Trenchless Sewer Line Repair Ottawa, ON

A stack of blue pipe liners used for pipe lining during trenchless sewer line repairs in Ottawa, ON.

Every homeowner who takes good care of their Ottawa home’s pipework is off to a great start in terms of plumbing maintenance. Not only do they schedule their annual drain cleaning service and sump pump inspection, but they also take the necessary steps to waterproof their basement, installing backwater valves and backwater prevention systems to ensure everyone is safe and their properties are protected. But when it comes to residential sewer laterals, it may not always be easy to maintain the upper hand when natural disasters strike. Nobody can tell how bad they may be until they happen and disrupt your balance. Your expert Ottawa plumber is here to spread the word about effective trenchless sewer line repairs in Ottawa, as well as routine plumbing maintenance to help prevent any plumbing disasters.

When our friends and neighbors are affected by sewer line issues, we are always proud and relieved to hear that our preventative maintenance methods have lessened the impact of damages and provided the necessary protection. But there will always be homes in Ottawa that haven’t had the required plumbing maintenance and eventually call for trenchless sewer repairs. Ottawa plumbers are here to deliver exceptional plumbing services and safety measures to help homeowners maintain their household pipes.

Trenchless Sewer Line Repair Ottawa: How It Works

You might wonder where your sewer lateral is located and how an Ottawa plumber would conduct repairs if the sewer pipe is buried deep underground. Plumbing technicians and engineers wondered about the same thing back in the 1960s and 70s. An agricultural engineer once realized that he had a leaky pipe under his concrete garage floors and wondered how he could potentially fix it without having to dig up the ground and cause an expensive mess.

That engineer’s name was Eric Wood, and he was one of the founding fathers of trenchless technology. He first invented the “cured-in-place pipe,” also known as CIPP and pipelining. During that process, an inflatable felt tube is soaked in epoxy, carefully lowered into the damaged pipe, and placed against the damaged area to seal either a crack or a hole.

Although it was a success, many professional plumbers remained doubtful about this technology until it became more refined by inventing and improving plumbing tools, such as the video inspection camera, hydro jetting, and experimenting with other potential trenchless methods.

Nowadays, we cannot imagine a plumbing world without this useful technology. There are various options for trenchless sewer repair in Ottawa, but we will focus on the two main ones that are practiced regularly:

Pipe Relining

As previously mentioned, CIPP stands for “cured-in-place piping,” during which a replacement liner is inserted into the damaged sewer to cover the affected area. When the epoxy cures, your sewer line will have its original functions restored. However, to make that happen, the relining tube has to be of a smaller diameter than the original sewer line. This doesn’t pose any issues as long as the original lining is in good condition. Sometimes, the damaged section of the original sewer line is irreparable and needs to be replaced. For that, we also have a trenchless sewer line repair option.

Pipe Bursting

During this repair process, we use hydraulic technology to break, lift and push out the severely damaged section. To make that possible, your local Ottawa plumbers drill two small reception holes to access the broken pipe. As they break the old section into pieces and remove its remains with a pulling rod, a new pipe liner is pulled into place. The bursting method is often deemed as a more optimal trenchless repair because it helps restore the sewer line’s original function by keeping the diameter at the same size. That’s one of the main advantages of pipe bursting.

Other Methods for Trenchless Sewer Line Repair in Ottawa

Of course, technology has advanced over the last decades, and trenchless repair methods have now been developed to suit more unique problems. For example, there is HDD (horizontal directional drilling), which is more common for municipalities to fix and install electrical conduits under roads or wetlands. Other methods include using chemical grout or polyurethane gaskets to repair cracks or seal the surrounding soil.

FAQs: Trenchless Sewer Line Repair in Ottawa

What Causes Sewer Line Damage in Ontario?

A plumber examining a disconnected sewer line inside of a hole for damage

There are lots of variables to consider in terms of causes, and you will be glad to know that many can be easily managed if you want to avoid the need for a trenchless sewer line repair in Ottawa, ON. As a homeowner, you should be aware of the following causes:

Bad Household Habits

Plumbing systems are designed to facilitate many things for human beings. From hygiene and sanitation to effortless cleaning, it’s easy to take your supply and waste lines for granted. Not only does it take one move to get fresh water, but it also just takes one pull on the lever to wash waste down the drain.

However, you want to be careful about what goes down your drain lines because it will all accumulate in your home’s sewer lateral before it gets transferred to the municipal sewer (unless you have a septic tank).

