How to Choose the Best Trenchless Sewer Repair Professional

Facing a sewer repair or plumbing project can be intimidating. Many homeowners are not seasoned professionals with years of plumbing experience, and rightfully choose to hire a professional to help tackle their sewer repair.

But how do you choose between potential trenchless sewer repair professionals? Here’s a guide to help you select the right trenchless sewer repair professional for your project.

Find a Leader in Trenchless Sewer Repair Technology

When selecting a trenchless sewer repair professional, it’s important to find a professional who is well-versed in the latest trenchless sewer repair technologies.

There are many trenchless sewer repair methods, including pipe bursting, slip lining and cured in place pipe (CIPP). Pipe bursting, however, is seen as the superior option among these methods as it’s environmentally-friendly, long-lasting and offers a quick turnaround and less disturbance to the surrounding area.

Even within pipe bursting, new trenchless pipe bursting technology is constantly being introduced, including hydraulic pipe bursting, static pipe bursting and pneumatic pipe bursting.

By partnering with a leader in the trenchless sewer repair field, you’ll be able to determine the exact needs and best fit for your project.

Check for Proper Licenses & Certifications

When looking for a sewer repair professional, it’s important to check for the proper licenses and certification. Every sewer repair company should have the required certifications to install, repair and operate on sewer systems, sewer laterals, and other related plumbing issues.


  • C-36 License. This license is a General Plumbing license all contractors are required to have to contract plumbing work within the footprint of a home’s interior.
  • C-42 License. This license allows contractors to work on sewer systems and other similar pipes such as storm drains or septic tanks on private property and public right of way.
  • A- License. This license is required for contractors who need to have specialized engineering knowledge and skill to work on fixed works and any public sidewalk or street.
  • B-License. This license is a General Building license required for any structures being built or rebuilt.


While a potential contractor should have all of the required licenses, it’s even more important to find a contractor with certifications to ensure the best customer service and technical expertise.

At Pipe Spy, this means obtaining additional certifications beyond what’s required and being active members of several leading industry organizations. Our certifications include:

  • NASSCO Pipeline Assessment Certification Program training
  • America Society of Civil Engineers
  • Better Business Bureau Accredited Business

Checking for the right licenses is a quick first step to judging whether a contractor is fit to work for you or not.


Ask about Restoration Practices

Trenchless sewer repair doesn’t stop after the sewer lateral has been repaired. Restoration practices need to be adhered to for a proper, well-completed project.

Proper restoration practices include:

  • Proper backfilling. This is the process of replacing any dug-up materials (asphalt, concrete, soil, etc.) with new material. This helps prevent sinkholes and additional damage to the streets and/or landscaping near the project.
  • Compaction. After backfilling, proper compaction is required to strengthen the material being backfilled. Compaction increases the density of backfill material and prevents asphalt & concrete patch failures and sinkholes overtime.

Get Verified Trenchless Sewer Repair Reviews

Many different review sites allow for a community discussion of plumbing services, and reading verified reviews are helpful for making an educated decision.

  • Yelp. Yelp is a great free resource for verified reviews, and also allows reviews to post their own pictures of their projects.
  • Diamond Certified. Diamond Certified represents the best of our industry and offers rating dashboards and company reports.
  • Angie’s List. Angie’s List is another great resource for reviews of professional services – including sewer repair and other plumbing services. Reviews rate price, quality, professionalism and more. In addition to providing grades, users also commonly post a detailed review of their service.
  • Facebook. Facebook can be another valuable tool when selecting a professional. Customers are invited to leave reviews of their experiences on business pages, and these can be helpful when selecting a professional for your sewer repair project.

Reading verified reviews could help decide between different contractors once the personal research has been done.

Beware of Free “Bait and Switch” Services

It’s also important to know what to be aware of when you begin a partnership with a trenchless service. Knowing what to ask and what to look for could help you avoid costly additions in the long run. Some things to look out for are:

  • Free camera inspections (taken when you are not present). Taking someone’s word for it is not the best way to make a sound decision about a sewer lateral replacement or repair.  You should always be invited to be present and give details and insight into the project.
  • No copy of the recorded inspection. A DVD copy of the camera inspection should come with the service so you have proof of the condition of your lateral before any work begins. If there is a cost to get a copy of the DVD, the inspection is not really free.
  • Service charge added to the estimate for the same ballpark figure as a camera inspection. If there are hidden costs associated with your project, that’s another indication the inspection isn’t free.

Partnering with Pipe Spy

It’s important to make the most educated decision possible when choosing the right trenchless repair professional for your sewer repair or plumbing project.

Pipe Spy has proven itself to be a trusted leader for trenchless sewer repair in the Bay Area. Pipe Spy was one of the first plumbing companies to provide trenchless sewer repair services in Oakland and the Bay Area starting in 1998, and now has more than 18 years of experience as a leader in this field. Pipe Spy has the expertise, experience, knowledge and all necessary certifications to complete your project to the highest of standards.

Interested in partnering with Pipe Spy for your trenchless sewer repair? Contact our team of experts to learn more about our services.