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Pipe Bursting? What is it?


Excavation is the Hard Way

Last week, I came home from work and noticed a home in the neighborhood that had barricades in the street, caution tape, and trenches from one end of their yard to their home. There were mounds of dirt from digging all over the yard and the property looked a mess. Without needing to ask, I could see that the property was having its main sewer line replaced, the hard way.

But tearing up your home, yard, and landscaping should be a thing of the past!

So is it possible to repair sewer lines without digging? Yes, through trenchless pipe bursting.

Repairing Sewer Lines Without Digging

Pipe bursting (trenchless sewer replacement) is a way to replace an existing sewer without making huge trenches in your yard. Pipe bursting involves breaking up an old, severely damaged sewer system to make way for the replacement pipe. This system is more efficient and safer than traditional, trench digging and excavation. 

How Does Trenchless Pipe Bursting Work?

Today’s trenchless pipe bursting methods make use of mechanically applied force and high-grade bursting heads. In trenchless sewer replacement method, a large cone shape head is hydraulically pulled by steel cable through the old sewer line. This breaks apart the old pipe underground while at the same time pulling into place a new, seamless HDPE (High-density Polyethylene) pipe that is the same size or larger than the old existing pipe.

In this process, a bursting head is fixed to a replacement pipe line, that line is then fed through an entry hole (at the street) to the broken sewer line. The bursting head breaks up the existing damaged sewer line as it is pulled through. This happens because the bursting head’s cone like shape is larger at its base than the existing pipe’s diameter.

Using hydraulic power to pull it through, the entire existing sewer pipe is fractured and pushed from its location. The replacement pipe, attached behind the bursting head, is then seamlessly fed in place, filling the cavity left behind by the bursting head.

Benefits of Trenchless Pipe Bursting

  • More efficient
  • Safer
  • Lower labor costs
  • Lower lawn repair costs
  • Can install a larger sewer line
  • Often includes a 99 year warranty

Trenchless pipe bursting is significantly more efficient than traditional sewer digging replacement, but it is also safer and generally more cost-effective. Pipe bursting’s efficient application limits expensive labor costs and lawn repair costs that are typical with traditional pipe replacement.

Lower cost and landscaping are not the only advantages of trenchless pipe bursting. Another benefit of trenchless pipe bursting is the potential for increased pipe flow. With trenchless pipe bursting, soil is cleared as the old pipe is burst through. With the soil cleared and old pipe removed, homeowners are able to increase the size of their existing sewer line to a pipe with a larger diameter, thus increasing the flow of waste from their home.

Additionally, pipes installed with pipe bursting are often covered by a 99 year warranty. With the durable quality of pipe used today and techniques of trenchless replacement, life expectancy of the pipe has been extended far beyond pipes used in the past. Use of new materials has increased pipe resistance to naturally occurring hazards, such as soil shifts, roots intrusions and animal activity.

If you are having issues with your main sewer and are contemplating having it replaced, give your local SWEET plumbers at American Rooter Plumbing a call! We would be happy to answer any questions that you may have about sewer replacement by trenchless pipe bursting.

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