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Pipe Relining vs Pipe Replacement

Maintaining a functional and efficient plumbing system is crucial for any property owner in Melbourne. When faced with deteriorating or damaged pipes, it’s essential to explore effective solutions to address the issue. 

When it comes to addressing issues with your plumbing system, two common solutions emerge: pipe relining and pipe replacement. These approaches serve the same ultimate purpose of restoring the functionality of your pipes. However, they differ significantly in their methods and implications. 

Pipe Relining

Pipe relining is a trenchless technology that involves repairing damaged or deteriorated pipes without the need for extensive excavation. It’s often used as a cost-effective and less disruptive alternative to traditional pipe replacement. 

Here’s how it works:

  • Inspection: First, a thorough inspection of the damaged pipe is conducted, usually with a camera inspection tool. This helps in determining the extent of the damage and the suitability of pipe relining.
  • Cleaning: The damaged pipe is cleaned thoroughly to remove any debris, scale, or blockages that might hinder the relining process.
  • Lining Installation: Next, a flexible liner coated with resin is inserted into the damaged pipe. This liner adheres to the pipe’s interior surface and is inflated to create a new, durable pipe within the existing one.
  • Curing: The resin is allowed to cure or harden, typically through heat or UV light, forming a strong and seamless pipe within the old one.
  • Final Inspection: A final inspection is then carried out to ensure the relined pipe is free from defects and operates efficiently.

Pipe relining is an attractive option because it minimises disruption to your property and can extend the lifespan of your pipes for several decades.

Pipe Replacement

Pipe replacement is a process where old, damaged pipes are completely removed and a new one is installed. This is a traditional method that has been used for many years. 

Here’s an overview of the process:

  • Excavation: A trench is dug to expose the damaged pipe. This can be a very costly and time-consuming process, especially if the pipes run under structures or landscaping.
  • Pipe Removal: The old, damaged pipe is removed from the ground.
  • New Pipe Installation: A new pipe, typically made of materials like PVC, copper, or cast iron, is installed in place of the old one. This new pipe is connected to the plumbing system.
  • Backfilling and Restoration: The trench is backfilled, and any landscaping or structures that were disturbed during excavation are restored.

While pipe replacement ensures that you have an entirely new pipe system in place, it can be disruptive, expensive, and time-intensive.

Comparison Between Drain Relining and Drain Replacement 

When it comes to addressing plumbing issues, it’s essential to weigh the pros and cons of drain relining and drain replacement to determine the most suitable solution for your specific situation. 

Let’s dive into the advantages and disadvantages of each method:

Pros of Drain Relining

  • Cost-Effective: Drain relining is often more budget-friendly than drain replacement, primarily because it eliminates the need for extensive excavation and the associated labour costs.
  • Minimal Disruption: Since drain relining is trenchless, there’s minimal disruption to your property, landscaping, or structures. Your daily routine can continue with minimal interference.
  • Quick Installation: Drain relining is typically faster than drain replacement, which can be a significant advantage when dealing with urgent plumbing issues.
  • Durability: The new pipe created within the old one is highly durable and resistant to corrosion, root intrusion, and scale buildup. This can lead to a longer-lasting solution.
  • Environmental Friendliness: Drain relining is a more environmentally friendly option. This is because it reduces the need for excavation and the disposal of old pipes.

Cons of Drain Relining

  • Not Suitable for All Situations: Drain relining may not be suitable for severely damaged or collapsed pipes. In such cases, replacing your pipe may be the only viable option.
  • Limited Size Range: Drain relining may not be suitable for very large or irregularly shaped pipes, as it relies on the ability to insert a liner into the existing pipe.

Pros of Drain Replacement

  • Complete System Upgrade: Drain replacement ensures that you have an entirely new pipe system in place, eliminating the risk of recurring issues in the old pipes.
  • Long-Term Solution: A newly installed pipe can last for many decades, providing peace of mind and potentially increasing the value of your property.
  • Versatility: Drain replacement can accommodate various pipe sizes as well as materials. This makes the process suitable for a wide range of situations.

Cons of Drain Replacement

  • Costly: Drain replacement is generally more expensive due to the extensive excavation and labour involved. It may also require additional costs for landscaping and structural repairs.
  • Disruption: Excavation for drain replacement can disrupt your property significantly, requiring time and effort to restore it to its original condition.
  • Time-Consuming: The process of excavation, removal, and installation for drain replacement can take more time compared to drain relining.
  • Environmental Impact: The excavation process can have a more significant environmental impact, with the disposal of old pipes and disruption to natural surroundings.

How Do I Choose Between Pipe Relining or Pipe Replacement?

The decision between pipe relining and pipe replacement depends on various factors, including the severity of the pipe damage, your budget, and your long-term goals for your plumbing system. 

For minor to moderate issues, pipe relining offers a cost-effective and minimally disruptive solution. However, for severely damaged or collapsed pipes or when you seek a complete system upgrade, pipe replacement may be the best choice despite the higher cost and disruption involved.

Contact Us for Pipe Relining & Pipe Replacement

The choice between pipe relining and pipe replacement hinges on the specific circumstances of your plumbing issues, your budget, and your long-term goals. We recommend that you consult with a professional plumber who can assess your situation, provide expert guidance, and recommend the most suitable method to address your plumbing needs. 

At LCL Plumbing and Drainage, we take care of all your needs. Whether you opt for the cost-effective and minimally disruptive pipe relining or the comprehensive and long-lasting pipe replacement, our goal is to ensure the continued functionality and reliability of your plumbing system.

We are delighted to provide our clients with affordable and competitive rates. No matter your budget, we are committed to finding a practical solution that meets your needs.


LCL Plumbing & Drainage


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