The Essential Vancouver Pipe Lining Homeowner’s Guide

There's one type of plumbing repair for buried sewer systems that exceeds the effectiveness and convenience of every other solution in Vancouver: pipe lining. If you've dealt with sewer repair situations in the past, then you may already be familiar with this repair process. If you haven't had to repair a lateral pipe below your property, then count yourself lucky. However, if you're currently dealing with sewer damage and you're wondering about the effectiveness of alternative, advanced plumbing solutions, we're here to help!

Vancouver pipe lining happens to be one of our many areas of expertise. Our plumbers are equipped to provide a wide range of innovative solutions—and helpful answers to every plumbing question you have. That's just one of the many ways we help people in Vancouver and nearby areas like the North Shore.

Our Vancouver plumbers at Mr. Rooter are always here to help! If you're just curious about Vancouver pipe lining services, we've got all the basic information that homeowners need. If you're looking at a growing puddle of backed-up sewage, we've got services to help with that too. We're here for everything from professional guidance to professional repairs.

What Is Pipe Lining?

Vancouver, BC uses this trenchless method regularly. It's a process for repairing the inner walls of broken pipes without completely digging up your yard, cutting away large chunks of drywall or excavating concrete to access hidden drainage systems. Using specialized equipment, plumbers pull a strong and flexible plastic sleeve through damaged sections, which completely coats the inner walls. It's kind of like putting pipes within pipes.

You may have heard it referred to by many names in Vancouver. Pipe lining (also known as relining and CIPP—”cured-in-place” pipe) and trenchless pipe repair also refer to the same type of service—although trenchless repair is a broad category of plumbing repairs that includes several other services as well.

How Do I Know If I Need Vancouver Pipe Lining?

If you're asking this question, what you really need to know is how to tell if your sewer system is damaged, because that's the problem that trenchless repairs exist to solve. Multiple solutions exist for finding and fixing damaged pipe infrastructure. Vancouver pipe lining is simply the most ideal solution in the cramped, urban environment of Metro Vancouver.

How Can I Tell If My Sewer System Is Damaged?

This is the right question to be asking. Spotting the early warning signs that you need Vancouver sewer line repair will reduce the chances of severe complications affecting your home—like water damage or sewage backups.

In general, you should always pay attention to the way that your plumbing systems work. Any persistent minor change or sudden major change in the way your sinks, drains, toilets and other fixtures work is a clear sign that you need to call a plumber. When it comes to sewer damage, there are several specific signs to watch out for.

Vancouver Sewer Damage Warning Signs:

  • Drain Backups: Few plumbing problems are more frustratingly common than drain backups—especially in homes with damaged sewage systems. Look out for any persistent backups. If your backups don't go away, or if they always appear when you flush the toilet, you should call your local Vancouver plumber.

  • Unpleasant Odours: It's not always easy to walk past unpleasant odours wafting out of the bathroom. That's usually because they shouldn't be ignored. An unsettling stench that occurs after someone uses the bathroom might not be an issue that needs special attention, but a lingering foul smell that seems to be a permanent resident in your drains should definitely be investigated.

  • Toilet Trouble: Toilets have the most direct connection to sewer systems in Vancouver homes. That means they're usually the first fixture to tell people that it's time for Vancouver pipe lining. The most common sign that comes from toilets is a gurgling noise, but you should also watch for frequent clogs, inconsistent water levels in the bowl and anything else that seems unusual.

  • Draining Sewer Cleanout: We recommend every homeowner locate their cleanout, which will be in their basement, crawl space or outside their property. It doesn’t just give your plumbers direct access to your sewer line—it also lets you investigate any potential problems. If it appears to be draining, we guarantee it’s a main line clog and recommend that you unscrew the cap to release some pressure. When you call a professional, they will use their sewer camera and sound equipment devices to search for blockages, leaks and other damage.

  • Lawn Leakage: In some cases, sewer damage will make itself known outside of Vancouver homes. Persistent puddles in your lawn or backyard are something that you should watch for, especially if they appear above your buried sewer lateral. You should also keep an eye out for unusual plant growth in the same spots.

  • Sudden Sewage Backups: Sewage seeping out of your drains is always a good reason to call your local plumber. There are many causes of sewage backups, one of the most common of which is the type of damage that can be fixed with Vancouver pipe lining services.

How Is Vancouver Pipe Relining Done?

It's important to remember that pipe relining is a term that might be used to refer to one of several services. When people use it, they're usually referring to methods that use something known as CIPP liners or epoxy pipe liners. However, they may also be referring to another common trenchless repair method in Vancouver: pipe bursting. While the fundamental, non-invasive characteristics of each are similar, there are specific variations for how each service is done.

Vancouver Pipe Lining, Step-by-Step

While it's unlikely that you'll have easy access to the equipment, skills and certification necessary to take care of trenchless repairs yourself, learning about the specific process is still a great idea for anybody thinking about taking advantage of this service. The more you know, the better prepared you'll be for it when you need it—and the more peace of mind you'll have during the actual appointment.

