Pipe Bursting


Leaking pipelines caused by cracks, settlements or root infestations force utility companies to take action. This often raises the question: Repair Renovation or Renewal?

Trenchless pipe renewal is an opposing method to the open-trench method which involves traffic disruption, noise emission loads, dust and surface disruption, danger of damages to existing pipes and cables, intervention in ground water and soil, storage and transportation of the excavated soil.

Technical Information:

When replacing pipes with the static bursting technique, a bursting rod is pushed from a start pit (manhole) through the old pipe into a target pit (manhole).

On arrival in the target pit the bursting blade with the new pipe connected is attached to the rod string. When pulling back the rod string the old pipe is destroyed with tough material like steel, ductile iron or PE being cut and brittle material like grey cast, stoneware or concrete being burst by the bursting blade. The pipe fragments are displaced into the surrounding soil and the new pipe - of equal or larger diameter - is pulled in simultaneously. Usually long plastic pipes are pulled in - in narrow spaces also short pipe modules can be installed.

Meanwhile the static pipe bursting method is the most commonly used technique worldwide for renewing. Out of a minimally dimensioned pit the QuickLock bursting rods are pulled in with GRUNDOBURST. With the pipe bursting method gas and sewage pipes (pressure pipes) as well as sewage pipes can be replaced. New pipes of almost any material (mainly plastic pipes) can be installed. Daily capacities of up to 150 m are possible.

The renewal of pipes from pit to pit is very often a viable method. The pits can be up to 200 m apart, depending on the jobsite conditions. These pits often are service line connection pits at the same time. Manholes along the bore path are directly passed through. Depending on the model, GRUNDOBURST can be used for pipes from ND 50 to ND 1000. The new pipe is pulled in either directly from the pipe coil or as a welded pipe string.


  • Due to the maximum daily capacity of more than 200 metres the static pipe bursting technique is definitely more cost-efficient than open trench replacement.
  • Even suitable for innercity pipe renewal.
  • Installation quality is similar to open trenching (even offset bends can be evened out)
  • New pipe with up to 100 years of service life. (plastic pipes according to manufacturer's specifications)
  • Significant reduction of site traffic and truck rides.
  • Low emissions, high quality and safety standards. 
  • Construction times are reduced by up to 50 %.
  • 90 % less excavated material.
  • Safe application according to the latest technical standards.
  • With more than 50.000 km the most frequently applied pipe renewal technique worldwide.

Plant Description:

The system consists of a robust rig, the TT hydraulic power unit, the QuickLock bursting rods and the relevant accessory. The individual system components are matched for performance and safety. The GRUNDOBURST is ready for action very quickly. Operation and application are really simple requiring only two operators.

Coffeys Experience:

Cork Institute of Technology Pipe Bursting – CIT Master Plan called for the laying of new pipes and ducts together with alterations and refurbishment to existing underground services in a phased programme. This included, foul sewers, surface water drains, gas and water mains, an electrical and communications ducting network and chemical drains. Replacement of the latter was of specific focus due to one length of spigot and socket concrete pipe, 150mm in diameter, passing beneath a main arterial corridor. “This gave rise to CIT seeking a No-Dig, No-Risk solution”. Also, as the Campus was fully operational throughout, they needed a method that offered minimum disruption, high safety levels and in particular low noise emission. The existing chemical dosing line a 42 meter, 150mm pipe was to be be pipe burst up to a 180 PE pipe over a distance of 42 meters installed underneath one of the corridor’s at Cork Institute of Technology.

Keadow Pipe Bursting – The project involves the rehabilitation of 660m of trunk sewer of 150mm concrete pipe with 3 sections laid in a 150mm ductile iron pipe to be upsized to a 280mm OD PE SDR pipe. The works is located at keadew Co. Roscommon. It consist of static pipe bursting system, two trenches are dug over the existing pipe one at the start of the pipe line this is called the reception pit and the other is dug at the next suitable manhole for the length of pipe, this is called the launch pit, a connectable bursting rod is pushed into the existing 150mm pipe line from a rig in the reception pit. The new 280mm pipe is then connected to pup which is welded using a butt fusion welder, which in turn is connected to a bursting head and finally to the connectable links. When reversing the bursting rods the rig pulls in the 280mm OD PE pipe through the 150mm pipe. The old pipe is destroyed and the new 280mm replace it.

Coffey Group, Athenry, Co. Galway, Ireland Tel: +353 91 844356 Fax: +353 91 844519 Email: info@coffeygroup.com