Pipe Relining vs. Traditional Pipe Replacement: A Guide to Making the Right Choice 

When faced with a plumbing nightmare – a damaged underground pipe – the repair options can be confusing. Before, the traditional pipe replacement involved extensive excavation, disruption to your property, and sometimes a hefty bill. However, there’s now pipe relining in East Texas, a less invasive and often more cost-effective approach.

If you’re navigating the choice between pipe relining and traditional pipe replacement, this will be your guide. We'll explore the pros and cons of each method, explore factors to consider when making your decision and equip you with the knowledge to choose the best solution for your specific situation. 

pipe needs pipe relining in East Texas

Pipe Replacement vs. Pipe Relining 

Traditional Pipe Replacement 

Traditional pipe replacement is a well-established method for addressing damaged underground pipes. This straightforward approach involves excavating the affected area to expose the damaged section of pipe. Once exposed, the damaged pipe is removed and replaced with new, durable pipe sections. It involves the following steps:  

  • Excavation: A trench is dug along the path of the damaged pipe section, exposing it for repair or replacement. 
  • Pipe Removal: The damaged pipe is removed entirely. 
  • Pipe Installation: New pipe sections are installed, replacing the damaged portion. 
  • Backfilling: Once the new pipe is in place, the trench is filled back in with soil and compacted. 

Pipe Relining 

Pipe relining is a trenchless repair method that focuses on fixing the pipe from the inside out.  Instead of digging everything up, plumbers use specialized techniques to insert a lining material within the existing pipe, creating a new, structurally sound interior barrier. 

  • Access Points: Depending on the relining technique, access points may be required at strategic locations along the damaged pipe for inserting the lining material. 
  • Pipe Cleaning: The damaged pipe is cleaned and prepped to ensure a strong bond with the relining material. 
  • Lining Installation: The chosen relining material, in various forms like a cured-in-place pipe (CIPP) liner or epoxy resin, is inserted or applied within the existing pipe to create a new, structurally sound interior lining. 
  • Curing: The relining material cures and hardens, forming a new pipe within the old one. 
Plumber getting ready for Pipe relining in East Texas

Weighing the Pros and Cons of Both Methods  

Both pipe replacement and pipe relining in Texas have their strengths and weaknesses. Let's compare them to help you decide which method might be a better fit for your situation. 

Pipe Replacement Advantages 

Suitable for All Damage 

Traditional replacement is a versatile method. It can address any type of pipe damage, no matter how severe. This includes extensive cracks, complete breaks, or even collapsed sections of pipe. If your pipes have suffered significant damage, traditional replacement might be the only viable option to ensure a lasting repair. 

Complete Pipe Renewal 

With traditional replacement, the entire damaged section of pipe is removed and replaced with new pipe sections. This essentially creates a brand-new pipe within your existing system. This complete renewal offers a long-term solution, potentially eliminating the need for further repairs for many years to come. 

Pipe Replacement Disadvantages 

Highly Disruptive  

Unfortunately, traditional replacement comes with a significant drawback – disruption to your property. The process involves extensive excavation to expose the damaged pipe section. This can mean digging up landscaping, driveways, or other affected areas. The extent of the disruption will depend on the location and length of the damaged pipe section. 


Due to the digging and replacement involved, traditional pipe replacement can be a time-consuming process. Depending on the severity of the damage and the length of pipe needing replacement, it could take several days to complete the repairs. This can be inconvenient, especially if you rely heavily on your plumbing system. 


The combined cost of labor, materials, and property restoration can make traditional pipe replacement a significant expense. The cost will vary depending on factors like the size and material of the pipe, the length of the damaged section, and the local labor rates. 

Pipe Relining Advantages 

Minimally Disruptive 

Unlike traditional replacement, pipe relining eliminates the need for extensive excavation. This significantly reduces disruption to your property and landscaping. Instead of digging up large trenches, relining often involves creating small access points at strategic locations in the pipe. This minimizes damage to your yard, driveway, or other surrounding areas. 

Faster Repair Time 

If time is a concern, pipe relining offers a clear advantage. The process can be completed significantly faster than traditional replacement, often within a single day. This minimizes the inconvenience caused by a non-functional plumbing system and allows you to resume normal use quickly. 


In many situations, pipe relining can be a more cost-effective solution compared to full pipe replacement. The elimination of extensive excavation translates to lower labor costs. Additionally, the materials used for relining can be less expensive than completely replacing the pipe. 

Pipe Relining Disadvantages 

Not Suitable for All Damage 

While effective for many types of damage, pipe relining might not be suitable for all situations. Severe pipe damage, extensive cracks, or tight bends in pipes might necessitate traditional replacement methods that allow for a more comprehensive repair of the damaged section. 

Limited Access Requirements 

While significantly less disruptive than traditional replacement, pipe relining might still require some localized digging to create access points for inserting the lining material. The extent of this digging will depend on the specific relining technique used. 

Inspection Limitations 

Once a pipe is relined, inspecting the interior of the pipe for any future problems becomes more challenging. Traditional methods might involve physically accessing the pipe through excavation, while relining techniques rely on specialized camera inspections within the relined pipe, which can have limitations. 

Deciding the Victor: Factors to Consider 

Knowing the pros and cons is just the first step. Here are some key factors to consider when deciding between pipe relining and traditional pipe replacement: 

Extent of Damage 

Pipe relining is most effective for moderate pipe damage like cracks, leaks, or minor corrosion. If the pipe has suffered severe damage, breaks, or collapse, traditional replacement might be necessary. 

Pipe Material 

Pipe relining in Texas is compatible with various pipe materials like cast iron, PVC, and clay. However, consult a qualified plumber to ensure the relining method is suitable for your specific pipe material. 

Accessibility of Damaged Pipe 

If the damaged pipe section is easily accessible, either method might be suitable.  However, if the pipe runs under a foundation or other difficult-to-reach areas, pipe relining's trenchless approach offers a significant advantage. 


Pipe relining can often be a more cost-effective option compared to traditional replacement, especially when considering the combined cost of labor, materials, and property restoration. However, the final cost for both methods can vary depending on the specific project details. 

Long-Term Considerations 

Both relining and replacement offer durable solutions. Pipe relining materials are designed to last for decades, with lifespans exceeding 50 years in many cases. However, traditional replacement offers complete pipe renewal, potentially eliminating the need for further repairs for a very long time. 

Expertise and Warranties 

Choose a licensed and experienced plumber who specializes in both pipe relining and traditional replacement methods. Reputable plumbers will be able to assess your specific situation and recommend the most suitable approach. Additionally, inquire about warranties offered on the chosen repair method and materials. 

The Final Verdict: It Depends 

There's no one-size-fits-all answer to the pipe relining vs. traditional replacement debate. The best choice depends on the specific factors outlined above. Consulting a qualified plumber is the way to go for an accurate assessment of your damaged pipe situation and a professional recommendation on the optimal repair method. 

two plumbers smiling after finishing Pipe relining in East Texas

Considering Pipe Relining in East Texas? 

Don't let hidden pipe problems disrupt your home.  As the top-rated plumber, Bannister Plumbing & Air specializes in innovative solutions for damaged pipes. 

Our licensed and insured plumbers will diagnose your pipe issue and determine if pipe relining is the right fit for you.  Enjoy the peace of mind that comes with Bannister's 100% satisfaction guarantee – schedule your appointment now!