Pipe Bursting

The Original No-Dig Pipe Replacement

Go with the first and the best. US Trenchless of Sacramento introduced pipe bursting to the Sacramento area in the 1990s. To this day, our pipe bursting method is the premiere way to rehabilitate and replace severely damaged and deteriorated pipes. Our process breaks the old pipe out of the way and replaces it with a new pipe. The new pipe can either be the same size as the old pipe or, if the old pipe has reached its flow capacity, we can often install a larger pipe. The best thing about this innovative technique is that all of the work can be done without digging a trench. It means massive savings, a safer worksite, and exponentially less disruption to your property and your life while the work is being done. Our process also has a smaller carbon footprint than old-fashioned methods. US Trenchless’ no-dig system is a clear choice, compared head-to-head with traditional dig-and-replace techniques.

How we do it
First, we locate the old pipe and inspect the interior using a small camera attached to a long reel. The camera takes video that is displayed on a remote screen. It allows us to identify the condition, direction, location, and depth of the pipe. We then electronically locate the beginning and end of the pipe and mark it with paint on the surface.

Small excavations (approximately 4′ x 4′ each) are then dug at both ends, and the old pipe is cut away in those locations. We feed a high-strength steel cable through the old pipe from excavation to excavation, and then a small aluminum pulley mounted on a flat horizontal plate is attached to one end. At the top of this pulley, we attach a hydraulic cylinder device that grabs the steel cable and winches it through the old pipe at a power level equal to 20,000 pounds of pressure. On the other end, the new pipe is connected to the steel cable. At the front of the new pipe is a steel cone with a knife edge. This cone splits and expands the old pipe, making room for the new pipe to take its place.

The new pipe is semi-flexible, jointed, and thermally welded (melted) to produce one unified pipeline that is impervious to root intrusion, thus effectively stopping inflow and infiltration (I&I) for the 100 year lifetime of the new pipe.

Once the steel splitting cone has burst its way from one end of the old pipe to the other, we cut it off the new pipeline. Then, the new pipe is connected to the existing upstream and downstream pipes, where the initial cuts were made after excavation. The two small holes are backfilled with soil, and your installation is complete.

US Trenchless’ pipe bursting technology can handle pipe sizes ranging from ¾ inch up to 48 inches or more in diameter and lengths of up to 300 feet per set. Longer runs are possible, but there are some limitations.

The types of pipe we can burst include, but are not limited to:

  • Cast Iron
  • Ductile Iron
  • Class 200 PVC
  • Vitrified Clay
  • Asbestos Cement
  • Orangeburg
  • Riveted Steel
  • Reinforced Concrete Pipe Up to Class V
  • Butt Weld Steel Up to ¼ Inch Walls

The new material we pull into the pipeline includes:

  • HDPE – All DR Ratios and Pressure Classes
  • We Can Fabricate Large Diameter HDPE Fittings
  • Fusible C900 Class 200 DR14 and Class 150 DR18