pipes.

Do you need drain pipe replacement after the results of sewer camera inspection? Consider pipe relining as a way to repair damaged underground pipes. 

Pipe relining can apply to both your sewer line and water line, and it’s a great option compared to traditional pipe repair that requires complete evacuation. 

However, how do you know if trenchless pipe relining is the right process for you and your particular situation?

In this PlumbingNav guide, we will cover:

  • What is pipe relining?
  • How does pipe relining and coating work?
  • All about the pipe relining process
  • How much does pipe relining repair cost?

What's In This Guide?

      What is Pipe Relining?

      Pipe relining refers to the trenchless repair method in residential and commercial plumbing when coating the old pipe with a lining and then allowing it to harden. This creates a new pipe inside the old pipe by way of the new lining.

      Relining pipes only requires small access points as opposed to traditional sewer repair that requires complete excavation.

      There are two main types of internal pipe coating:

      Spray-in-place relining (SIPP relining): SIPP uses a liner with an epoxy coating, while spray-in-place coating only uses the coating itself, meaning it doesn’t create as thick of a coating and won’t work properly in all situations. 

      Cured-in-place relining (CIPP relining): CIPP relining is the preferred option in most instances, but you will need to limit water use throughout the process.

      The newly coated and relined pipe will last 50+ years. It’s efficient and the ultimate “pipe recycling.”

      Pipe relining services cost $70 per foot for long-distance jobs and $150 per foot for short-distance jobs. Unfortunately, homeowners insurance typically won’t cover plumbing repairs like this. (If water damage was the result of the problem, you can likely make a claim, though.)

      Pipe relining offers the following advantages to traditional underground plumbing services:

      • No disturbance of utilities
      • Service connections reestablished from above ground
      • Long-lasting results
      • Smooth interior of new pipe can possibly increase water flow
      • New industry standard

      Video: Watch Spray in Place Sewer Pipe Relining Process in Action

      Why do I need relined pipes?

      The number one reason people require trenchless pipe lining is a leaking pipe underground that is not easy to access.

      A leak in your underground pipe or sewer lateral can cause a serious problem. If you notice signs of a leak or one is during professional leak detection, pipe relining may be the next course of action. 

      Alternatively, you may need emergency plumbing if you experience a severely broken or cracked pipe due to root intrusion or a frozen underground pipe.

      How Does Pipe Relining and Coating Work?

      The process starts by creating an access point and pouring or spraying a lining into the old pipe. 

      After the old pipe is properly coated it will cure or harden to form a new pipe lining unaffected by any sediment buildup or corrosion from the old pipe.

      SIPP relining dries more quickly than CIPP relining.

      Pipe relining will slightly reduce the diameter of your pipe, making pipe bursting the more ideal option when you’re worried about water pressure and water flow. However, pipe bursting won’t work if you have a blocked drain. 

      Drain or sewer line cleaning can clear a blockage in your sewer pipe, but if leaks, corrosion, bellies, or broken joints are revealed during this process, you will need to choose pipe relining.

      The bottom line is this. Your plumbing professional will recommend the best option for your sewer pipe relining job.

      did you know What Is Pipe Relining

      All About Pipe Relining

      What is spray in place pipe liner coating made of?

      Generally speaking, the relined pipe coating is made up of a pipe relining solution of cement and epoxy.

      Some systems use a CIPP method that used a felt exterior and epoxy coating.

      What is best for sewer pipe relining?

      The best option for sewer pipe relining is CIPP relining. It’s the least expensive and most flexible option. SIPP relining may cost slightly less if you are on a tight budget.

      How long does epoxy pipe lining last?

      Epoxy pipe lining can last over 50 years, depending on the current condition of your pipe. 

      Can You Reline Cracked Cast Iron Pipes?

      Yes. You can reline cracked cast iron pipes. You can also get pipe relining service on clay pipe, metal pipe, and plastic PVC pipe.

      How Much Does Pipe Spray Relining Cost?

      One of the main factors that determine the cost of the relining is the size of the job. Pipe spray relining costs $70 a foot for longer jobs and up to $150 a foot for shorter jobs. 

      Average cost of pipe relining “spray in place” jobs

      Spray in place jobs cost roughly the same amount as CIPP pipe relining. While it can be somewhat cheaper than CIPP relining, CIPP relining is generally considered the better option. 

      Why is pipe relining so expensive?

      While pipe relining may seem expensive up front, it’s actually much less expensive than previous methods that involved digging the pipes out of the ground. “Dig up and replace jobs” can cost up to $250 per foot. 

      Final Thoughts on Relining Pipes

      Pipe repair becomes imperative when you notice your water bills going up, or you notice your sewer drainage system not working properly. It applies to both supply and sewer line repairs.

      Sewer pipe relining is a great option for underground pipe repair or replacement when you want it done fast, and without disturbing your yard or driveway.

      Talk to your local plumber about whether pipe bursting or pipe relining is the right option for your pipe repair job. 

      Pipe Relining Repair FAQs 

      What is pipe reline?

      Pipe reline refers to the trenchless pipe repair process of using epoxy to create a new pipe inside an old damaged pipe. 

      How does pipe relining work?

      Once the lining makes its way into the existing pipe, the material hardens to create a brand new pipe inside of the old pipe. 

      Why do you need pipe relining?

      You will need sewer relining if you notice a leak in your plumbing drain pipes that are located in the floor or beneath your yard. 

      How do you reline a pipe?

      In order to complete the process, a plumber must create an access point and then pour or spray the lining into the old pipe. Once finished, the plumber must use heat or light to cause the epoxy material to harden.

      Is pipe relining safe?

      Pipe relining plumbing service is safe when handled properly. However, the material may cause eczema and other skin irritation on contractors who use it regularly and don’t wear gloves.

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      About Plumbing Navigator

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      We write about “all things plumbing,” helping you navigate common questions, repairs, and the best plumbing products on the market.

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