OCT 24, 2016

Two neighbors are each faced with the need to replace old, underground sewer lines. Neighbor A choose a traditional replacement option while neighbor B goes for the trenchless option. The plumbing crew shows up on the same day. A backhoe starts to dig long trenches into neighbor A’s lawn while the crew over at neighbor B’s house quickly cuts two small holes in the yard.  So exactly how does trenchless sewer repair work and why is it the prefered method for homeowners? We’ll break it down so you can see if it is the right option for you.



Even though trenchless sewer repair has been around for more than a decade, many homeowners are unaware of this option when it comes to replacing damaged sewer lines. The trenchless option is a great way to fix sewer lines without destroying your yard.

So, how does trenchless sewer repair work? First, one of our trained technicians comes out to make sure that your sewer line actually needs repair. If there is a cheaper option to replacing a line, we want to offer that because we know that paying for a sewer line repair isn’t your first choice when it comes to allocating your money.

Once we’ve identified that you do in fact need to repair or replace the sewer line, we will do a thorough inspection to see where we need to cut the holes in order to access the pipes. The greatest thing about trenchless sewer repair is that unlike traditional sewer repair, only two small holes are required at the start and end of the span of the sewer pipe being worked on. Using our advanced equipment, we use a “pipe bursting” method to replace the old pipe.

A large cone-shaped object is pulled through the old pipe forcing it to break apart. At the same time, a new pipe is pulled into place, replacing the old one.


Yes. What great about the trenchless solution is that the replacement pipe is just as strong and reliable as those installed by the traditional method of digging a trench. Additionally, our pipes are non-leaking, chemical resistant, and have a 25 year warranty.

Some companies have what is called a pipe liner, also known as “cured-in-place pipe”. A pipe liner is a flexible tube coated with resin that is blown or pulled into the damaged pipe and inflated. The resin hardens, which creates a jointless pipe within a pipe. The con for this option is that the lining will reduce the diameter of the lateral pipe by about a quarter of an inch, which may affect the capacity to remove waste from your home. At Donley, we’ve found the pipe-bursting method is the best solution for our clients who want long-lasting, reliable sewer repair.


  • The process usually takes about a day
  • Won’t tear up your lawn or landscaping
  • Easily replaces pipes beneath patio, driveway, or home
  • Less cost and just as effective
  • Repairs last a lifetime
  • Donley offers a guarantee


There is an alternative to the trenchless sewer repair and that is the traditional method. With this method, a backhoe is used to dig large trenches through your yard, often across grass, flowers, pavers, driveways, decks, whatever may be in the way.  Then the old pipe is removed by hand and a new pipe is installed. This process may take a few days depending various factors. Also, because digging a trench damages your yard, homeowners typically incur additional yard repair costs: replacing pavers, repouring sidewalks, or for the especially unlucky homeowners, rebuilding a garage that may have been uprooted. While our trenchless option still requires a hole to be dug to connect to the city, it is generally much less invasive.


How confident are we about this method of sewer replacement? Well, when we have a sewer problem, we use this same pipe bursting trenchless sewer replacement in our own homes. And, we’re so confident that is the best system out there that we will give you a 25-year warranty on the pipe and a five-year warranty on the workmanship when you choose Donley Service Center to replace your sewer or water pipe.

We are fully licensed, bonded and insured so you can count on the best possible work at an honest price. Contact us today and see why we’ve been the leader in plumbing and HVAC services in Phoenix and the surrounding area for decades.