With numerous, aging copper and plastic service lines in need of replacement,the gas industry is always looking for new replacement techniques that limitdisruption and speed installation times. Trenchless equipment manufacturer TTTechnologies, Aurora, Ill., is working with the Gas Technology Institute (GTI),Naperville, Ill. to develop new techniques and methods for effectively andefficiently replacing these small diameter gas service lines.

Arby Construction, New Berlin, Wis., has partnered with the TT Technologiesand GTI in order to utilize the latest in trenchless pipe splitting technologyto replace numerous copper gas services for Nicor Gas, Naperville, Ill. Arbycrews are using the new Mini-Grundotugger static pipe splitting system (patentpending) to split and replace 5/8-in. diameter copper gas services and replacethem with 1-in. CTS. Most of the services that the Arby crews encounter arebetween 30 and 75 ft in length

The Mini-Grundotugger System can be used for both small-hole (keyhole) andtraditional trenchless work for the replacement of copper or plastic servicelines. The system replaces the service line by simultaneously splitting theexisting service line while pulling in a new PE service line. The existingservice line is split and expanded to allow for the subsequent replacementservice to be installed. The existing service line can act as a conduit for thereplacement service that aids in the installation of the new service line.

Cost-saving opportunities are one of the most attractive benefits of thesystem, especially when it comes to excavation and restoration requirements. Thetool can be utilized through a keyhole in pavement applications, as well asthrough a small hole excavation in the parkway, minimizing not only excavationrequirements, but also, final restoration needs.

Three different models of Mini-Grundotuggers are available for the specificsplitting situations for pipes with diameters including 1/2-in., 5/8-in.,3/4-in. up to 1-in. Depending on the existing pipe material, the unit’sspecially designed splitting head and expander split the host pipe. The new pipecan be pulled in directly behind the expander or the split service can beretrieved first before the new service is pulled in.

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