Trenchless Sewer Replacement: 3 Tips For Successful Sewer Pipe Bursting

20 January 2022
 Categories: , Blog


Pipe bursting is one of the most effective ways of replacing a damaged sewer pipe without excavating the ground. With this technique, an access point is created in the ground and used to direct a bursting head into the old piping. The bursting head breaks the old piping into pieces and pushes it out of the way. The new pipe is pulled into place using a winch. Pipe bursting allows you to install a new sewer line with minimal ground disturbance. Read on for a few tips to increase the success of this technique.

Conduct a Pre-Replacement Inspection

Before replacing a broken sewer line, you should inspect the piping to determine the extent and nature of the damage. This will determine whether pipe bursting is a viable technique for the replacement project. This method works well where:

  • The affected sewer line section has no bends or curves
  • There are no nearby utility lines
  • The old piping hasn't collapsed

Conduct video camera inspections to locate the damage and assess the design of the sewer line. If the sewer line has curves or has collapsed, this replacement method may not work. Your contractor may need to carry out additional work before replacing the pipe. Remember to use ground-penetrating radar or other viable technologies to check the location of underground utilities and prevent damage.

Examine the Ground Conditions

As the name suggests, pipe bursting involves bursting the old piping and breaking it down into small pieces. This process exerts a lot of force on the surrounding soil. Thus, the soil should be stable and well compacted. If the soil isn't stable, the force exerted can collapse the sewer line, leading to additional problems. Thus, your contractor should assess the ground conditions to determine whether the soil can handle the force exerted by the equipment. 

Use Piping of the Same Size

When installing a new sewer line, consider choosing the same size pipe as the old one. Replacing an old pipe with a similar size simplifies the project and lowers the risk of ground movement. However, this doesn't mean that you can't install a larger sewer line. Keep in mind that in order to upsize the piping, the bursting head will require more power to break the old piping and create more room for the new sewer line. The surrounding soil should be stable enough to handle the force exerted by the bursting equipment.

Pipe bursting is a non-invasive method of replacing damaged sewer lines. However, for this technique to work, it must be executed correctly. A professional sewer contractor such as Drainline Plumbing & Trenchless Sewer Specialist can inspect the old piping and recommend the best trenchless replacement for your sewer line.