What is Pipe Bursting?

Pipe bursting is a trenchless pipe replacement technique used for sewer, rainwater, and oil and gas pipes. The process entails pulling an HDPE pipe of equal or greater diameter into an existing pipe. As the HDPE pipe is being advanced via a winch system, a cone shaped bursting head breaks the existing pipe into pieces, removing them from the path of the new HDPE pipe. Sewer Pros offers trenchless pipe bursting for 2″ to 6″ residential, commercial and industrial lateral lines from Rancho Palos Verdes to Santa Monica California.

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  • Less Labor-Intensive Than Replacement
  • No Trenching Streets and Yards
  • Cost-Effective
  • Fast Repairs
  • Ability to “Upsize” Pipes
  • HDPE Pipe Does Not Erode, Rust, or Corrode

  • Increases Flow Capacity

  • A Time-Tested Method



Step 1: Preparation and Setup

Prior to starting a pipe bursting project for house-to-main lateral lines, two pits are created – one at each end of the section to be repaired. One pit will be the pulling pit and the other is the insertion pit. In the pulling pit, a steel cable is fed through the old pipe all the way to the insertion pit. Once the insertion pit is reached, the bursting head and HDPE pipe are connected to the end of the cable.

Step 2: Pipe Bursting

Next, a winch system is setup in the pulling pit. The winch then pulls the cone shaped bursting head and HDPE pipe through the old pipe. During this process the bursting head breaks apart the old pipe and creates a path for the trailing HDPE pipe. The bursting head and HDPE pipe continue to be advanced until it reaches the pulling pit.

Step 3: Reconnections

Once the new HDPE pipe is in place, each end is reconnected to the existing plumbing and secured in place to prevent water infiltration. If a lateral line was blocked by the HDPE pipe, trained technicians will use the leak proof fusion technique to assemble and joint the mainline back to the corresponding laterals. After the laterals are reconnected, a final inspection may be performed to confirm the success of the project.

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When is Pipe Bursting the Preferred Solution?

In residential applications, pipe bursting is typically the preferred method of repair for the house-to-city lateral line under inexpensive landscaping. As mentioned previously, pipe bursting required two pits to be dug, which is no big deal if it is just grass you are digging up. However, when you start factoring in the cost of digging a reception and insertion pit for pipe bursting through a buildings foundation slab (interior), CIPP is usually more cost effective.

Another consideration when considering pipe bursting is soil conditions. In some cases, rocky soils or existing pipes that were laid in a rock trench can cause significant challenges to a successful pipe bursting project. The pipe bursting technique is typically most cost effective when the following conditions are met.

  • There are few lateral connections to be reconnected in a repair section
  • The old pipe is structurally deteriorated
  • Additional capacity is needed


We guarantee all of our trenchless pipe busting workmanship for 10 years. We are confident that when done correctly as per the manufacturer’s specifications, structural pipe bursting applications can last 50 to 100 years – which is why we also offer a separate  50 year warranty on the HDPE pipe itself. We welcome the opportunity to show you the benefits of pipe bursting. Contact us today to get started.