  • Step 1—Inspection: Every appointment for pipe lining begins with a thorough inspection to determine where your system has been damaged, what type of damage is affecting it and where your nearby water lines or other utilities are located. Your Vancouver plumber will also likely pick two access points for performing repairs and confirm that your home's main water supply valve has been closed at this time.

  • Step 2—Digging: While it's true that trenchless repair methods like pipe lining and pipe bursting eliminate the need for large, invasive digging operations and cutting into drywall, it's often still necessary to dig a small hole near the edge of your property to access your buried lines. An access point's location will vary based on your home's specific system but rest assured that it will be as minimally invasive as possible.

  • Step 3—Cleaning: Before a liner can be inserted, it's important to completely clean away all debris from inside your system. That includes any tree roots, blockages, corrosion or other debris created as a result of damage. This type of cleaning is done with mechanical cutters, or with the HydroScrub® jetting equipment we use for clearing other Vancouver clogged drains.

  • Step 4—Lining: The actual lining process involves using a winch or other specialized equipment to pull a liner from one access point hole to another. Once that's done, the liner is expanded, usually with an inflatable rubber bladder, so that it adheres to the inner walls of your system. At some point between steps 3 and 4, your plumber may also use specialized equipment to score the inner walls of your system and the outside of the liner so that it adheres more easily.

  • Step 5—Curing: After fully adhering, a new liner is given time to harden. Curing may involve using hot water, steam or UV light and takes about 60 minutes. After curing is complete, the rubber bladder is deflated and removed to reveal the results.

Lining vs. Bursting

The main difference between lining and bursting is the state of your plumbing after the process is complete. While lining makes use of your existing system, bursting destroys and replaces it.

Bursting equipment cracks damaged sections and pushes the pieces deeper into nearby soil as it pulls a new section through at the same time. With that process, it's possible to expand the inner capacity of older systems by creating space for a slightly larger new section.

How Effective Is Pipe Lining?

Vancouver, BC residents benefit from the pipe lining method every day. It involves a wide range of methods and is used in various municipal applications. The most-immediate effect is quick, convenient relief from stressful damage and the associated complications.

How quick is it? Most appointments take less than a single day. That's much quicker than the sometimes week-long process for traditional repair methods that include excavation, plus you won’t have to worry about the time it takes to fix ruined landscaping either. In addition to rapid results, pipe lining may also result in improved flow. While inner capacity may be slightly reduced by the liner, the lower surface friction of liners means that water flow is higher after repairs. Of course, you'll also get the benefits of having a system that lasts for an average of fifty years or more after service is complete.

Need More To Be Convinced? Here Are Additional Benefits of Pipe Lining:

Vancouver, BC property owners who care about their home and its landscape can trust our product reliability, which has provided excellent performance for decades. You will certainly love these advantages of pipe lining:

Increased Safety

Because CIPP occurs solely underground or behind walls and concrete, it eliminates the risk of hazardous dust, gas and vapours in the air, creating a safer repair environment for anyone who is nearby the construction site. Any danger of mould and other toxic elements remains off the surface so you and your family remain safe. The trenchless method is Vancouver’s first-choice for sewer repair, as it comes with minimum to no obstruction to surface traffic. Roads and sidewalks don't even need to be entirely shut down in most cases.

Minimally Invasive

The trenchless industry offers Vancouver pipe lining as a minimally invasive solution that rules out potential property damage. It merely involves drilling two small access holes that allow licensed plumbers to quietly perform the job without excavating the owner’s property, whether to access a damaged main drain or water line. Driveways or lawn backyards will remain unharmed.

Cost-Effective and Saves Time

Traditional excavation methods aren’t just complicated, messy and noisy, but they are also expensive and require labour-intensive work, including high clean-up costs. While the traditional way would require several days or weeks of service, along with closure in public areas, Vancouver pipe lining enables fast repairs that take only a few hours to complete.


Last but not least, a well-installed liner remains durable and lasts for over 50 years. That said, it’s worth getting a warranty for this service, because chances are, it will cover this entire duration so that you won’t need to worry about covering the costs of any sudden repair needs.

It’s the best way to deal with repeated back up drains or tree root intrusion at home in Vancouver. Pipe lining creates a durable and strong inner layer that will give you peace of mind for many years to come.

When Is It Too Late For Pipe Lining?

Some Vancouver, BC homeowners may need to hang tight. If you have an older steel pipe, your sewer lines may be beyond damaged or and corroded. This is when a sewer line replacement of the entire pipe will be inevitable. Older homes in particular might still have galvanized plumbing systems, which your certified plumber should inspect in greater detail. While traditional invasive excavation work is your last resort, don’t lose hope until we have performed a thorough diagnosis.

Do You Need A Vancouver Pipe Lining Service?

Mr. Rooter Plumbing of Vancouver is here to help! As your local plumbers, we provide everything from routine Vancouver drain cleaning service to emergency sewer pipe lining, all while offering exceptional customer service. Our services are fully guaranteed and our plumbers are all knowledgeable experts.

If you need help from our qualified and friendly expert team, call us at 604-433-5555 today! We proudly serve not just Vancouver but also nearby areas like the North Shore.