23rd May, 2023

Pipe Relining vs Pipe Replacement

Pipe relining process for buried pipes

If you know us at emu. Plumbing. Gasfitting. Relining, you know we’re huge fans of the latest technologies in all things pipe relining. We love using our high tech tools in CCTV drain inspection, water jetting, robotic cutting and pipe relining to offer the best solution possible.

We’re often asked about pipe relining vs pipe replacement. And you might expect us to say relining is always the way to go. But even though we love it, it might not always be the best solution.

If your pipes are deep and underneath foundations or landscaping etc, then absolutely relining is likely the best solution! But, if your damaged drainage pipes are easily accessible, then, replacement may be the most cost effective and logical solution.

We’ve put together this little guide to help when dealing with damaged drainage pipes.


What’s the difference between relining and replacement?

Drain pipe relining is the process of repairing a damaged area or length of pipe from within. We insert a pipe liner of selected material, impregnated with silicate, epoxy or UV resin into the damaged area of the pipe – creating a completely new and incredibly strong inner pipe which is then permanently bonded to the existing pipe.

Drain pipe replacement, on the other hand, is the traditional method of digging up the area where the damage has occurred and replacing that section.

This sounds like a quick and easy method, but considering a lot of your commercial plumbing can be underneath driveways, buildings or landscaping, it can turn into a big job with a lot of variables (and costs)!

There are more contributing factors that come into play when you’re making your decision between pipe relining and pipe repair. Read on!


The Cost of Pipe Relining Vs Pipe Replacement

There are many things that can affect the cost of relining or replacement repairs. Which means there is rarely a simple price point for either of these services.

If your damaged pipes are underneath building foundations, it means you’ll need to do a full concrete cut, jackhammer to remove and excavation job to reach these pipes. Not only will the excavation be costly and time consuming, you’ll also have to reinstate everything that was removed in the process, including concrete, tiles and more.

However, if the damaged drain is fairly shallow and not under anything important, replacement could be the best solution.

When it comes to pipe relining, the costs are dependent on a lot of factors including access, type and size of the pipe and the severity of damage.

Pipe relining metre rate prices are generally considered to be higher than pipe replacement per metre. But remember to consider the added costs that may come with pipe replacement. Concrete cutting, excavation, gravel bedding, backfilling, re-concreting and re-landscaping, time consumed and headaches can cost you in many ways. And always take into account down time, access issues, noise, dust, amenity use and what that may ultimately cost your business, if drain replacement is chosen.


Learn more about How Much Pipe Relining Costs in our comprehensive guide.


The Time it takes for Pipe Relining Vs Pipe Replacement

Excavation works to repair a buried or obstructed pipe & then reinstate all that has been excavated can take days or weeks. If you need to re-landscape, it could take months for your site to look as good as it once did. You’ll need to consider how this is going to affect your property, your business or your team.

However, pipe relining takes only a matter of days, often less (with the brand new UV relining technology, it could be even less still!).

The entire process, including CCTV pipe inspection to pinpoint the damage, water jetting or Picote machining to get the damaged area clean and the actual relining itself can take less than a week. From major drainage issues to “business as normal” in only a day or two? Yes please!


The Durability of Pipe Relining Vs Pipe Replacement

While you may be thinking that a brand new pipe will be more durable than a relining option, that’s not strictly the case. A correctly installed patch or liner will actually make the host pipe stronger than it was when new.

At Emu Plumbing, we use RSM, Trellebord and Epros pipe relining products that come with a 50 year manufacturer’s guarantee! We at Emu, also offer a 20 year installation guarantee on all our pipe relining. So you can be confident our work will endure the test of time.


