Pipe Relining vs Pipe Replacement: What is the Difference?

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Every home and establishment in Australia has a plumbing system, which allows us to use water at home whenever we need it, use the toilet and bathroom, the kitchen, and even the laundry. A plumbing system is essential, which is why it’s a must to keep it in tip-top shape and avoid issues such as water leaks.

How long can your pipes last?

However, pipelines have a lifespan, too. 

Supply pipes, which carry water anywhere it is needed, come in three types:

  • Copper
  • Brass
  • Galvanised steel

Of the three types, galvanized steel has the shortest lifespan of 20 to 50 years, while copper and brass pipes often last longer, with the former lasting for more than 50 years, and the latter from 40 to 70 years. Of course, the numbers change, depending on how often you use your plumbing system, the water pressure, and how you care and maintain your pipeline.

Nevertheless, as time passes by, corrosion would be your biggest enemy. If you don’t address the problem as soon as it arises, corrosion would get the best of your plumbing system and would cause issues such as the dreaded burst pipes.

In these cases, you often have two choices to fix the problem: pipe replacement and pipe relining.

What’s the difference between pipe replacement and pipe relining?

Both pipe replacement and pipe relining Sydney projects are composed of methods to help rehabilitate your plumbing system.

In the case of pipe replacement, your entire pipeline, or the targeted section, would have to be removed and replaced. Meanwhile, pipe relining is the non-invasive method that uses epoxy resin pipe, which is inserted into the pipeline and cured to fit your current pipe.

Although both methods can help fix pipe damages and avoid further water leaks, there’s a huge difference between the two.

What is pipe replacement?

As mentioned, pipe replacement is when a section or the entire pipeline is removed and then replaced with a new set of pipes. Compared to pipe relining, this takes a longer time to finish, plus it requires digging to reach the pipes underground. If a pipe goes through under your patio or a cemented driveway, the surface would have to be broken and removed to replace the affected pipes.

Typically, a professional plumber would have to check the pipelines through a small camera to check which areas require replacement. If the damage in the pipes is severe, such as wide gaps and holes, a replacement is required.

What is pipe relining?

Unlike pipe replacement, pipe relining requires minimal to zero surface upheaval, meaning it’s a faster solution and a cheaper alternative. As the name suggests, it’s basically creating a new lining within the pipe.

Just like with replacement, a pipe relining Sydney expert will have to assess the pipes and see whether the damages can be fixed with this method. Oftentimes, the damages are as minor as small puncture holes to small gaps and holes caused by corrosion. The pipes would then have to be cleaned to prep it for the epoxy resin, which will be cured either manually or with hot water to speed the process, and ending with UV radiation to keep it hard.

During the curing process, the epoxy would fit more to the shape and size of the pipe.

What is the better choice?

In all honesty, it depends on the type of issue that you have, which is why it’s essential to have your pipeline checked by a professional plumber first. They can assess the situation and see which is the best solution. But if you have the choice, pipe relining is often the better option due to its non-invasiveness and its cheaper price.