There are several ways to repair a damaged pipe, most of which involve digging. However, there are exceptions to this that require little to no digging—one of which is CIPP lining, or cured-in-place piping. It works by inserting a liner (the innermost part of the pipe) inside the existing tube. You then inflate the liner, so it fits perfectly in the old pipe. Finally, you expose the material to heat, steam, or other curing agents, causing it to harden, hence the name.
It’s similar to how snakes replace their old skin with a new skin from the inside. Unfortunately, CIPP lining isn’t always viable as it only works if the old pipe is still reasonably stable.
If it’s suitable, you can save a lot of money since this method is much cheaper than other repair methods as it’s easier and quicker. But that being said, how much does CIPP lining cost?
Should You Do It Yourself Or Hire A Professional?
This is the first question you must ask yourself. In most household tasks or projects, going DIY is usually the cheaper option, but that might not be the case when it comes to CIPP lining. That’s because you need special equipment to pull it off, which can already put a dent in your wallet.
For instance, you’ll need a vacuum pump like MaxLiner USA’s Max Vacpump to apply the much-needed air pressure in the first step. You won’t need to make such an investment if you outsource the job. But at the same time, if you go the outsourcing route, you have to pay for inspections and labor that should otherwise be free if you elect to do them yourself.
Put simply, the associated costs for each of the two methods may vary considerably. With that said, let’s first take a look at how much you should expect to spend if you go the DIY route.
CIPP Lining: DIY Costs
The main source of expenditure of CIPP lining if you go DIY is the materials and equipment you must buy prior to the operation. The labor will naturally be free since it’s all going to be done by you. On average, you’re looking at a cost of USD$23,800 if you want to go all-in on high-end equipment. But if you want to save money, you can lower the cost to USD$19,800.
Below are the corresponding factors that affect the estimated cost:
- Video Camera
As stated earlier, CIPP lining isn’t always a viable repair method. Your old pipe must meet certain requirements to ensure that CIPP lining will succeed. These requirements include:
- Pipes that are greater than two inches in diameter
- Pipes are still solid and not too fragile
- Pipes aren’t collapsed as it’d mean it’s no longer stable
Of course, you wouldn’t want to buy all the necessary equipment just to find out your pipes can’t be CIPP repaired. Therefore, you need to perform inspections first, and for that, you’ll need a video camera. The ideal type of camera would be an endoscope camera. It should cost around USD$100, and you only need one of these for the entire repair project.
- Cleaning Equipment
Upon confirming that your pipe can be CIPP repaired, you must proceed by cleaning the old pipes. To do that, you’ll need equipment that can perform hydro jetting. It’s a method that uses extreme water pressure to remove dirt buildup, blockages, contaminants, and coating materials. The cheapest hydro jetting equipment you can find costs USD$1,000, so it’s pretty costly.
For CIPP lining, you need a cutter to pre-cut the liners you’re going to buy later on so you can saturate them with resin. These cutters usually cost USD$8,000, and that should already be high-end. Those that are of lower quality will cost around USD$4,000 instead.
- Lateral Liner
The lateral liner may range in price according to its width (millimeter) and length (feet). If you’re dealing with only 50 feet of piping, your expenditure should be USD$300 at most.
Once the liner is pre-cut, you must saturate it with resin. The cost of resin varies according to how much you need to buy. For a project that involves 50 feet of piping, you’ll need 20 kg of resin at most, and that should cost USD$400 if you can find a reliable supplier.
A roller allows you to make sure the resin is distributed properly and equally throughout the liner. For USD$5,000, you should be able to get a decent calibration roller for this process.
- Vacuum Pump
Next, you need to inflate the liner to ensure it fits perfectly in the old pipe. To do that, you need a vacuum pump. It’s an equipment that utilizes air pressure to inflate the liner. You can get a high-end vacuum pump for USD$1,000.
- Curing Equipment
The last thing you need to get is curing equipment. It’s arguably the most expensive machine you’ll need to buy, but it’s crucial since that’s the main point of CIPP. Curing equipment costs around USD$8,000, though it depends on the brand.
CIPP Lining: Outsourcing Costs
Just like the DIY method, several factors affect the costs of a CIPP lining service. But for your reference, the cost of CIPP lining services usually ranges from USD$50 to USD$200 per foot of piping. Assuming your home has 50 feet of piping, the average cost of hiring a professional for CIPP lining services comes at an average of USD$6,250 for the whole project.
Here’s a look at the services that professionals may charge you for:
- Initial inspection
- Cutting and wet-out
- Pipe relining
- Final inspection
They use special equipment for these services, so they’ll charge you for each one. And yes, USD$6,250 is a quarter of the cost of the DIY method, but it’s not necessarily always the best choice, budget-wise. The DIY method can be cost-efficient in the long term since once you have the equipment, every time you need to perform a CIPP lining repair, you’ll need to spend only USD$700 for the liner and resin. Disregarding the labor, it’s an excellent deal.
A dig-and-replace pipe repair typically costs USD$80 to USD$250 per foot of piping, so a 50-feet pipeline can cost up to USD$12,250. While it may seem like CIPP lining repair is expensive, it’s actually known for being one of the cheaper repair methods. Not to mention it’s also a faster repair method, you don’t have to wait for days for the team to finish the operation.