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Pipe bursting trenchless technology for replacing pipes

Know Your Plumbing: What Is Pipe Bursting?

Imagine a world where you can replace your underground pipes without tearing up your yard. Sounds too good to be true? Welcome to the world of pipe bursting. 

This innovative, trenchless technology is transforming how homeowners and municipalities address pipe replacement, offering a less disruptive and more efficient solution.

What is Pipe Bursting?

Pipe bursting is a trenchless method used to replace buried pipelines by fracturing the existing pipe and simultaneously pulling a new one into its place. 

This process is suitable for various pipes, including those made from clay, concrete, cast iron, and PVC. It involves minimal excavation, typically only at the entry and exit points of the pipeline, making it a preferred choice for many situations.

The Pipe Bursting Process

Step-by-Step Explanation

  • Preparation: First, the existing pipe and site conditions are thoroughly assessed. This includes inspecting the old pipe’s condition, identifying potential obstacles, and planning the bursting route.
  • Insertion: A bursting head, also known as an expander, is inserted into the old pipe. This head is designed to break the old pipe apart as it moves through.
  • Bursting: The bursting head fractures the old pipe as it is pulled through. The fragments of the old pipe are pushed into the surrounding soil, creating space for the new pipe.
  • Replacement: Simultaneously, a new pipe, typically made of high-density polyethylene (HDPE), is pulled into place behind the bursting head. This new pipe is durable and resistant to corrosion, ensuring a long-lasting solution.

How Long Does It Take?

Typically, the pipe bursting process is faster than traditional trench-digging methods. The exact duration depends on the specific project but expect a quicker completion overall. 

For instance, a residential sewer line replacement can often be completed in just a few days, whereas traditional methods might take weeks.

Advantages of Pipe Bursting

Minimizes Disruption

One of the most significant advantages of this trenchless method is the minimized surface disruption. 

This method means less damage to your landscaping, roads, and buildings. Since it requires minimal digging, your yard, driveway, and sidewalks remain largely intact.

Cost-Effective Of Pipe Bursting

While the initial costs of pipe bursting can be higher due to specialized equipment and expertise, the reduced need for surface repairs and faster completion times often make it more cost-effective overall. 

When you factor in the savings from avoiding extensive landscaping repairs and the reduced downtime, pipe bursting often proves to be the more economical choice.

Environmental Benefits

Trenchless methods reduces the need for excavation, preserving the surrounding environment. It also often involves using more durable and environmentally friendly materials, contributing to long-term sustainability. 

By minimizing excavation, there is less soil disruption and less risk of damaging nearby trees and plants.


This method is incredibly versatile, suitable for use in urban, suburban, and rural areas. 

It can handle varying pipe materials and is especially beneficial in areas where traditional excavation would be too disruptive or expensive. 

This form of trenchless pipe repair can also navigate around obstacles like utility lines, making it a flexible option for many different scenarios.

Improved Pipe Performance

The new pipes installed through this method are often made of modern materials like HDPE, which offer superior performance. 

These pipes are resistant to corrosion, root intrusion, and shifting soil, ensuring a longer lifespan and reduced maintenance needs.

When to Consider Pipe Bursting?

Ideal Situations

This method is preferred when pipes are significantly deteriorated, and minimizing surface disruption is crucial. 

It’s also ideal for areas with high traffic or significant landscaping that you want to preserve. 

If you have an old, leaking, or frequently clogged pipe, pipe bursting might be the perfect solution.


However, this method may not be suitable in areas with very dense soils or where the existing pipe has significant bends or obstructions. 

In such cases, alternative methods may be more appropriate. 

Additionally, the initial assessment must confirm that there is enough space around the old pipe to accommodate the fragments and the new pipe.

Who Can Benefit from Pipe Bursting?


Homeowners benefit immensely from pipe bursting. The process is less intrusive, meaning you won’t have to deal with the mess and inconvenience of traditional pipe replacement methods. 

Whether it’s a sewer line under your backyard or a water line under your driveway, this trenchless method offers a hassle-free solution.


For municipalities, pipe bursting offers an efficient way to upgrade infrastructure with minimal disruption to public spaces and traffic flow. 

It allows for quick replacement of large sections of pipes without causing significant inconvenience to residents and businesses.

Utility Companies

Utility companies find pipe bursting an effective solution for quick and reliable infrastructure improvements, reducing downtime and service interruptions. 

It enables them to maintain and upgrade essential services efficiently, keeping the community running smoothly.

Challenges and Considerations

Potential Challenges

While pipe bursting is highly effective, it does come with challenges. Unexpected underground obstructions can complicate the process. 

Ensuring the new pipe is correctly aligned and managing the logistics of equipment and materials are crucial for a successful project.

Professional Expertise

Given these challenges, it’s essential to hire experienced contractors who have the necessary specialized equipment and expertise. 

Professionals can navigate these obstacles and ensure the project is completed efficiently and correctly. 

Proper planning and a thorough site assessment are critical to avoid any surprises during the bursting process.

Costs and Investment

Although pipe bursting can be cost-effective in the long run, the initial investment might be higher than traditional methods. It’s essential to consider this when planning your budget. 

However, the benefits often outweigh the initial costs, especially when you factor in the reduced need for future repairs and maintenance.


In conclusion, pipe bursting is a modern, efficient, and minimally invasive method for pipe replacement. 

It offers numerous benefits for homeowners, municipalities, and utility companies. 

If you’re facing issues with your underground pipes, consider the advantages of pipe bursting.

Pipe Bursting Services with True Service Plumbing

When it comes to trenchless pipe repair in Toronto and the GTA, True Service Plumbing is your trusted partner for both commercial and residential needs. 

Our licensed professionals deliver efficient, minimally invasive solutions, whether you’re facing old, damaged pipes or planning an infrastructure upgrade.

Dealing with underground pipe issues? Let our experts accurately diagnose and resolve the problem with minimal disruption to your property.

Don’t let pipe problems disrupt your peace of mind. Contact True Service Plumbing today. We’re here to ensure your plumbing systems are reliable and efficient.

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