How the UnderTaker Saved One Family Thousands


A new homeowner in Bridgeport, CT had just received the kind of news no new homeowner wants to hear: his main sewer line leading to the street was full of tree roots which had destroyed the line’s integrity and would require replacement. Using traditional trenching methods, this would mean tearing up his lawn, removing several mature trees and bushes, destroying a concrete retaining wall and sidewalk, and excavating A/C units in harm’s way. The estimate for these landscaping repairs was very expensive, and would likely not be covered by a regular homeowner insurance policy.

But Raps Plumbing, armed with their new Spartan Tool UnderTaker Trenchless Pipe Replacement System, was able to offer a far less expensive—and far less destructive—alternative.

With their purchase of the UnderTaker, Raps Plumbing not only gained a competitive edge by being able to offer a trenchless solution for a fraction of the price, but also gained peace of mind knowing that Spartan Tool stood by their side, ready to train operators and ensure the complete success of their latest investment!

On the morning of the job, Spartan Territory Managers Bill Schoepp, Tom Griffin, and John Face joined forces with the technicians at Raps Plumbing and set to work.

Pipe Cutting & Fusing

While pits were dug in the street and near the side of the house to expose the sewer lateral, TM Tom Griffin demonstrated proper pipe cutting procedures, using the UnderTaker’s fusion machine to clamp the pipe and the power facing tool to cut it.

The total run to be replaced was 80′ using four 20′ sections. All excess trimmings were cut away and the pipe’s edges were kept clean to make sure that no foreign matter would be trapped (or air pockets would develop) during fusing.

Next, the cut pipe lengths were joined together using the fusion machine as a vice, and the UnderTaker’s heating iron was turned on. The heating iron reaches 500 degrees Fahrenheit, melting the pipe lengths together to create a weld stronger than the integrity of the pipe.

After the strength of each weld was tested (a task that can accomplished simply by standing on the joint), the entire 80’ run was ready to be pulled. In this instance, Raps Plumbing was able to run the length across the road and up into a neighbor’s driveway, but—for jobs with less space—the pipe would be fused in smaller sections, then pulled and fused again as space allows.

Bursting & Pulling

Once the UnderTaker’s puller unit and extraction cage were put into place near the side of the house, the bursting and pulling process was ready to begin. Raps Plumbing technicians fed the puller unit’s aircraft cable through the existing pipe, attached on the street end to the burst head and new pipe. From here, the bursting head would break up the old pipe, making room for the new pipe to be pulled in just behind it.

The old sewer lateral being replaced had been heavily impacted by roots, and was made of Transite (a concrete-like substance) and clay tile sections. What was unexpected, however, was that the joints between sections had been thickly encased in concrete. The presence of these concreted joints, only visible to an underground radar gun, could have stopped Raps job dead in its tracks, but the UnderTaker puller unit—and a little elbow grease—prevailed and pushed the cement casings out.

With the new line in place and connected to the house, the process was complete and clean-up was ready to begin!

Spartan is Here to Help

At the end of the day, this homeowner and his family had a new sewer lateral, a saved yard, and a rescued budget—thanks to Raps Plumbing and their UnderTaker. And Spartan is proud to be a part of that process, training our customers on-site and in real environments to get the most out of their equipment. (We also have videos of the UnderTaker in action here.) Connect with your local Territory Manager today to see how they can assist you, or even provide in-person demos before your buy!

Reporting from the trench(less),

Samantha Long

Samantha is the Content Manager for Spartan Tool. (view original article w/ images here.)

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