What is Trenchless Technology?

By July 16, 2015Blog

Trenchless Applications for Plumbing Projects

Trenchless technology refers to the advanced methods for doing underground work without having to dig everything up. Instead, they use largely high-tech equipment to go in from just a few key access points, and do the work mostly horizontally. In this way plumbers can replace, rehabilitate, or repair pipes without disrupting the ground above.

Trenchless Plumbing Methodologies

While the upfront equipment cost may be more expensive for plumbing companies, we at Simpson Plumbing view it as a long-term investment. We have acquired the sophisticated tools to implement trenchless techniques for everything from large commercial projects to single unit home construction projects and remodels. We pride ourselves in our ability to serve Vancouver area homeowners with affordable plumbing solutions of all scales.

Affordability of Trenchless Plumbing

example of trenchless technologyEven with the hefty initial equipment expense, using trenchless technology is actually more cost-effective in the long-run than old-school excavation techniques. How? Because of the reduced time and labor costs. All the digging involved in old-fashioned plumbing techniques can run up a large bill simply due to the labor and time involved in excavation. With the trenchless approach, you can go in horizontally and with laser precision, affecting only what requires attention. This ultimately results in savings for the consumer.

Project Examples in Vancouver WA Area

There are a large variety of applications for trenchless technology. Projects can range from residential pipe rehabilitation to full-on construction for new commercial buildings. Here we will discuss one of the principal methods we use at Simpson Plumbing for our clients in Vancouver, WA.

Directional Boring

Also known as horizontal directional drilling or “HDD,” this is a trenchless method for doing underground installations. The technique can be used for installing underground pipes, as well as other conduits and cables, with minimal surface impact. The pipes installed can be made of materials ranging from PVC to polypropylene, and even steel.

HDD is particularly helpful for projects in urban areas, wherein any kind of excavation of ground surface would be highly disruptive. Operating in such contexts, however, comes with its own set of risks and necessary precautions. Because there are frequently pre-existing underground utilities in place, the drilling operator must plan very careful so as not to damage them when installing new piping.

To start the process, a technician establishes a receiving hole and entrance pits, which allow excess drilling fluid to be reclaimed and therein reduce costs and prevent waste. Here are some of the steps involved:

  1. Drill pilot hole on designated path.
  2. Enlarge the original hole with a cutting tool called a back reamer. (This step is also known as “reaming.”)
  3. Place product or casing pipe into enlarged hole via drill stem.
  4. Pull product or casing pipe behind reamer to center it in the newly enlarged path.

Directional drilling is just one of the trenchless techniques that Simpson Plumbing employs to make highly effective and disturbance-free plumbing installations in the Vancouver metropolitan area.

If you are interested in having any residential or commercial plumbing projects done with these advanced technologies, Simpson Plumbing in Vancouver, WA can help. Call us today!

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