Piercing tools offer trenchless option for small line repair

Big Shot pneumatic piercing tools from Footage Tools Inc.
Piercing tools offer trenchless option for small line repair

Interested in Rehab/Relining?

Get Rehab/Relining articles, news and videos right in your inbox! Sign up now.

Rehab/Relining + Get Alerts

Big Shot pneumatic piercing tools from Footage Tools Inc. are made for water, gas and cable installations. Available in 2-, 2.5-, 3- and 4-inch diameters (models U215, U262, U300 and U400) with a full complement of accessories, the tools are CNC machined to exact dimensional tolerances from a solid billet of nickel chromoly steel and fully heat treated for superior strength and durability. Weighing from 23 to 108 pounds, the tools range from 35 to 59 inches in length.

“The Big Shot typically runs off an air compressor,” says Dan Ferguson, Footage Tools president. “There’s a piston that runs inside the barrel of the tools; it’s the inertia of the piston striking the nose of the tool that moves it forward in the ground. What you’re doing is displacing the earth as you move along. In an ideal situation, you have a nicely formed, compact hole left behind where you can pull your cable, water service or gas line through.”

The tools can be run by a portable compressor. The 2-inch model requires 25 cfm at 80-100 psi, while the 4-inch model requires 75 cfm at 90-110 psi. Ferguson says the pneumatic tools offer an economical alternative to pipe bursting and other trenchless methods when replacing 30- to 60-foot-long service lines, two inches in diameter and smaller.

The tools’ pistons are designed to withstand high-impact conditions and are treated with an anti-corrosive coating. Features include an easily replaceable cartridge-style shock absorber and a flexible air tube assembly to minimize internal deflection.

“They’re lightweight and require a fairly small entrance and exit pit (4 to 6 feet, depending on tool length),” Ferguson says. Expander heads (4.5-inch diameter for the 3-inch U300 model and 5.5-inch diameter for the 4-inch U400) are available for bursting clay tile pipe and pulling in new lines. Other accessories include a cutting head for the U300 model, pipe puller extension, tailpipe pulling cable and tailpiece wrench.

Ferguson says the tools require minimal maintenance.

“The biggest nemesis of piercing tools is corrosion,” he says. “Because of the water molecules in the compressed air that enters the tool, it’s important that the tool is well lubricated. We treat our pistons with a phosphate coating to help minimize corrosion that can happen inside the barrel. If you keep the tool well lubricated and stored properly there generally isn’t a problem.” 888/737-3668; www.footagetools.com.


Comments on this site are submitted by users and are not endorsed by nor do they reflect the views or opinions of COLE Publishing, Inc. Comments are moderated before being posted.