Pipe relining vs Pipe Patching

Pipe relining vs pipe patching

Traditionally, pipes have been replaced rather than repaired, often digging up the earth in the process. Trenchless pipe fixes are a modern alternative, enabling pipe restoration to a fully-operational condition. It cuts time, cost, and physical effort.

 Usually, the style of trenchless repair chosen depends on the type, and extent of the damage.

Two common methods used by pipe and drain repair specialists are:

Pipe relining and pipe patching: the differences


What is pipe relining?

Pipe relining technology is a method of no-dig pipe repair. It does exactly as the name says, relining the affected pipe from the inside.

It involves filling lining material with a special resin mixture, before inserting it into the damaged pipe to cure.

Performed primarily by a fully licenced plumber with specialised training in pipe relining, it’s a service that many plumbing firms don’t offer. It’s strongly advised that you entrust an experienced professional with the relining process for a long lasting drain repair solution.

There are many advantages to pipe relining technology, and they include:

  • Low cost, particularly compared to more traditional methods such as excavation.
  • No digging takes place in the process, so your premises is protected from potential damage.
  • The time of operation can vary, however, in most cases pipe relining can be completed within a working day.

There’s one catch to performance of pipe relining technology; that it can’t always be completed. When pipes are too far gone in terms of damage, large gaps in the material can occur, meaning that any relining wouldn’t be able to hold to the structure.

Brawoliner® pipe relining systems

Brawoliner® pipe relining technology offers a flexible drain repair solution when longer lengths of pipe require rehabilitation. The Brawoliner® system is one of the best in the world for a range of pipe repairs, its seamless liner can adapt to varied pipe conditions such as a change in pipe diameter, bends, and joints.

This cost effective durable solution can be used in a huge range of applications such as residential homes, industrial plants, hospitals, commercial buildings, and fuel stations. Lasting more than 50 years the Brawoliner® system means your pipes are good for at least half a century.

Sewer pipe relining

Pipe relining is a modern method that plumbers use to fix broken pipes, especially pipes located below driveways or in areas that are difficult to reach. 

After completing a comparison between pipe relining and traditional pipe fix methods, there are a number of obvious benefits to choosing pipe relining, including:

  • Cost effective.
  • Time efficient.
  • No dig pipe repair → no demolition.
  • Minimal resources required to complete the job.
  • Durable repair.
  • Existing pipes are utilised, not thrown out and replaced.
  • Less waste into landfill.
  • Complete within a few hours, depending on the size of the pipe.

Pipe relining can also be modified to better suit the repair. For example, if only a small section of a drain pipe is damaged, then pipe patching may be a more effective method. Pipe patching is essentially the same as pipe relining; however, only a selected section of the pipe is relined, minimising the cost and cure time of the repair.

What is pipe patching?

Pipe patching, also known as sectional pipe repair, is an alternative to traditional pipe repair methods. It’s an ideal solution for smaller damaged sections in your piping.

Following inspection using a drain camera, repairs are undertaken using a structured pipe patch. These patches are often made of fibreglass matting, containing a specially formulated resin. Reline Solutions uses epros® Drain Packer for pipe patching.

Once the correct length of pipe patch with the resin has been prepared, the drain packer inflates to the structural lining, allowing the resin to cure.

FDT sell Drain Packer Patch Kits for pipe patching of sewer, wastewater and stormwater drains from 4” to 15” in diameter. This premium drain repair product is used the world over, is quick and simple to install, and provides consistently high quality results with no leakage.

The TIGER PATCH & PIPE DOCTOR system utilises heat resistant SillicateResins and chemically resistant, not corroding FiberGlassMatts to create a frictional fit inside the old pipe sealing any damaged areas creating a long term repair solution. 

This product can be used on all types of pipes including clay (terracotta), plastic and steel. The short curing time and ease of installation allows your drainage specialist to quickly get your drains watertight again.

Benefits of trenchless pipe relining

  • Cost savings –
    • pipe relining doesn’t require large excavations which can reduce equipment costs and job duration
    • this, in turn, can reduce labour expenses
    • no infrastructure replacement expenses such as roads, driveways, paths, landscaping, building floors, other pipes, etc
  • Quick –
    • in most cases, pipe relining offers a fast pipe repair solution. Emergency repairs of sewer or stormwater drains can be carried out quickly before the matter gets worse.
    • for smaller jobs relining can take hours rather than days, and larger jobs days rather than weeks.
  • Reduced disruption to business –
    • pipe relining can be carried out around your businesses trading or shift times, meaning minimal downtime, you can get back to work sooner.
  • Relining provides corrosion resistant pipe protection
  • Minimal to no destruction of structures, buildings, and landscaping
  • New pipe within the old –
    • pipe relining doesn’t just line the old pipe it creates a strong new pipe inside the broken one.
    • the lining material is actually tougher than an equivalent size PVC pipe.
    • the old pipe can totally collapse and the new one will not be affected.
  • Reline Solutions pipe relining is a long-term resolution to your broken pipe issues. Our pipe relining has a 50-year design life.

Benefits of traditional pipe replacement

There are some situations where pipe relining might not be a suitable or the most cost-effective option and traditional pipe replacement may be the way to go such as:

  • Significant sags – relining is not ideal for pipes with a significant sag issue.
  • Alignment issues – problems with pipe alignment usually need to be rectified by digging up the pipe and realigning.
  • Shallow pipes with clear or easy access – traditional dig and replace methods may be a more cost-effective option for easy to get to pipes.