Have you recently discovered a broken pipe or pipe blockage in your home? Pipes can be particularly difficult to maintain and repair. When this kind of emergency strikes, you need to know exactly what your options are to fix the damage as soon as possible before it becomes worse.

If you’re unsure about the difference between pipe relining and replacement, or which one you’ll need to fix your plumbing problem, this guide is for you. As plumbing specialists, we get this question a lot, so we decided to bust some of the myths about pipe relining and explain exactly how it works. 

What is pipe relining?

Pipe relining is a technique that specialist plumbers use to fix structural damage in the interior of pipes. While pipe relining technology has been available in Australia for more than a decade now, it’s still a relatively unknown alternative to pipe replacement. 

How is it done? 

Step 1: The plumber will insert a drain camera into the pipe to locate and identify the issue. 

Step 2: The plumber will insert a specially designed tube into the damaged pipe.

Step 3: Once the tube is in place, they will inflate the tubing so it fits snugly against the walls of the pipes. 

Step 4: The outside of this tube, coated with a strong epoxy resin, will make it stick to the pipe. 

Step 5: The resin will cure, bonding the new tube and the old pipe together, creating a seamless seal that endures for a long time. 

What type of problems can it help fix?

Pipe relining can fix many issues that result from structural damage — everything from cracks, sag and misaligned pipes to damage from wayward tree roots. Not only does it fix most of these issues, but it can also actively prevent them from occurring in the future. 

Pipe Relining vs replacement

While pipe relining is better than replacement in most circumstances, if the damage to your pipes is significant, pipe relining may not be sufficient. It’s important to have a professional assess the damage to determine whether pipe relining is possible. If not, you’ll need pipe replacement. 

Advantages of relining

#1 Cheaper

Traditional pipe replacement can be labour-intensive and involve reinstatement of surface finishes. This translates into a higher financial cost. Pipe relining is a much more cost-effective alternative as there’s no need to dig up anything, and the finished relined pipe achieves exactly the same result as a set of brand new pipes. 

Seeking a pipe relining specialist to assess and fix your pipes could save you thousands of dollars, compared to a traditional pipe replacement from a non-specialist plumber. 

#2 More effective than traditional methods

In many ways, pipe relining is more effective in fixing broken and damaged pipes than pipe replacement. With pipe replacement, you’re paying for the plumber to dig trenches and dismantle walls, concrete slabs and your yard in order to completely replace your broken or damaged pipes. In contrast, pipe relining requires a single access hole that measures only a square metre. The tubing is far less expensive than purchasing new pipes and it’s super convenient with no need to dispose of your old pipes. 

#3 Less time-consuming

Pipe relining takes much less home. In most cases, your pipe relining can be completed within a day. 

#4 Less damage to your landscape

Pipe relining does much less damage to your backyard’s landscaping than pipe replacement. With pipe replacement, it’s best to factor in extra landscaping costs to repair the damage to your yard after the new pipes are installed. With pipe relining, there’s little to no clean up afterwards. 

#5 Long lasting

In general, relined pipes carry a life expectancy between 20 and 50 years. It’s best to check with your pipe relining specialist what kind of manufacturer’s warranty their product has. 

#6 Good prevention measure

If you have an old home, pipe relining is an excellent preventative measure against structural damage. Often, old pipes can experience lots of structural issues. Getting on top of this early by relining them can save you a lot of time, money and headache. As a plus, since the seamless lining prevents moisture from leaking out of your pipes, pipe relining can even help you avoid situations where tree roots are tempted to grow toward and block your pipes. 

Disadvantages of pipe relining

Unfortunately, pipe relining is not possible in the following cases:

  • Your pipes have experienced severe tree root damage, including becoming crushed
  • Your pipes are displaced significantly
  • Your pipes have sags or backfall and are holding water

Pipe relining may not work in these situations as the tubing material will have no interior surface to cling to. In saying that, we are able to use innovative methods to install a liner. This could involve core drilling a concrete surface to allow access to a pipe, cutting away obstructions inside the pipe using specialist equipment, or breaching a gap in the pipe by installing a liner. These are all methods we use to solve a customer’s problem with their drain. 

<H2>Who can perform pipe relining?</H2>

Since pipe relining is a niche specialisation, not all plumbers will offer pipe relining services. Here at Yarrow Plumbing, our Nuflow Brisbane South, Logan and Ipswich Division are uniquely trained by Nuflow to perform this kind of work. Our pipe relining specialists have both advanced training in pipe relining with a TAFE-accredited Certificate in Pipe Relining and are fully trained in the use of specialised equipment to complete the job to a high standard. 

<H2>How much does it cost?</H2>

Pipe relining jobs are typically quoted on a cost per metre basis. To complete an entire pipe relining project, expect it to cost from $2300 for the first meter for 100mm dia pipe, with an additional $300 to $350 per metre thereafter. This is guaranteed to keep your pipes in good condition for the next 20 to 50 years. 

In contrast, pipe repair or replacement in Australia can cost anywhere between $2500 to tens of thousands of dollars depending on where the pipe is.

Yarrow Plumbing specialises in affordable pipe relining. For all your relining and replacement needs, get in touch with Yarrow Plumbing today on (07) 3277 5742.