James Galligan’s accounting entry for December 10, 1913
In the early 1900s, you could find James Galligan moving through the streets of Philadelphia behind his pushcart carrying his tools on the way to another plumbing repair. Today, his grandsons are still in the trade and working hard within Pipeshark to solve piping problems with the newest technologies. Technologies that can install and repair buried or otherwise inaccessible piping without all the damage, inconvenience, and restoration that accompanies digging things up or ripping things out the traditional way.
We grew up in the mechanical contracting trade, specializing in difficult mechanical problems and design-build projects, ranging from the old (steam) to the new (medical oxygen). While searching for a way to repair a broken sewer line running under an institution’s historic tree we were referred to a former Doylestown, PA native living in California who was inventing a method of replacing buried piping by breaking it upright in place underground and then replacing it with remarkable new piping, all in one operation, and with only minimal excavation. We bought his equipment to replace the sewer and saved the tree. At that moment as we looked back over the collective memories of three generations of destroying and breaking things just to get to the problem to be fixed, we feel in love with this new device. From that point on we have embraced, lobbied for, and even helped advance technologies designed to install, repair, or replace piping and conduits which run under, above, or behind things people want to preserve. Now, besides pipe bursting, we also do pipe lining, pipe boring, and slip lining. We are constantly learning to do more and harmless. We created Pipeshark to aggressively pursue using these new technologies and become experts in trenchless work.
More than 11 years later, we are still hooked on these technologies. We love what we do. And when we’re not using the technologies we are talking to other users all across the U.S. and even in other countries – devotees who also keep developing increasingly clever ways to do more piping repair and installations while damaging less of what’s around it. One of our owners, John Galligan says, “I’m old and you’d think I’d be ready to just coast from here, but the things we can do now are just so cool. It’s such an exciting time to be in this trade if you’re into the mechanics of it all. It’s new enough that the inventors are still active in the industry and are approachable.
There are also a lot of clever field guys out there tinkering away with the equipment, finding better ways to work with it and even do some things the inventors hadn’t considered. It’s similar to what was going on with plumbing and steam heating when my Grandfather was a young man in the early 1900s and they were basically still inventing the industry and creating the rules. Only now we have the added benefit of the internet so you can get online at the end of the day and talk to other guys doing this type of work in Maine, Ohio, California, and all across the country and even the world. It’s a pretty neat time in a pretty neat industry. Our grandfather would have thought it was pretty awesome too. He would be really shocked just to see how much power this equipment can generate and how much we can do without making a mess. He’d be so surprised he probably run his pushcart into a carriage or maybe even one of those new automobiles back then. Boy, what I wouldn’t give to still have that old pushcart of his.”
Most of our clients are in Eastern Pennsylvania but we often travel much further to do work because of our equipment and experience. Frequently, we’re called into work with a local contractor or a municipality who has a lot of the traditional experience and equipment and just needs our special experience and equipment to complete their team on a project. For example, we recently assisted a local contractor in the Washington, DC area to replace ten different sections of sewer mains, and we worked with another on an Army Depot under the US Army Corps of Engineers to replace a forced sewer main running under some roads and railroad tracks. Locally we do a lot of work with plumbers on residential sewer and water lines and we also do a lot of work directly for homeowners and building owners.
We are master plumbers and are registered in Pennsylvania under the Home Improvement Consumer Protection Act (HIC # is PA021884). We are also members of the Plumbing Heating Cooling Contractors Association (PHCC), the Better Business Bureau (BBB), the National Association of Sewer Service Companies (NASSCO), and the International Pipe Bursting Association (IPBA).