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What Is Trenchless Technology?

Sewer Line

You may have noticed among our long list of plumbing services that we offer trenchless technology. This isn’t a service you’ll necessarily call specifically us to do. It isn’t like contacting our plumbers to fix a leak, unclog a drain, or repipe your house. Rather, trenchless technology is a method we use to handle a number of important jobs such as repairing and replacing damaged sewer and water lines. When you call us for assistance because you’ve lost water to your house or the sewer line has backed up, we’ll decide if using trenchless technology is the fastest and most effective method to solve the problem.

We’ll provide a short rundown in this post to give you an idea of why this technology is beneficial for home and commercial plumbing. If you want full details about trenchless technology in Bethesda, MD and throughout Maryland, Virginia, and the District of Columbia, get in touch with one of our plumbers.

The Basics of Trenchless Technology

Trenchless technology is actually an umbrella term for a number of installation and replacement techniques for pipes and other utilities (such as fiber optic cables and gas lines) that cause minimum disruption to the surface because of excavation. For example, the standard way of replacing a sewer line for a house is to use power digging equipment to tear open a trench to access the pipeline. This is disruptive to the property around the house and requires a large amount of labor and time. Trenchless technology removes almost all the digging work, which is why it’s often called “no dig” technology. (Although it may require a small amount of digging—just not enough to create noticeable disruptions.)

Trenchless technology originally started in coal mining, where lateral boring was used to access difficult-to-reach areas. It was soon adopted into civic engineering: lateral digging to lay down pipes and electrical lines means there’s no need to tear up large parts of streets and create massive disruption. Eventually, the technology found its way into the residential sector as an alternative to using digging equipment.

Here’s how the trenchless technology we use for pipe replacement works (this is only one example of ways we can use trenchless technology, but it’s a good overall survey):

  • Our technicians dig a small hole at the edge of your property where the sewer or water line crosses to the municipal system. We can access the end of the pipe and detach it.
  • From indoors, we located where the sewer line exits the house (or the water line enters it) and slide a pipeliner into the pipe interior.
  • A hydraulic device attached to the other end of the pipeline—the one we accessed by digging—then draws the pipeliner through the pipe and sets it into place.
  • A device called a “pipe-burster” the drawn threw the pipeliner, expanding the liner to shatter the exterior pipe, replacing it with the liner.
  • The new pipe is connected to the municipal system and the single small hole is filled in and landscaped.

This process takes only a few hours, rather than days like standard excavation methods. And afterward, the property looks virtually untouched!

Mallick Plumbing & Heating Is the Service Contractor of Choice for when Trenchless Technology is the best solution to your plumbing issues.