Trenchless Sewer Repair & Replacement

We repair broken sewer lines and sewer laterals using the latest trenchless sewer methods and pipe bursting technology. Our trenchless sewer repair and trenchless sewer replacement methods save you on cost and time.

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The Advantages of Trenchless Sewer Line Repair


The crew was professional and thorough, and they did the work exactly as promised, with minimal digging and water turned back on in the evening. Now we have a new sewer lateral complete with inspection certificate, and you can't even tell where they dug their access point. I couldn't be happier!

Irene H.

A broken sewer line doesn’t have to mean tearing up your yard.

Our team of trenchless engineers uses the latest technology to replace sewer pipes, sewer lines and sewer laterals without digging up your property. As an industry leader, Pipe Spy was the first plumbing company in the Bay Area to use trenchless sewer repair and trenchless sewer replacement. Since 1998, we have developed our reliable process that allows us to work quickly with minimal damage to your landscape. Our list of satisfied customers continues to grow.

Pipe Spy is a licensed California Contractor for both General Plumbing (Class C36) and General Engineering (Class A), which enables us to provide the best Engineered Plumbing Solutions for your sewer pipeline. Pipe Spy has been progressively Diamond Certified® since 2013, is a recipient of the Chrysalis Award for Remodeling Excellence, and is a preferred sewer contractor for the cities of Oakland and Berkeley. We will keep your trenchless sewer repair cost down.

You can call us at (510) 465-3000. Our offices are open from 8am to 5pm Monday through Friday.

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Sewer line repair may be an option for you, instead of a full sewer lateral replacement. Sewer repair, and/or installing a clean out, can extend the life of your existing sewer and save you from costly back up events in your home.

Be Sure to Get a Sewer Camera Inspection

If a sewer camera inspection has confirmed the majority of your sewer lateral is in good working order, but has a spot that causes a back up, a spot repair may be right for you. A repair to a broken sewer line, offset pipe joint, or short section of root intruded pipe, can extend the working life of your sewer trouble free. Pipe Spy will recommend spot sewer repair when its the right choice to help you manage your sewer line.

Exterior clean outs provide access to the building sewer lateral for servicing the sewer pipe with cleaning equipment, inspection equipment, and provide an exterior back up relief point. This relief point can prevent sewage from backing up into your home's interior.


They are good problem solvers, and they find good solutions for the repairs.

Kathy L.

Trenchless Sewer Lateral Replacement

The trenchless sewer lateral replacement process reduces the cost of replacing a sewer pipe, and installs a better product in the ground than the traditional open cut or trenching procedures.

Though this process generally eliminates the need for digging long and deep trenches, it does require strategic access points, holes, to use the existing sewer lateral’s position in the ground as a guide for the new replacement pipe.  This eliminates disturbing large areas of your property’s hardscape and landscape.

See the trenchless pipe repair process in action on our YouTube channel.


They are good problem solvers, and they find good solutions for the repairs.

Kathy L.

What Are the Benefits of Trenchless Sewer Line Repair?

The less your surface is disturbed, the more you save. You can get back to enjoying your yard or garden right away –  instead of days later.

Before TRIC TOOLS made this process accessible to your property’s side and rear yards, it cost tens of thousands of dollars and days to carve a trench from your house to the sanitary main.

Pipe bursting saves you more than money. Pipe Spy can replace or repair your sewer lateral in one day. Our respect for your house, landscape, and neighbor’s property will leave you feeling we were never there, but you will have a new trouble free sewer. There is minimal impact to your garden, irrigation systems, pathways, and stepping stones. There is little interruption to your life style and you do not have piles of enriched soil around for days.

Learn more about Trenchless Sewer Repair Methods


When they were done, you would not even have known they were here.

Eloise G.

Can I Use Trenchless Sewer Line Repair For My Project?


It was a difficult location and they nailed that without any problems.

Ray S.

Yes, most existing sewer laterals can be replaced with pipe bursting technology.

Most Pipe Spy customers are trenchless sewer replacement or trenchless sewer repair customers. Digging a long trench is almost never needed, because of the flexibility of trenchless sewer technology and the exactitude of our sewer diagnostics.

The slope of an old sewer might have "negative grade," meaning that the pipe sags or does not have a proper down-sloping angle per local plumbing requirements. Negative grade areas do need to be trenched, to first correct the pipe slope. Even if a sewer pipe has a negative grade, Pipe Spy can use a combination of trenchless and open cut. The solutions used for your sewer line repair project will depend on how and where your original sewer was installed, how it may have been repaired in the past, and what kind of damage it has experienced.

Risks and Limitations

Pipe bursting technology is not idiot proof. It takes awareness and skill to apply the tools, and intense power to pull pipe underground.

Plumbing branch lines connected to the sewer lateral must be accurately located, exposed, and reconnected to the sewer lateral. Often other house utilities, water, gas, and electrical lines, are exposed at excavation points and care must be used to not damage them. There are some situations where the lines may need to be cut or relocated.

A person cannot know what is underground until it is dug up. Sewer pipe surrounded with concrete will stop the pipe bursting pulling head (the bullet, or the mole). Concrete will not allow the bullet to expand the tunnel and make room for the new pipe. There must be awareness of retaining wall footings, multiple layers of road, and other obstruction potentials.


They know the technology they're working with very well.

Geoffrey C.

Pipe Bursting Technology

Pipe bursting can save you more than half the cost of the traditional open cut (trenching). The sections of High Density Polyethylene (HDPE) pipe are fusion welded together to provide one continuous piece of pipe from the house to the sanitary main.

Branch lines are connected to the new sewer lateral with cast iron fittings and mechanical couplings (rubber gaskets with stainless steel shields and hose clamps). Consistent pricing for a sewer lateral replacement by Pipe Spy is based on the sanitary district we are working in, the number of holes that need to be excavated, how deep the holes are, the surface area that needs to be restored, and the site conditions the work needs to be completed in.

Trenchless Slip Lining

Cured In Place Pipe (CIPP) is a trenchless rehabilitation technique that installs an epoxy saturated fabric lining in your existing sewer lateral.

Though approved for use in Los Angeles and Sacramento areas, trenchless slip-lining technology is generally not approved by Bay Area sanitary district authorities. This process does not fix offset pipe joints or breaks in the pipe line. As a liner, the inside diameter is reduced, and therefore the life expectancy of a lined sewer pipe is not as good as a new sewer pipe with a full 4” inside bore.

Pipe Spy can advise you if slip lining is an appropriate solution for your situation. We'll always recommend what's best for the long-term integrity of your sanitary lines.



Jeff K.