How does Trenchless Pipe Bursting Replacement Work?


Once in awhile, the pipes that direct wastes from our homes do inevitably become obsolete as the result of the continual exposure to the elements of wear and tear. Ordinarily, property and home owners are usually required to dig up trenches along the paths of the pipes. This process is very tedious, expensive, and inconveniencing to both the home owners and those who reside in the same neighborhoods.

However, this ought not to be the case anymore. For the last 15 years, a revolutionary new technique of replacing the pipes has been in existence. This is called the trenchless pipe bursting replacement technique.

The central focus of the discussions that follow shall be to define what “trenchless pipe bursting” is and to also answer the following fundamental question: “How does trenchless pipe bursting replacement work?”

What is Trenchless Pipe Bursting Replacement

Trenchless pipe bursting replacement is a technique used to replace underground pipes without necessarily digging up trenches along the pavements, streets, and backyards as is the case with the conventional techniques.

It basically entails dragging a brand new pipe through a damaged one and at the same time fracturing the old pipe outwards. It is preferably used in case the lateral joints have collapsed or if the underground pipes have joints.

How it Works

It is actualized in the following five main steps:
Ascertaining the Scope of the Job to be performed
The scope of the job simply means how large and how costly the job is to be as well as the specific areas within the landscape that are to be affected by the pipe replacement work. This step is very necessary as it helps in drafting a suitable budget and in also notifying in advance the persons who are most likely to be affected by the work.

Preparation of the Work Area
The second step entails preparing the work area for the task of pipe replacement. This is carried out by cordoning off the area and clearly marking it as, “Work In Progress” or “Out of Bounds.” The workmen thereafter put on the necessary protective attire such as aprons, overalls, facemasks, and gloves to protect them from debris while working.

Assembly of the Necessary Tools and Equipment
The needed tools-of-trade are then assembled. Typically, the following are the most common tools for the job: a pulling machine, a retaining device, a hydraulic power pack, pulling rods, and the expander head.

Digging of Access Holes
Access holes are then to be dug on both sides of the lateral pipes. This creates an opening through which the new pipes and cables are eventually pulled along. The access holes should be exactly at the same spot where the current pipe to be replaced starts and ends for greater precision and convenience.

Insertion and Pulling of the New Pipe
The final step involves the actual insertion of the new pipes into the access holes and the subsequent dragging of those pipes through the old pipes. This friction causes the old pipes to fracture and peel away and in so doing, create a way for their replacement with the new ones.

Final Verdict

Trenchless pipe bursting replacement technique is estimated to cost around 30% to 50% more than the conventional digging techniques.

On the flip side, it is time-saving in the sense that it carries out the task of replacing old, broken and worn-out pipes as quickly as possible and with very minimal effort. It is also convenient since it leads to less interference with the residents of the neighborhood wherein it is adopted. This stems from the fact that it does not at all interfere with or alter the landscape wherein it is carried out besides requiring no restorative work at the conclusion of a pipe bursting replacement.

This technique is therefore more superior to the traditional pipe replacement methods and is therefore the way to go for home owners and tenants alike, the aforementioned minor shortcoming, notwithstanding!

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