Tooling Kits Work in Conjunction With Excavator for Easy, Trenchless Lead Pipe Replacement

Tooling Kits Work in Conjunction With Excavator for Easy, Trenchless Lead Pipe Replacement

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HammerHead Trenchless Same Path technology now includes the HydraSlitter system, an economical and effective trenchless alternative to open-cut replacement of lead potable water pipe 0.5 to 1 inch in diameter.

HammerHead recently launched the system during this year’s American Waterworks Association ACE22 in San Antonio, Texas.

An estimated 6 to 10 million linear feet of lead pipe at or nearing the end of its useful life is still in service. Much of it exists as lateral service delivering potable water to private, residential customers. The U.S. goal is to replace all of it within the next 10 years, and $15 billion has been set aside from the infrastructure bill to address the crisis.

Josh Hood, senior manager of product management and support, says HammerHead is an industry leader in the innovation, manufacture and consultation of environmentally safe, minimally invasive pipe repair and replacement techniques. Its HydraSlitter kits are specifically designed to give pipe replacement professionals a safe, quick and reliable means of taking lead pipe laterals out of service.

Hood says the HydraSlitter system is simple, easy to learn and easy to use. Plus, “investment cost is super low, since you’re only buying tooling, not a machine.” In most cases, the machine used to pull the tooling can be the same mini excavator that was used to dig the pit depending on ground conditions and length of run.

“Runs will generally be 40 to 50 feet, but 120 feet is the maximum length right now,” Hood says.

Open-cut techniques not only damage tree root systems but routinely require extensive excavation to remove the full length of pipe and then need restoration of sidewalks, drives, retaining walls or other surface structures after the replacement pipe installation. A trenchless pipe-slitting operation using HydraSlitter tooling provides a significantly less invasive process of lead pipe replacement. Drawn by a cable attached to a mini excavator with the cable grip provided in the kit, HydraSlitter tooling slits the lead pipe while simultaneously installing new product pipe into place as it progresses.

Since the replacement pipe follows in the same path as the existing pipe, a trenchless replacement process greatly reduces disruption to daily routines, traffic, or commerce. It reduces project time and cost by minimizing excavation, demolition, and restoration requirements. It has no impact on tree root systems and significantly mitigates the risk of interfering with other utilities in shared easements.

Contractors can now select from two full-system HydraSlitter kits online. The kit arrives within only a few days containing exactly what the contractor needs for a job. Contents include the appropriate blades, expanders, cable, duct-rodder, and cable grip for the excavator, as well as a tooling assembly selection chart and instructions.


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