Pipe Relining vs Pipe Bursting: Which Is Best

When constant leaks and plumbing problems let you know it’s time to finally take care of your old pipes, you can avoid a full pipe replacement by doing a less invasive repair service called trenchless pipe lining. Trenchless pipe lining can be done by two methods: pipe relining or pipe bursting.

At Ted and Bros, we are a full service plumbing business that helps homeowners with all their plumbing needs. One of the newer and more popular services we offer is trenchless pipe lining, or epoxy pipe lining.

Pipe Bursting

In this article, we define each method of trenchless pipe lining and go over how the process works to keep you informed of which is the best method to solve your plumbing issues.

Trenchless Pipe Lining Methods

  • Pipe Relining
  • Pipe Bursting

Trenchless pipe lining can be done one of two ways: pipe relining or pipe bursting. If you’re unsure of which one to choose, luckily you don’t have to make that decision. The extent of your damage and condition of your old pipes makes it for you. A licensed professional plumber can examine your pipes using a sewer camera to examine the damage which will help them determine which method is more appropriate.

Pipe Relining

You may have heard pipe relining also be referred to as cured-in-place-pipe or CIPP. All the these terms refer to the same procedure of placing a new pipe inside of an old pipe. This is the more common trenchless pipe lining method and the one most customers prefer if possible because it is a faster and less expensive procedure. By not needing to remove the old pipes first, less labor and time is required. However, not every situation is the right fit for a pipe relining. If the pipes are too old and damaged, they will need the alternative trenchless method known as pipe bursting.

Pipe Bursting

Pipe Relining Steps

Evaluation Of The Old Pipes

A sewer camera inspection must be done first to check out the condition of the pipes. This is when it will be determined whether or not the pipes are in good enough shape to do a pipe relining.

Pipe Bursting


Once the pipes have passed inspection, a hydro jetting service will clean the pipes and  remove blockages  so that the pipe lining can be properly installed.

Placing Liner

Epoxy liner is placed inside of the old pipe which is then coated with a resin. The Quik-Shot™ system is the lining system used by Ted & Bros Plumbing. An inner bladder is inflated to ensure the material forms to the pipe.


The liner must be cured in place which takes several hours so that a hard plastic coating can be formed. Once complete, the bladder is removed.

Checking New Pipe

Each service starts and ends with an inspection with the sewer camera to ensure the relining looks good. 

Pipe Bursting

Pipe Relining Pros

  • Costs less
  • Less invasive 

Pipe relining is the more affordable solution because the process is more simple and less labor intensive. It also requires minimal digging on your property compared to pipe bursting.

Pipe Relining Cons

    • Does not restore strength to old pipes
    • Doesn’t last as long as new piping
    • Can make back ups more likely

    Pipe relining does not last as long as pipe bursting simply because you are not getting new pipes. Since the liner is placed inside your old pipes, it can actually restrict water flow and ultimately cause back ups over time, depending on the size of the piping. 

    Pipe relining is easier in the short term but it is not the right choice for a long term fix for sewer problems. You are just delaying the need to have new pipes installed.

Pipe Bursting

Pipe bursting, when the old pipe is broken up and then a new pipe is installed, is necessary when the pipes are too damaged to do a pipe relining. While it is more involved and a less popular method than relining, it is also less invasive compared to a traditional pipe replacement.

Pipe Bursting Steps

  1. Creating Access
  2. Measure
  3. Old Pipe Is Broken Up
  4. Replacement pipe is run through

Creating Access To Pipes

Two small accesses need to be dug into the ground which will allow for pressure to be applied to the pipe and then also allow it to pop out. 


Once the crew has access to the pipe, they need to measure to determine the size of the replacement pipe that is needed. Some homeowners use pipe bursting as an opportunity to go with a larger pipe size than they had previously for increased water capacity.

Old Pipe Is Broken Up

A hydraulic power device that has a cone tip is placed into the old piping. The cone tip breaks up the old pipe and creates space to run the replacement pipe.

Replacement Pipe Is Run Through

The replacement pipe is pulled through by the device so as the old pipe is removed, it is immediately replaced with new piping.

Pipe Bursting

Pipe Bursting Pros

  • Better long term solution
  • Additional repairs less likely

Pipe bursting gives you brand new pipes. There is no need to worry about clogs, leaks, and crushed pipes for years as you are starting from scratch. This method gives better peace of mind if you have been dealing with consistent plumbing issues.

Pipe Bursting Cons

  • More expensive
  • More digging required

Pipe bursting is more expensive and requires more digging to access the pipes. Also keep in mind that pipe bursting is often performed when pip relining is not possible due to the condition of the pipes. However, that does not guarantee that pipe bursting can be done either. In some instances, any form of trenchless pipe lining is not possible and a traditional pipe replacement will need to be done instead.

Schedule a Free Estimate For Pipe Repairs

  • The procedure that is best for you depends on your pipes, your budget, and your needs. If you are looking for a more affordable, shorter term solution and have pipes that are in decent shape, pipe relining can be the right solution. However if you want the peace of mind of new piping or have pipes that cannot be cured in place, then pipe bursting may be the better option.

    Whether your pipes need pipe relining or pipe bursting, either procedure should always be done by a professional and experienced plumbing company that will do the installation correctly.

     At Ted & Bros Plumbing, we stand behind our work. Unlike most plumbing companies, we provide a warranty for up to 7 years on our trenchless pipe lining repairs.

    Looking to get started on pipe lining? We’re happy to help! Request a free estimate and someone will contact you within 24 hours. If you require immediate assistance, please feel free to call us at (714) 290-0080.