What is it?

Underground boring, or directional boring, is a trenchless method of installing underground electrical lines along a predetermined path. The directional drilling system allows for the placement of underground pipes with minimal disruption along the ground surface. By bypassing obstacles like sidewalks, driveways, parking lots, roads and landscaping, individuals tend to see a reduction of costs when compared to scope of work required to trench electrical lines. The process is suitable for a variety of soil conditions including: clay, silt, sand, and rock. Soil conditions that can be problematic for directional boring include large grain content such as coarse gravel, cobbles, and boulders. 

What equipment is needed? 

We have a special piece of equipment known as the Ditch Witch JT10 horizontal directional drill to efficiently and effectively complete our underground boring projects. This hydraulic machine boasts unbeatable power in a compact, sturdy frame that is easily transported from job site to job site. Due to its size, the JT10 is able to effectively drill in tight spaces where other machines may not reach. Our Ditch Witch also has increased cycle times which allows operators to put more pipe in the ground faster. 

How does the process work? 

First, a small pilot hole is drilled along a path from one surface point to another. Next, the bore created during pilot hole drilling is enlarged to a diameter that will ease installation of the desired pipeline. Lastly, the pipeline is pulled through the enlarged hole which creates a continuous segment of underground pipe exposed only at the two initial end points. 

Advantages to underground boring: 

  • Reduced soil disturbance
  • Single location to install multiple pipes
  • Protect ecosystems and adjacent areas
  • Reduced cost when compared to scope of work required with trenching electrical lines
  • Limited landscape disruption
  • Ability to drill beneath surface obstructions (sidewalks, parking lots, driveways, roads, landscaping, etc.)

Examples of underground boring

In the past year, our team worked with the people at the Bale Barn in Cascade to help them run electricity to a new warehouse building at their location. Rather than disrupt their traffic flow and trench the ground to run electrical lines, we used our Ditch Witch to implement underground boring. We also recently worked at St. Thomas Aquinas parish office in Cascade to relocate electrical and fiber lines without disturbing the alleyway or yard. 

Do you have an underground boring project on your “to-do” list in 2020?

Call McAllister Electrical Services today and we will get you on the schedule!

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