As we make it another year into the 21st century, it’s hard not to appreciate where we were as a society a mere couple hundred years ago. We have come a very long way in so many fields, especially within the field of infrastructure and residential utilities, and one of the most impressive advancements in this area is the innovation of trenchless sewer and water lines. And luckily, Cupertino Plumbing, in San Jose, is on the front lines of implementing impressive advancements of service and troubleshooting innovation, like trenchless sewer and water lines. Keep reading to learn more about this incredible technology and what Cupertino Plumbing can do to repair, replace, troubleshoot, or provide it for you.

But as we have become accustomed to moving this kind of necessary-yet-unsightly infrastructure beneath the ground, it has led to some issues regarding maintenance and troubleshooting service that every type of infrastructure needs. By burying our water and sewer lines beneath the ground, most maintenance, repair, troubleshooting, or even an occasional check-up requires unearthing all that ground and maybe even the line itself to service it. And with how important our water and sewer lines are to our daily lives, any issue with the line will need to be fixed as easily and quickly as possible — not a realistic possibility when you need an excavator in your backyard just to start the project.

Enter trenchless technology. Trenchless technology is a broad field that encompasses all methods of construction work on underground infrastructures that require little or no ground upheaval.  With all of these insane technological advancements we are surrounded by every day, maybe it’s a little unsurprising that we have come up with a way to provide underground troubleshooting and service without removing all of the ground itself. But it’s an important game-changer for water and sewer line service everywhere. So how does it work?

How Does it Work?

Trenchless water/sewer line technology primarily functions by using certain equipment and techniques to install, maintain, and troubleshoot underground infrastructures with overall minimal disruption to the surface. Whether it’s a busy frontage road, or a beautiful backyard, the purpose of the technology is to provide the necessary underground service while limiting the interference like ground upheaval, or diverting traffic, or even shutting down entire businesses and areas.

When Do You Use it?

A clog in your pipeline will almost never require total line replacement or the intense level of access that trenchless technology allows for. Trenchless technology is for when a tree root has penetrated the line, or frequent and severe clogs leads to a pressure buildup that bursts the pipe. When your pipe is on its last legs, or just lost its last legs, that’s where trenchless technology comes in. The methods and techniques allow for an efficient way to troubleshoot, thoroughly repair, or completely replace your old subterranean sewer and water piping.

Types of Trenchless Technology

There are a few trenchless methods and techniques for installing, accessing or troubleshooting underground piping. The type of method depends on a few things, like the makeup of soil, the depth of the water table, or the loads on the ground above like foot or car traffic. However, these techniques generally involve digging some form of an access point to the pipe location, and then tunneling or inserting the relevant equipment. These methods aren’t usually totally excavation-free, but instead of digging out a deep 30-foot long trench from your well-kept yard, there will only be a small hole or two that will require some work. These techniques are used for installing new sewage or water lines underground, or for repairing and troubleshooting underground piping, and include:

Horizontal Drilling/ Microtunneling – This method is used for installing a new trenchless sewer line in new ground. Like the name suggests, microtunneling involves digging an access point and using a microtunnel boring machine (MTMB) to carve out a small horizontal tunnel where the piping will lay, and then inserting the piping through said tunnel. 

Pipe Ramming – Same as microtunneling, pipe ramming is used for trenchless installation of a new line. And same as microtunneling, pipe ramming carves out a pipe-shaped tunnel with minimal surface disruption. This method uses pneumatic percussive blows to drive a pipe through the soil and filter the soil in through the pipe-ramming device, instead of compacting it outside the pipe which could make cave-ins more likely.

Sliplining – Sliplining is used for repairing pipes with leaks or structural integrity issues. One of the oldest methods of trenchless tech, this technique involves uncovering a small section of the line and inserting a small “carrier pipe” inside, and then sealing any cracks by filling the space between the two pipes with grout.

Shotcrete/Gunite –  This is another method used to repair underground lines that have been corroded or damaged. Shotcrete is the process of spraying a solution of cement and sand over an area using a pressurised hose. For sewer line repair, after accessing the line, shotcrete can be sprayed on the damaged section, filling up cracks in the interior and protecting against further corrosion after it sets.

Pipe Bursting – This method is useful for replacing a defunct or beyond-repair underground pipe. Pipe bursting involves digging two access points to the old line, and running a cable through the line with a “bursting head” attached on the front and the new pipe on the back. A powered winch pulls the cable through and the bursting head destroys the old pipe, pushing it out of the way while laying the new pipe

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Benefits of Trenchless Sewer Line Technology

There are a number of ways to use trenchless sewer and water line technology, and a number of situations where it is the right troubleshooting tool for the job. And the variety of technologies, methods, and their usefulness might make it the right tool for every job. But what exactly makes trenchless tech so great? 

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One of the biggest benefits of trenchless sewer and water line tech is how much quicker and more efficient it is. Not only is digging up a long and deep trench out of your yard disruptive as all hell, but it also takes a while, and you could be left with a completely destroyed yard for days, not to mention the weeks it will take to get your yard back to something presentable. That is the time you or your family could be in need of functioning water or sanitation lines, or time you could be spending cleaning up the little bit of dirt left over from a trenchless servicing. 

