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Pipe Bursting & Sewer Line Replacement

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What is Pipe Bursting?

Pipe bursting is a trenchless sewer repair method that involves breaking and expanding the existing buried sewer line while simultaneously replacing it with new high-density polyethylene (HDPE) pipes.

Pipe bursting does not require the use of added chemicals or other contaminants. Coupled with the long lifespan of the environmentally-safe HDPE pipe, pipe bursting is considered to be a very sustainable sewer replacement method.

What Equipment is Used for a Pipe Bursting Sewer Line Replacement?

Pipe bursting is accomplished by pulling an expander head (also known as a “bursting head” or a “bullet”) through the old pipe. The head is small enough to fit through the existing pipe, and it fractures the existing pipe as it is pulled through.

The back of the head is connected to new pipe, which it drags and places behind it.


A pulling machine must be used to apply power to the device. This power most often draws from a hydraulic power pack, and the power is applied to pulling rods that are attached to the expander head. The pulling machine is placed in the receiving pit, while the head begins its journey in what is called the launching or insertion pit.

How Much Does Pipe Bursting Cost?

The sewer slope can have an impact on the total cost of pipe bursting.The cost for trenchless sewer replacement services will depend on your situation. The main cost factors may include:

  • The depth of the existing pipe
  • The length of the pipe
  • The amount of damage
  • Where the sewer lateral is located on the property
  • Nearby structures built into the foundation of the property (such as garages, sheds, in-law units)
  • The number of other underground utilities nearby the line
  • The number of branch connections
  • Number of off-set joints or sinkholes
  • The slope of the pipe (and whether it needs to be adjusted)
  • If the neighboring property is connected to your line
  • The type of materials needed for your project
  • Traffic control, parking permits and other factors to do with working in the public right of way
  • The surface restoration factors (such as higher end flagstone, tiles, and plush gardens with complex irrigation systems)

Pipe bursting cost can be roughly estimated by multiplying the number of feet of pipe by the going rate, which can be anywhere from $60 to $200 per foot. The resulting bill could cost between $4,500 to $20,000 depending on your situation.

For an accurate estimate based on your home’s unique problems, get in touch with the experts at Pipe Spy to receive a free quote.

What to Expect from Your Service Provider

Pipe Spy has been solving problems other plumbers can’t since 1998. When choosing a plumber, it’s important to find a company that will accommodate your home’s unique needs.

We not only accommodate all the needs of our clients, but we have a specialized knowledge from which property owners routinely benefit. For more information on trenchless repair options, explore our sewer services.