Finding the exact location of laterals after a relining job is typically a thankless task. The relining company used to have to perform a camera inspection pre-lining, meticulously marking every lateral. Then, following the reline, an operator uses a remote-controlled reinstatement cutter to cut the liner at the lateral location to open the connection at each mark. Because it isn’t exact, mistakes can happen. But a new product from RapidView IBAK is designed to take the guesswork out of lateral reinstatement.
The GATOR Automatic Lateral Detector is a sensor that mounts on the front armature of RapidView IBAK GATOR cutters and allows the user to locate lateral connections through the pipe liner before reinstatement. Using a small microwave emitter and easy-to-use software, it locates the lateral behind the liner and automatically marks the center of the lateral for reinstatement. According to Matt Sutton, RapidView IBAK’s vice president of sales and marketing, the technology is a first for the relining industry.
“This unit will pinpoint exactly where each lateral meets the pipe,” he says. “There is nothing else like this out there right now. We feel it’s a game-changer for the industry.”
The system can be operated in a completely automatic mode, finding the laterals, even if a pre-inspection was not completed prior to lining. The sensor allows rehabilitation companies to avoid costly and time-consuming mistakes when reinstating laterals.
“We haven’t found an instance yet using it where it wasn’t 100 percent accurate,” says Sutton. “Even if the lateral meeting the relined pipe is clogged, this unit will find it.”
RapidView IBAK developed the technology in partnership with a German university, and it’s aimed at large relining companies and municipal sewer and commercial plumbing contractors. Sutton says that despite the perfect success rate of the sensor so far, it is quite affordable.
“We designed this to be a huge time-saver for companies, and it can actually pay for itself after only a few jobs,” says Sutton. “We know that the market for a product like this is pretty niche, but those that do this type of work know how revolutionary a product like this can be.” 800/656-4225; www.rapidview.com.