When You Should Choose Pipe Relining

There are a number of reasons why you should consider pipe relining for your next job:

    • If your pipes are positioned down an embankment, underneath buildings, driveways or landscaping the cost of excavation (and replacing) these areas can be prohibitive, so relining will likely be the answer.
    • Overall, pipe relining comes with fewer added expenses. Less labour, less parts, less repair to surrounding areas and less equipment.
    • Pipe relining is nearly always quicker. It takes time to excavate (and potentially rebuild) – with pipe relining this isn’t going to be a worry!
    • Excavating a large area can be dangerous. When large machinery becomes involved the risk of accidents, injuries, telco service interruptions, complaints etc, on your site increases. And spare a thought for your tenants or teammates who need to work/play with that noise and drama in the background!
    • Reduce your environmental impact with trenchless relining. Large excavation and construction works come with an increased carbon footprint. Pipe relining is a simpler and less invasive process with less impact.
    • Stress less with pipe relining. Ongoing construction can be stressful to a business and it’s employees. We’re sure we all agree that non-essential construction should be avoided where possible!


When You Should Choose Pipe Replacement

While we love pipe relining, we also know there are cases when traditional pipe replacement is the best way to go. These occasions include:

    • If your plumbing is experiencing significant sagging, then it could be best for a complete pipe replacement.
    • Pipes that are easily accessible or aren’t buried deep with clear and easy access may be quick and cheap using the simple dig and replace method.
    • Problems with pipe alignment can be a reason to replace your pipes. If your pipes are badly misaligned, it could be best for replacement to avoid continuous future damage.
    • If the pipes are severely damaged, it may not be possible to repair them using pipe relining. If there is too much damage it isn’t possible to properly clean out the pipes to prepare for lining. Or if the structural integrity of the pipe is too far gone – liners need an existing pipe to adhere too, they can’t be pipes on their own. So if this is the case replacement is the only option.

When you work with Emu Pipe Relining, our team will always determine what’s going on before offering a quote or solution. Before we even think about pipe replacement or relining, we’ll inspect your pipes using CCTV drain cameras to find the location of the damage and how bad it is. That way we can give you all the costs and timeframes you need to make the right decision for you.

Google Rating
Based on 61 reviews

If you’re dealing with damaged pipes, give us a call today on
07 3358 3201 or get in touch online.

  • “Emu Plumbing used latest technology combined with their considerable experience to creatively problem solve”

    We cannot fault Tony and the team at Emu Plumbing. We had a very complex reline of a long combine sewer that had plagued us for decades. Emu Plumbing used latest technology combined with their considerable experience to creatively problem solve over four days of hard yakka. It was over 36 degrees! The team were professional, courteous and went the extra mile to do the job. After three days on site they left the place clean and tidy as if they were never there. We would recommend Emu Plumbing without reservation.

    ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐

    Alan and Lesley C
  • “Thank you so much for a hassle free pipe repair”

    Emu plumbing were the most prompt and competitive in pricing for an under slab pipe repair; which a few other companies actually declined as it was quite a complicated job. Tony from Emu Plumbing attended site with a “can do” attitude and completed the job after a long and tough day. I returned home to find the work area spotless. Thoroughly recommend Emu plumbing. Thank you so much for a hassle free pipe repair.
    ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐
    Jason G
  • “Tony from Emu plumbing restored my faith in people.”

    Tony from Emu plumbing restored my faith in people. I contacted him after being quoted $13K to fix our sewer line by another company. Tony spent time with me on the phone going through all possible options to address this issue more economically. He then offered to come and inspect the sewer line at no cost. It turned out we did not have to do anything. Tony has found in us a client for life instead of a quick buck. We would be recommending him to all our friends and family.

    ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐

    Tim C
  • “I am, and will continue to recommend Emu Plumbing for any re-line and general plumbing work.”


    We had a particularly tricky job on a site with extremely difficult access. Tony and Niles quickly investigated and set forward to fix the issue. When plan A didn’t go exactly to plan Tony took full control and delivered a brilliant outcome. He arranged machine access through our fully landscaped property, went over and above to ensure the problem was fixed, and left our property almost as he found it. I am, and will continue to recommend Emu Plumbing for any re-line and general plumbing work. Their customer service second to none.

    ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐

    Mark M, Cooper Property Group
  • “The team arrived on time and completed their work with obvious care and skill”

    We are extremely happy with the work of the team.  Alistair, Niall and Tye arrived on time and completed their work with obvious care and skill.  They were happy to show us the progression of the work and left the site clean and tidy.  Also, The guy who did the initial inspection and quote displayed similar professionalism (sorry I didn’t remember his name).  They are all a credit to your firm.

    ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐

    B & J Hancock
  • “In a league of your own! ”

    Both Iréna and I wish to convey our most sincere thanks for you and your team’s swift and professional resolution to our recent plumbing challenges. We could not praise Alistair and Niles more highly for their incredible technical capabilities, their client focus and their well developed interpersonal and communication skills.

    It has been an absolute pleasure dealing with such a progressive organization as Emu Plumbing. What this rather long-running issue that we have been grappling with over several years, and having engaged numerous other “so-called plumbing professionals”, has proven to us is that there are plumbers and then there is your team….in a league of your own!

    ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐

    Richard G
  • “Honest and upfront on saving me money”

    Professional and polite tradesmen. Honest and upfront on saving me money by suggesting alternative solution (dig up ended up being cheaper than reline). Will definitely use them again in future.

    I was impressed with them providing photos of the job as it progressed all packaged up.

    ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐

    Alex W
  • “Definitely will be using Emu again!”

    Great detailed information on the drain inspection report! Definitely will be using Emu again.

    ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐

    Luke S, Go Green Solutions
  • “Do yourself a favour and call them!”

    Tony and the team at Emu Plumbing are amazing! Emergency sewer issue – no problem. His team leader, Niles, turned up the next day. Friendly, approachable, great communication, knowledgeable and hard working. Caved in sewer line was jetted to clean & clear, patch inserted and cured, in the end a hard clean clear pipe – like new. Problem fixed same day, and at a very fair price. I can’t recommend this company enough. Do yourself a favour and call them!

    ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐

    Andrew H
  • “Professional, responsive, competitively priced”

    Highly recommend these guys.
    Professional, responsive, competitively priced and were very thorough in their investigations and repair. The team worked tirelessly all day, went the extra mile and stuck by their quote on job completion. I will definitely use Emu Plumbing again.

    ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐

    Adam L
  • “Great to see a company these days taking responsibility for they workmanship.”

    I called Emu Plumbing to fix a broken pipe that was causing my stormwater to flood my neighbours yard.
    They came out, fix a problem, when it was discovered that there was another issue they fixed it no charge. Great to see a company these days taking responsibility for they workmanship. Thank you Tony and the team!

    ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐

    Chris M
  • “Fast, responsive, knowledgeable and honest”

    Tony and team were excellent – fast, responsive, knowledgeable and honest – what more could you ask for in a tradie. Definitely recommend, and will use them again.

    ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐

    Ted B
  • “Emu Plumbing won't let you down”

    If you are reading these reviews, trying to find an honest and reliable team, Emu Plumbing won’t let you down.

    Tony and his team are brilliant, they cleared and patched a severely broken storm water pipe under our carport. Niles & Jason were on time, professional and left the site clean and tidy. Can’t recommend highly enough!

    Thanks Tony & Emu team! 

    ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐

    Harry S
  • “Team rectified the broken pipes and relined them to an extremly high standard on time and on budget.”

    Tony and the Emu team repaired and relined some underslab pipes that had stakes put through it on a new build. Tony was very responsive and even worked with me on potential fixes for other issues that I had. His team rectified the broken pipes and relined them to an extremly high standard on time and on budget.

    Tony provided before and after photos which was great and provided excellent reassurance that the work had been completed as required. Would not hesitate to use Emu plumbing again and even my builder has saved Emu’s details as he was unaware this type of repair was possible.

    Would recommend to anyone for prompt and profressional service.

    ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐

    Dan S
  • “The Emu team arrived, promptly commenced work, and completed it with a friendly and approachable professionalism over 7 hours”

    Our plumbers had recommended Emu Plumbing as the best in the relining business. The Emu team arrived, promptly commenced work, and completed it with a friendly and approachable professionalism over 7 hours. Their quote was competitive, detailed and inclusive of explanation on how the process would be undertaken without excavation, allowing us to feel comfortable from the get-go.

    The work was to repair and reline our main stormwater line under our concrete house slab, their investigation found damage had occurred during the concrete pour some 25 years prior. Luckily, we’d not had significant issues during these years, just a slow build-up in hefty storms. With our job successfully completed, we now feel assured that we can handle any stormwater that comes our way….. good work, Tony and the Emu team.

    Steffen P

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