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Pipe Lining vs. Replacement: Which is Better

plumbing working on pipes, explaining the issue to the homeowner

Do your drains clog consistently, and nothing seems to work? Have you ever asked yourself, pipe lining vs. replacement, which is better? Both methods will help your situation, but which is better? Let the experts at Goodbee Plumbing explain! 

What are Pipes Made From? 

Before we get into pipe lining vs. replacement, let’s start with the basics.

Contrary to popular belief, pipes are not made from metal but are mainly PVC. PVC is used because it’s more affordable than other materials, comes in various sizes, and is safe for hot and cold temperatures.

PVC also does not rust since it’s not copper, galvanized steel, polyvinyl chloride, acrylonitrile butadiene styrene, or cross-linked polyethylene. While PVC is the most common, many homes still use metal piping systems, and thus need to pay attention if their pipes are rusting. 

If you are encountering issues with your pipes and aren’t sure of the best course of action, let the team at Goodbee Plumbing help. 

What is Pipe Lining? 

Pipe relining is a trenchless method that repairs commercial and residential plumbing issues. The process involves coating the old pipe with a lining that hardens, creating a new pipe inside the pipe. Pipe relining does not require complete excavation like pipe replacement. The two most common types of internal pipe coating are below, so keep reading! 

Spray in Place Relining (SIPP Relining) 

This pipe lining method uses an epoxy-coated lining, meaning that the coating does not create as thick a coating as other pipe relining methods and won’t work in all situations. 

Cured-In Place Relining (CIPP Relining)

CIPP relining is more common in most situations because it can be used in more cases, is faster, and is less expensive than other methods. However, you have to limit water use throughout the process. You are also advised to turn off all sump pumps connected to your sewer and only flush sparingly during this relining process. 

Advantages of Pipe Relining

Pipe relining has many advantages, the first and foremost being that it is significantly cheaper than pipe replacement since it is less invasive and labor-intensive. Other benefits include the following: 

  • Minimal damage to your property
  • More efficient
  • Safe and durable
  • Very effective if the pipes are in moderate condition
  • No disturbance to utilities
  • A smooth interior can improve the overall water flow 
  • New industry standard

Disadvantages of Pipe Relining

With advantages come disadvantages. One of the significant disadvantages of pipe relining is that it cannot always be performed for all types of issues. For example, drain pipe relining won’t fix improperly installed pipes, broken lines, or offset joints. Other disadvantages include not being able to work with Orangeburg or fiber conduit and that the process of relining the pipes can shrink the pipe’s overall diameter and may limit water flow. 

What is Pipe Replacement? 

Pipe replacement, on the other hand, is the process of removing and replacing old pipes in your plumbing system to update or repair them. Pipe replacement is more invasive than pipe lining, so it’s only utilized when the current piping is beyond repair due to wear and tear, leaking, rusting, corrosion, etc. If you want to learn more about what makes your pipes rust and how to prevent it, so your plumbing system stays in top shape, check out our blog on the topic. 

Your pipes don’t have to be in bad condition to opt for a replacement. Often, people opt for a replacement over a repair for peace of mind over their safety. However, if pipes are in moderate condition, they can still burst, carry mold, and harm your home or business. Additionally, if you have a small leak in a pipe, the chances of it getting patched quickly are very high. However, the patch won’t hold forever, and the leak will need to be addressed again, so home and business owners sometimes think long-term rather than putting off a more extensive project later. Check out these tips to see if it’s time to start thinking about replacing your pipes. 

Advantages of Pipe Replacement

Despite the increase in overall work pipe replacement, there are still many advantages to this pipe method. Those benefits include, but are not limited to 

  • More effective when pipes are in worse condition (beyond moderate)
  • It provides better visualization of how your pipe network and overall plumbing system are doing 
  • Still affordable for localized breaks 

Disadvantages of Pipe Replacement

Full-on pipe replacement also has its disadvantages. Pipe replacement takes a lot longer than pipe lining. First, the plumber has to locate the pipes, mark the spot, and then begin locating other lines that need replacement. Once they’ve all been found, your plumber must start cutting and removing drywall, flooring, fixtures, and finishes to reach the pipes before cutting them out and beginning the replacement process. 

Other disadvantages include the old pipes going to a landfill, can inconvenience your neighbors, and you increase the room for error that something will be improperly installed. 

Lastly, before opting for pipe replacement, be sure you are permitted. If you live in a historic area, you may need to check for additional permits and plan the overall cost to include historically accurate replacements. 

Whether you need a pipe replacement or some pipe lining, the team at Goodbee can help, and you’ll never have to ask yourself again, “pipe lining vs. pipe replacement: which is better?” We pride ourselves on being family-owned and operated and ensuring we are giving our customers the best deal and the best service in the area. 

Give Goodbee Plumbing a Buzz for All Your Pipe and Plumbing Needs

Plumbing issues can ruin your day, but don’t let it. Instead, call Goodbee Plumbing and Drains and our expert repair team will help fix any issue. We will help determine if pipe lining or pipe replacement is better for you, help put a plan in place and get your plumbing working as new. 

Even the best cared-for pipe systems will need maintenance eventually, and we are the perfect place for you! Schedule your service by visiting our website or giving us a call at 985-893-1883.

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