Pipe Bursting vs. CIPP Lining – Which Should I Use

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“I”m trying to decide between pipe bursting and CIPP lining as to which one I should buy. They both look like good technologies, but if you had to choose one, which one would you choose?”

Trying to choose one over the other is like trying to decide whether you should buy buy a CCTV camera or a drain cleaning machine to fix drains. Your drain cleaning machine may get roots and other debris out of a line, but when you are finished, do you know for sure you’ve taken care of the problem or just drained the line? A push camera may push through a clog enough to drain the line, but you could hardly say you’ve fixed the problem and just leave. They are both tools and depending on how you go to market, one of them may be all you need if you are just doing inspections for example. No fixing the problem, just identifying the problem which is okay, but most people want to have a problem that’s identified fixed not just identified. The drain cleaning machine added to the CCTV camera gives the contractor the ability to fix the problem as well as identify it. So, what does that have to do with two competing sewer rehabilitation methods?

Tie In at Main For Pipe Burst

Like tools, the two methods to rehabilitate sewer pipe are used for different purposes. Where a sewer pipe is partially collapsed and cleaning it may completely collapse the pipe, pipe bursting is the preferred choice for rehabilitation. If you can get both ends of the line open and string a cable from one end to the other, the burst may be the best choice over lining and dig and replace.

Blind Shot Set Up

And here’s where bursting may not be the best choice. If you don’t have the luxury of opening up both ends of the pipe with access at only one end either through an excavation pit or a clean-out, then lining becomes a better choice. If digging a hole at the main is ill advised by the sewer agency or too costly, most contractor would prefer to perform a “blind shot” with CIPP to fix the sewer lateral assuming you can get it cleaned and relatively rounded out for lining.

“Okay, so I think I understand, but the sales people I’ve talked to tell me that their product is better and to not waste my time buying anything other than what they have to sell.” Welcome to the world of sales. If a sales guy has a tool to sell and that’s all he has, do you think he’s going to explain what his competitions tool does and why you should consider using that? No, his job is to sell you what he has, and painting his product in the best light so you will buy it is his goal. My advice is to evaluate the type of work you intend to do, check out the various tools to see if they fit the work you are going to do the best, and buy accordingly. Some situations may direct you to pipe bursting while another directs you lining, while others show you may need both to complete you mission. Cable machine or Jetter? Pipe Bursting or Lateral Lining Equipment? Cast Iron or Plastic? Each choice depends on your situation.

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