Rehabilitation and Repair

Rehabilitation and Repair

Pipe freeze protection device converts seasonal cabins into year-round residences

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Pipe freeze protection device converts seasonal cabins into year-round residences

Problem: The owners of two seasonal, 1950s-era cabins near Rocky Mountain National Park needed to solve persistent water pipe freeze problems so they could live in the cabins year-round. The cabins are adjacent to each other and share one water pump in a separate well house. The main feeder line runs approximately 28 feet across an uninsulated area under the first cabin to feed the second cabin. With temperatures holding below freezing for weeks at a time, the owners tried wrapping the pipe with heat tape, but the pipe still froze.

Solution:  In 2008, the owners installed a low-voltage HotLine Internal Water Pipe Heater inside the main feeder pipe to both cabins.

Result: The heater has reliably and economically solved the frozen water pipe problem and successfully converted two cabins sharing an older water system into year-round residences. 877-881-2980;

Bursting system used to rehabilitate line under concrete floor

Problem: A customer called LBA Air Conditioning, Heating & Plumbing in Mission, Kansas, with drainage problems. Upon arrival, LBA found a slab-on-grade residence with deteriorating cast-iron pipe and no accessible window. They were looking at having to wet cut the concrete floors to replace the customer’s seriously deteriorated trunk line.

Solution: Using video of the Spartan Tool UnderTaker’s bursting head breaking open clay and cast-iron pipe as the head is passing through, LBA was able to show the customer how trenchless pipe replacement works. That video helped LBA sell a lateral replacement to the customer. LBA was able to access the pipe from outside of the house and use the UnderTaker to reverse the pull and replace the line.

Result: LBA saved the customer the frustration, cost and mess associated with cutting 60 feet of concrete flooring. A conventional repair could have meant a loss of service for the customer and one to two nights in a hotel, plus the large cost associated with the concrete restoration. Using the UnderTaker, the job was completed more quickly than a conventional repair, and the customer saved the cost of repairing the concrete floor. 800-435-3866;

Updated bathroom shines with new flushing technology

Problem: Lynne and Christian Geisthoff decided to completely overhaul an outdated hallway bathroom to a crisp, modern style.

Solution: Alan Giese of Giese Construction in Boulder, Colorado, took on the bathroom remodel, installing a touchless, alpine-white, glass flush plate and in-wall flushing system from Viega. He’d never worked with the in-wall carrier system, so while there was a learning curve to installing it, in the end, it was simple enough, and he understands the appeal. The house framing made moving the plumbing around a little more challenging to accommodate the wall-mounted toilet. Lynne chose the touchless flush plate for the sanity aspect. The wave of a hand triggers a small or large flush. They also picked a high-tech toilet, complete with push-button technology, helping to reduce contact with germs. An in-wall system removes the crevices between the bowl and tank, which are often more difficult to clean. Plus, with the bowl lifted off the floor, it’s easy to run a mop underneath.

Result: After it was done, Giese concluded he didn’t see any cons to the in-wall system. “I’d put one in my house,” he says. “There’s such a wide price range, and some of them don’t cost a lot more than a standard system. It cleans up the bathroom, plus there’s the sanitary aspect.” 800-976-9819;  


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