While many water line issues can be repaired with trenchless techniques like pipe lining, sometimes the location of the line needs to be changed, or an entirely new line needs to be installed (such as with new construction). Whenever possible, Best Plumbing uses a technique called horizontal directional drilling or HDD. Also known as directional boring, this method can be used in a variety of conditions and has minimal impact on the surrounding area, making it a great fit for installing new lines in urban areas.
Before starting, the drilling operator will need to gather complete information about all the existing utilities and structures in the area so they can plan a route. A major benefit of directional drilling is that operators are able to change the direction of the drill in order to avoid obstructions.
Once the route is planned, the operator digs a small hole at the predetermined entry and exit points for the new line. The drill is inserted at one end and is used to bore a pilot tunnel for the new pipe. Once the drill head reaches the exit hole, the new line is attached and dragged back through the newly drilled tunnel — eliminating the need for open excavation.
Directional drilling helps preserve the surrounding environment by cutting down the amount of digging needed to install a line. It also allows operators to more easily avoid preexisting utilities or unexpected obstacles (such as buried rocks or large tree roots). Because it doesn’t require as much manual labor, directional drilling is a much quicker process than conventional trenching methods and saves you time and money.
Contact Best Plumbing today if you have any questions about directional drilling and if it might be suitable for your sewer or water line project. We are trusted local experts, serving the greater Seattle area since 1968.
While Seattle’s trees might bring joy to your heart, their roots can play havoc on your pipes. Over time, the integrity of your sewer lines can be compromised by roots, causing cracks and blockages that can lead to a sewer backup.
Root systems are made from large roots that provide support and stabilization, and smaller, feeder, roots that supply water and nutrients. Generally, roots grow within the top 18 inches of soil but can go deeper depending on conditions. It’s important to know that the roots of trees and shrubs generally extend more than two times the height of the plant. Even if it doesn’t look like a tree is near your sewer line, its roots could still possibly cause issues.
For the most part, roots will enter the pipe around the joint, but they can also exploit small cracks or thin areas in the pipe wall. The material of the pipe helps decide resistance to roots. For example, clay pipes are easily penetrated by roots and will quickly become damaged. PVC pipes are less susceptible to root intrusion, though they can be penetrated, particularly if joints aren’t tightly fitted. If not disturbed, roots will completely fill up a pipe, creating a thick, web-like mass that slows downflow and traps debris. In severe cases, the roots can grow so large that they crack the pipe or joint, causing it to collapse.
Cabling a pipe cuts off the pieces that are on the inside of the pipe and clears out any blockages. However, the root on the outside of the joint will continue to grow and put pressure on the pipe. Eventually, the root will grow large enough that it can cause a crack and allow dirt to enter the pipe. For this reason, it’s important that you have your sewer line video inspected to check the conditions of the pipe. Doing so allows you to make plans for eventual sewer line replacement instead of being caught off guard.
If you think it’s time to have your pipes cabled, give Best Plumbing a call. Using our advanced video inspection process we can spot where roots have penetrated your pipes and created blockages. We can also repair any damage roots have caused before it becomes a more serious problem! We proudly serve the greater King County area.
Photo Credit: werner22brigitte, available under Creative Commons CCO.