Trenchless sewer line replacement or installation is a simple process that can be completed in a day or two, without the disruptive and time-consuming amount of digging that a non-trenchless service involves. Like most tools and methods, the right tool for the job will get it done better and faster, and trenchless tech is almost always the right tool for troubleshooting your sewer and water line.

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Like any lazy cook knows, the worst part of any project is the clean up afterward. A lot of folks fail to realize that the way in which you complete the project determines how much effort and time the cleaning process will take. Underground sewer line troubleshooting is no different. A horrible image for any proud homeowner is a massive mound of dirt next to a deeply dug trench, surrounded by the beautiful grass of what’s left of your yard. And a tattered yard with dirt and massive holes everywhere is going to involve a long and difficult cleanup process, guaranteed.

Trenchless technology can’t guarantee an excavation-less service, but one of the main purposes of the technology is to complete the project in a way that limits any disruption and the following cleanup. Most trenchless troubleshooting methods involve digging either one or two access points, which makes sense if you have to access underground piping. But the methods are designed to be used with just those access points, instead of unearthing a massive amount of dirt that more or less dismantles your yard.

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Nowadays, the quality of any method for completing a project or service is dependent on price. You might be able to get the perfect sewer line installation for your 4-bedroom home, perfect in every sense, but if it costs $200,000, chances are you are never going to even consider it. For any sort of home servicing or utility troubleshooting, you want a good price for quality service, and not much matters after that.

Interestingly enough, trenchless sewer line replacement and service is often cheaper than traditional sewer line service. Which makes sense, as the crew and the work is minimized because there is no need to dig a great big trench through the middle of your yard. The trenchless technology also limits the upheaval to your yard, which will cut down on any landscaping costs needed to bring your yard back to its former glory. Luckily, Cupertino Plumbing offers this affordable trenchless technology and troubleshooting services, while also providing it at a great price.

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Less Impact

With the consistent subterranean placement of most water and sewer lines, underground work and service has become a necessity. But the sprawling metropolis that most U.S. cities have become has made that process much more about the impact on the surface and its environment. And underground work generally leads to intense ground upheaval, loud and cumbersome machinery that uses or provides toxic materials and fuels.

Trenchless technology inherently is not as disruptive as more traditional methods because the disruption to the surface through massive amounts of land upheaval isn’t a part of the process. A simple hole or two is all that is needed, and the process doesn’t involve massive, need-earplugs-to-operate, gas-guzzling machinery digging huge trenches that can harm the growth of nearby trees and plants. With no noise pollution, environmental pollution, or surface disruption, trenchless sewer line technology is a great choice for any project or troubleshooting, especially a sensitive one.

Trenchless Sewer Line Replacement & Service with Cupertino Plumbing

Trenchless sewer and water line technology has become a widely utilized method because it’s efficient, effective, and affordable. That’s just one of the reasons that Cupertino Plumbing is happy to provide trenchless sewer line replacement, repair, and installation to San Jose and the surrounding areas.

Our professional plumbing specialists have considerable experience working with trenchless technology and trenchless methods, and we want to bring this level of expertise to your home. Our plumbing professionals also offer property line clean-out services, to make sure that your water and sewer lines are able to effectively connect to the larger water and sewer infrastructure. But that’s not all we can do. Our Cupertino Plumbing experts have been providing quality plumbing and HVAC troubleshooting services to San Jose and the surrounding areas for decades now, and we want to provide that level of service to you too. Contact us today and get a free quote in under a minute.


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We had Cupertino Plumbing replace all of our old galvanized and cast iron drain pipes, along with installing a new water heater and two new toilets. We are very happy with the work they did. It was a major multi-day project that required cutting holes in walls and ceilings. They were pleasant, professional, and responsive. Everything works great now, and the places where they patched the walls and ceilings look nice. A really good job. We definitely will call them for any future plumbing work.

Terry Johnson


This is a fantastic company (Cupertino Plumbing), I received excellent service from Mario. We texted back and forth on various questions I had regarding my kitchen water filter system and the airgap line for my dishwasher; he was always responsive. My previous plumber walked into our home without putting on booties and was unorganized, but Mario always put booties on his shoes which I appreciated, he was knowledgeable, organized, did very high quality work, communicates well, smiled a lot and was happy, and is now my go to guy for all future plumbing needs. Mario is best plumber I’ve known.

Jim Kuehnis


Cupertino Plumbing just replumbed our whole house and rebuilt our drainage system. They were efficient, communicative, and timely every day and went to great lengths to keep things clean and tidy. Every afternoon they would set expectations about the next day and every day they did what they say they would do which we very much appreciated. For big plumbing jobs they quality of workmanship and service can’t be beat.

Maggi Oberson


Cupertino Plumbing is not the cheapest out there. They are on the competitive or expensive side. The reason to call them is for their outstanding professionalism, and the fact that they have a lot of people who can be there really soon when you need them.


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Very good company. You can’t go wrong using this plumbing company for all your plumbing needs. No job too small. Their years of experience are very helpful in problem solving.

Pauline Brady

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A rare instance of a plumbing company that is organized and acts very professionally. They take your calls promptly, follow-up, make sure to send you the best technician for your problem. Strong recommendation from me!

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