Before you dig to replace an old pipe, know there are two alternatives known as pipe bursting and pipe relining.
Plumbing contractors throughout the U.S. are using these technologies because of their limited damage to sidewalks, streets, trees and yards. In addition, the material has the same lifespan as current PVC and ABS main lines.
Pipe bursting uses a metal head with cutting blades to slice through the old pipe and expand it so the new High Density Polyethylene (HDPE) pipe can fit inside the old. HDPE has no joints, it's extremely durable and has a life span of over 100 years. Pipe bursting works if your pipe is level and has no offsets or breaks. Local plumbing companies can determine breaks by camering the line first.
Pipe relining uses a woven polyester yarn with a polyurethane coating. This yarn sock is inserted into the old pipe, then hot water or hot air is forced into the sock to expand it and cure the resin. Once the resin is cured, it assumes the shape of the original pipe and is as as hard as regular piping. The relined pipe prevents future root infiltration because it is a single sheet material. It has a long lifespan and is just as durable as HDPE.
Again, with both technologies, where ever these is an offset in the pipe or an area where the cable cannot get through, that section would have to be dug up. But even these small sewer repair problems beat digging up your entire yard and replacing all of your sod, sidewalks, plants or fences.
Roto-Rooter's licensed plumbing specialist can answer any questions you may have on pipe relining and pipe bursting.