The smallest plumbing issue in Ottawa often starts with bad kitchen or bathroom habits at home, from washing down food waste down your kitchen sink or flushing toothfloss, q-tips, or facial tissues down the toilet. What’s worse is washing down fats, oils, and grease, which is known as FOG. If you wash them down the drain line, they won’t be gone; instead, they will cool down and find a place to settle in your drain walls. Along the way, FOG will catch other debris, like food particles, and start narrowing down the passageway through which all the wastewater goes. While you might experience a clogged sink first or a backed-up toilet, a lot of the buildup will also occur in your sewer line. If you flush foreign objects besides human waste and toilet paper, you will not only increase the risk of a sewer backup but also decrease the efficiency of your home’s drain pipes.

Natural Occurrences

This is where you deal with the unexpected, but here are preventative measures to control costly repairs and also help you with cost savings. First, let’s find out what these natural occurrences are and how they can compromise your plumbing system.

  • Heavy Rains: We all get nervous about heavy rainfall in the spring or during the peak of summer when thunderstorms are on the radar. While it is the city’s responsibility to manage the municipal sewer under the streets, their sewage lines can also experience a huge impact and, as a result, suffer from a backup. That backup of excess rainwater and debris buildup can be pushed into your home’s main drain.
  • Tree Roots: Do you have large, old trees in your landscaping? They are nice to have because they shade your house from the sun and help keep your home cool in the summer. But you’ll never know what might be happening below the ground and how close their roots might be to your underground pipes. All PVC sewer lines are designed to be flexible and resistant to tree roots, but that doesn’t mean your sewer line couldn’t have deteriorated seals or broken joints. Leaking wastewater carries enough nutrients to attract tree roots to invade your main drain. That’s when a trenchless sewer repair service will be inevitable.
  • Soil Shifting: Soil-shifting is often referred to as home settling when each corner of your house settles into the foundation. During this incident, you might also experience the soil in your area shift. If you have a high-quality PVC sewer line that is well-installed, it should be flexible enough to withstand this kind of disturbance. But again, seals and joints can break and cause sewage leaks into the soil. Besides attracting tree roots, it might also cause soil erosion that adds pressure to your sewer lateral and eventually triggers a collapse.


The longevity of PVC lines varies, but some have reported their life expectancy to be 100 years. However, some of us are still locating cast iron and other steel-based pipelines that would have been installed in the 1950s or earlier. If they haven’t yet corroded, they would be prone to clogs and rust, which affect water pressure and quality. Old metal-based sewers are also highly porous and often fall victim to tree root penetration.

What are the Warning Signs I Need a Trenchless Sewer Repair in Ottawa?

Knowing the causes may help you better understand the signs, which may start small or, in other cases, could wreak havoc on your property within an instant. Your local Ottawa plumber recommends acting fast, whether you’re suspecting sewer issues or merely clogged drains.

  • Clogged plumbing fixtures: Whether you experience a recurring toilet backup, clogged sinks, or a backed-up floor drain, you might get temporary relief from plunging and snaking, but your local Ottawa plumber highly suggests a more detailed diagnosis. Other warning signs include slow drains, foul odors, and sink flies.
  • Leaking cleanout: Your cleanout or sewer trap is an outdoor pipe that connects to your main sewer drain. In some homes, the trap might be situated in the basement or crawl space. In the event of a leak, you’ll know that you’re dealing with a backup that could be caused by a serious clog or even sewer line damage.
  • Unusually wet lawn patches: Underground water leaks are a common sign that you need trenchless sewer line repairs in Ottawa, ON. Our plumbers recommend shutting off your water lines and calling for an emergency plumbing service.

How Do You Professionally Detect A Sewer Line Leak?

During our plumbing diagnosis and inspection service, we first apply our video inspection camera, which is a flexible tube camera with a tilting, rotating head that we lower down into your main drain. From the surface area, we will use a monitor and signal receiver to follow the camera. While the camera is effective in allowing your Ottawa plumber to assess the pipe’s health and age, it can also locate the blockage.

For leak detection, we use acoustic listening and thermal imaging devices to confirm.

What Are The Steps Of Trenchless Sewer Line Repair in Ottawa?

Once your local team of Ottawa plumbers has gathered all the information they need, they will go ahead and discuss the required trenchless sewer line repair service with you.

