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Different Uses of Trenchless Technology in Plumbing

Backhoe-bucket-with-pile-of-rocksIf you’re looking for plumbing services to handle working with the pipes outside your home—i.e. the sewer line and the water line—keep in mind that not all contractors have access to the same tools or training. When it comes to repairing and replacing pipes, many contractors still use standard digging methods to excavate the ground above the pipes. This is an effective technique, but it’s not an efficient one. Digging a trench to reach a pipe is time-consuming and labor-intensive. It’s also ugly, turning a pleasant yard and garden into something resembling an archaeological dig.

But you have a choice for contractors: you can call one who uses trenchless technology. This is a type of lateral boring that approaches buried pipes from the side. Only one or two small holes need to be dug to access the pipe.

Trenchless technology has several different uses in residential plumbing:

Pipe Lining

Also known as Cured In Place Pipe (CIPP), this is a way to repair a pipe without removing sections of it. Let’s take a common example: a sewer line that has developed leaks along it. Not enough leaks to make it necessary to replace the pipe, only repair the leaking sections. Plumbers send a pipe lining inside the old pipe and use hydraulics to guide the lining into the place where the leaks are. The lining is then sealed onto the damaged pipe interior, creating a new pipe interior and fixing the leaks. Plumbers use pipe inspection equipment to help them locate where pipe lining is necessary so they can take care of the repairs accurately.

Pipe Bursting

This is a method used for sewer or water line replacement services. Putting in a new buried pipeline is obviously a huge task, but pipe bursting simplifies it. First, the trenchless technicians dig a hole at the property line to reach the end of the pipe needing replacement. Then, from inside the home, they slide in a full-length replacement pipe into the damaged pipe. Hydraulic equipment sets this new pipe in place inside the old one. A device called a pipe burster is then pulled through the pipe. This expands the new pipe, causing the old one to shatter. The new pipe is then attached to the municipal system, the hole is filled in, and presto! A brand-new pipe.

New Installation

You probably won’t need to have complete new installation for a sewer line or water main for your home, since this is done during home construction. However, it’s an important trenchless technology service: plumbers use mini-horizontal directional drilling, which pulls new pipe material through a hole dug laterally in the ground. Most sewer and water mains are installed this way.

For the most part, you don’t need to worry about which of these trenchless services is appropriate. All you have to do is call our plumbers and they’ll discover the technique to best meet your repair or replacement needs. You can then trust them to get the job done right.

Wm. Henderson Plumbing, Heating & Cooling Inc. serves Delaware County & The Main Line, PA. Find out more about our trenchless technology services.

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