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Directional Drilling Line Replacement: How It Works

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 water lines in urban areas.

How It Works

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.

Benefits of Directional Drilling

Directional drilling helps preserve the surrounding environment by cutting down the amount of digging needed to install a water 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 water line project. We are trusted local experts, serving the greater Seattle and Bellevue areas since 1968. Visit our website to learn more!

Photo Credit: CJ, available under Creative Commons CCO.

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