Discover How a Trenchless Tool Saves the Day

Georgia plumber installs new waterline without disturbing swimming supply store parking lot.
Discover How a Trenchless Tool Saves the Day
Owner Adam Barnes (left) and his assistant, Heath Rogers, used a trenchless pipe replacement tool to install a new waterline under an asphalt parking lot at a swimming pool product supply store in Georgia.

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At a swimming pool products and supply store, water is often your friend, except when it floods the parking lot.

This was the scenario when Adam Barnes, owner of Barnes Plumbing and Septic, received a Saturday call from Georgia Pool Supply in Stockbridge, Georgia. The owner thought a swimming pool had sprung a leak before determining the water was coming from another source.

“He said, ‘I think I’ve got a busted waterline,’” Barnes recalls.

“When it comes to weekends and nights, there is no emergency to a plumber unless it’s an emergency to a customer,” Barnes says, and there were plenty of factors that turned this into crisis mode for the store owner.

With a flooded lot on the busiest day of the week and no running water — it was shut off to stop the flow — help was needed in a hurry. Within about two hours Barnes was digging into the problem.

From previous jobs at the site, Barnes knew the waterline was located under the parking lot. Along with Heath Rogers, who helps out part time on weekends and on large jobs, the pair noticed asphalt had been removed at some point where the waterline entered the store.

When they turned the water back on — out it flowed. Digging down with a shovel, they found the line but not the source of the leak. To keep from tearing up the asphalt, they went to the water meter, dug down and located the line.

“I have a trenchless waterline replacement tool for the old poly pipes,” Barnes says. “We used it to replace the waterline with 1-inch pipe from one end of the parking lot all the way to the other without digging up any of the asphalt.”

The Wedge, made by Footage Tools Inc., is designed for 3/4-inch to 1-inch trenchless service line replacement. A cable is run through the old pipe and connected to the head of the bullet-shaped wedge. The new pipe is connected to the rear of the tool and pulled along.

“You basically slide the cable through the old pipe from one end to the other,” Barnes says. “I use my mini-excavator (a Kubota U25) to pull the cable. The tool splits the old pipe and pulls the new one through at the same time.”

Tackling the repair job in this manner helped minimize property damage, while saving time and cost to the customer. Barnes estimates without the trenchless tool, it would have cost the property owner three times as much in asphalt and plumbing repair work.

“What would’ve been an eight- or 10-hour job we turned into a three-hour job with this one tool,” he says. “I was able to pass those savings along to the customer and, being it was a Saturday, I was able to get back to my family.”


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