If your sewer lateral is in overall good health but requires trenchless pipe repair to fix the leaks, our service technicians will conduct a sewer cleaning service, which is similar to drain cleaning, where we use our cutting-edge HydroScrub® Jetting device to clean inside pipes. Before we can begin with any repairs, the affected area has to be spotless.

Lastly, we will go ahead with either sewer relining or bursting.

How Does Sewer Pipe Relining Work?

Typically, the pipe relining process starts by creating either one or two small access holes to allow access to the damaged pipe. Often, a camera is used to inspect the damaged section of the pipe to ensure that it's a good candidate for relining and to ensure that the holes are dug in the right locations.

The pipe is repaired from the inside out. A tube covered in epoxy resin is fed into the pipe; the tube is then inflated so that it adheres to the insides of the old pipe. What this does is that it forms a hard, protective coating inside of the damaged pipe, sealing it once more. Once it's hardened in place, your sewer line will be as good as new!

Pipe relining is generally preferred over complete pipe replacement, for a range of reasons. Notably, pipe relining is less invasive and doesn't take as much time as traditional repairs and replacement methods. In addition, once the work's been completed, it can be a good long-term solution for your sewer line problems. Pipe relining is often the more cost-effective method in the majority of situations, and is recommended in cases where the damage isn't too extensive or limited to a single section of your sewer line.

Why Is Trenchless Sewer Repair a Good Choice?

With trenchless sewer repair, homeowners don't have to worry about their landscaping being torn up and needing replacement because of the need to dig costly trenches. There's minimal property damage with trenchless sewer repair, plus the savings on labor and repair costs make it much more appealing to homeowners. Not to mention, it provides long-lasting results with a faster completion time when compared to traditional methods.

Trenchless sewer repair is a viable alternative to more traditional methods, particularly in cases where the pipe has deteriorated in a section that is easily accessible and replaceable. Given the advances in plumbing techniques and technology, it's much easier to repair old sewer lines now than ever before. It's possible now to dig small holes that can be filled back in days, with minimal damage to your property. Combined with new, improved lining and piping materials that can last well over 50 years, you've got options on how to repair your sewer line.

Plus, with trenchless sewer repair, it's easy to access those potentially hard-to-reach places, like under your driveway, without having to dig up, and then replace the entire thing. Pipe bursting, additionally, doesn't require chemicals that could potentially contaminate the environment. It poses a minimal impact on your home's landscaping, meaning that you're safe and comfortable with staying in your home while the repairs take place.

How Much Does Sewer Line Replacement Cost in Canada?

Comparing trenchless methods to the traditional method, trenchless methods are faster and more cost-effective. Pipe bursting is an excellent method of removing old pipes and replacing them with brand-new pipes. On average, a sewer line for a household can cost between $3,500 to $20,000, which comes down to approximately $60 to $200 per foot.

How Can I Prevent Requiring Trenchless Sewer Line Repairs?

Ottawa, ON, property owners who have already booked drain cleaning services are free to ask their local Ottawa plumbers about sewer cleaning services. The perk of our deep clean services is that they always include careful inspections, so you’ll always know in advance what might be wrong with your pipework and can rectify any issues before they get out of hand.

Do You Offer 24/7 Emergency Services in Ottawa?

We sure do, and you won’t find a more reliable plumbing company in Ontario that prioritizes its local customers as much as Mr. Rooter Plumbing does. Emergencies can happen anytime, and you want to have a trusted number that you can call right away without hesitation. Our 24-hour plumbers are available any time of the day. And because we care about your safety and well-being, we do not charge any overtime fees, not even when you need a trenchless sewer line repair in Ottawa.

Call Mr. Rooter Plumbing For Trenchless Sewer Line Repair in Ottawa

A plumber from Mr. Rooter Plumbing using a tablet to show a homeowner their options for trenchless sewer line repairs

Don’t be on your own trying to make that problem go away with a toilet auger. Without professional detection and inspection tools, you won’t get down to the root problem. Telltale signs start small and will evolve until disaster strikes. Experienced professionals at Mr. Rooter Plumbing of Ottawa offer courteous service and a detailed inspection to help you plan.

Give the dedicated team a call and ask about our trenchless sewer line repair in Ottawa. When you’re ready, schedule a diagnosis appointment or learn more about our other popular plumbing services. We are your expert local Ottawa plumbers, serving our neighbors and nearby communities, including Gatineau, Barrhaven, Nepean, and beyond.

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