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The Benefits of Trenchless Sewer Repair: An Interview with Jim Hogan of Hogan Plumbing Company

By Carl Garbe

Tell us a little bit about your experience, company history and the services you offer.

My grandfather set up a plumbing shop in Los Angeles in 1905 and soon became the largest mechanical plumbing contractor firm in Los Angeles for the next 50 years. I took over the business in 1978, servicing Orange County by providing traditional commercial and residential plumbing. We have continued to expand the plumbing business and in 2000 the company opened up a trenchless sewer repair division and we specialize in the industry. We are licensed (C-42, C-36), insured and bonded. Because we have worked in Southern California since 1978 our company is very knowledgeable in the homes built here and their plumbing systems.

What is trenchless sewer repair?

Trenchless sewer repair is a relatively new and specialized process of repairing and replacing sewer pipe without digging up a homeowner's lawn or disrupting any structures on the property. Access is made from one end of the sewer pipe and a video camera is sent through the pipe to determine the problem, and whether a blockage, corrosion or breakage, the issue will be found quickly and efficiently. Then a blockage can be removed by hydro jetting the pipe, using high pressure water for cleaning the pipe. If a repair of the pipe is needed, a resin soaked liner is placed into the pipe that, once hardened, lines the old pipe with a clean and durable new pipe that is more resilient compared to the original and is warrantied for a minimum of 50 years.

How does trenchless sewer repair compare with traditional methods of repairing sewer leaks?

The traditional method involves digging a trench to expose the entire pipeline, so the potential for damage to a homeowner's property is very high. Accessing the pipe from only the end solves the sewer concern faster, with minimal mess, and for less cost than traditional ways.

What are the signs that a homeowner has a sewer leak and needs to contact a professional plumber?

Some of the things to watch for are slow drains that do not respond to other blockage removal methods, continual foul order, puddles of water or patches in yard. A video inspection when purchasing, listing or remodeling a house can give you the reassurance that your property's sewer pipes are in good shape, or indicate a repair is needed before extensive and expensive damage can occur.

Common residential problems are:

  • Tree Root Intrusions
  • Broken or Cracked pipes
  • Deteriorated/Corroded Pipe
  • Leaking Joints
  • Debris Blockage
  • When should homeowners in Orange County area consider trenchless sewer repair?

    Homeowners should consider trenchless sewer repair anytime they are having sewer concerns to avoid further damage in their pipe and property. The advantages of lower cost, less time and little disruption to the homeowner's lives are always beneficial.

    Are there any drawbacks to choosing this type of repair?

    There are no drawbacks if the repair is one where the trenchless technique is warranted. If a more pervasive repair or replacement needs to be done, then a more traditional method may be warranted and an experienced sewer plumbing company will be able to determine that.

    What is some of the feedback you've received from customers after they've had trenchless sewer repair work done?

    Our customers have greatly appreciated this option for repair to save them money, time and hassle. We have completed work with this method at residences and commercial buildings big and small and no matter the size of the job, it has been a total success. Unfortunately, not everyone knows that trenchless sewer repair is an option and because not all companies provide this service, a homeowner may be convinced the traditional way of digging up their yard to access the entire pipe is their only choice for a resolution.

    What's the best way for people to reach you and your company?

    Please call Hogan Plumbing at 1-888-982-8493 or email us at with any questions.

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