Pipe Bursting: Process, Benefits & Costs

It can be difficult to determine whether an underground pipe is functioning properly or needs repair. Knowing the signs of a damaged pipe is the first step in handling the repercussions of a broken pipeline system. If a pipeline needs repairs, trenchless technology offers non-invasive methods to fully restore pipelines. One of these repair methods is pipe bursting. Read on to learn more about this rehabilitation option and when it is best used. 

What is Pipe Bursting?

The trenchless pipe repair method of pipe bursting allows pipelines to be renewed without completely digging the pipe out of the ground. Pipe bursting uses a bursting-head to eliminate the old pipe and a new pipeline is subsequently inserted in the void.

This type of trenchless pipelining is commonly used for damaged or deteriorating sewer, natural gas, and water pipelines that are buried deep underground and hard to access for repairs.  

The Pipe Bursting Process

The trenchless pipe bursting process uses advanced technology to remove the old and open up a slot for the new and improved line. We’ve broken down the pipe bursting process step-by-step so you can understand what it entails. 

  1. Setup and digging pits. Make sure the new pipe and bursting tools are in place. This will begin with digging a sending pit and receiving pit for the new pipe to be installed. The pits allow for the new pipe to be staged and inserted once the old pipe is destroyed. 
  2. Insert a bypass. The pipe bursting process requires setting up temporary bypass pumping to divert flow around the repair area. 
  3. Burst the existing pipe. Using a bursting head, the old pipe is broken apart, leaving space for a new pipe to be inserted. The new pipe is either pushed or pulled in the space left after the old pipe is burst. The bursting process also allows for diameters to be upsized since it is completely replacing the old pipeline. 
  4. Backfill and quality check. Once the new pipe is connected to the overall pipeline, the bypass pumping can be removed to test the new pipe. The pits should also be backfilled so the site is back to its original state. 

Pipe Bursting vs. Spiral Wound Lining

Though pipe bursting is an efficient method of replacing an old and damaged pipe, there are other rehabilitation and replacement methods that may better align with your needs. Consider additional trenchless pipelining methods, such as the SEKISUI SPR Spiral Wound Lining process. Let’s take a look at the differences between trenchless pipe bursting and spiral wound lining so you can work with your pipelining professionals to choose the best option. 

Pipe Bursting

The efficiency of pipe bursting, along with the capability of upsizing diameters makes it a viable option for trenchless rehabilitation. The advanced technology used to burst a pipe is able to handle larger pipe sizes (roughly 150” in diameter) and can pull nearly 1,000 feet of new pipe in one shot length. Another benefit includes the fact that pipe bursting is not dependent on the condition of the existing pipe since it is being entirely replaced.

However, there are some disadvantages when examining this method. It does require additional steps, such as temporary bypass pumping, that can be eliminated using other pipeline methods. Pipe bursting also requires digging pits, resulting in more of an above-ground construction footprint. Furthermore, this process is not recommended in certain types of soils, so it can only be used in specific situations when the soil surrounding the pipe is compressible. 

Spiral Wound Lining

Instead of completely replacing a pipeline, the SEKISUI SPR Spiral Wound Lining option gives professional pipelining specialists the opportunity to rehabilitate a deteriorated pipe with a PVC liner. Spiral Wound Lining is the ideal solution for larger pipelines as well, with the ability to handle pipes as large as 200” in diameter. 

This lining process can take place in existing flow, reducing or even eliminating the costs/time associated with temporary bypass pumping. Spiral Wound is also entirely trenchless, meaning no pits are necessary and existing access points can be used to renew pipelines. 

Let SEKISUI SPR Rehabilitate Your Pipeline

SEKISUI SPR uses advanced technology to repair and rehabilitate your existing pipelines back to full functionality. With our Spiral Wound Lining process, we can quickly and efficiently repair your pipelines with little impact on the surrounding environment. Your pipeline will be up and running as it should in no time with our specialized materials and services. Contact us today to schedule a regular inspection or start the process of pipeline repairs.

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