Plumbing & Sewer Services in Oakland & Berkeley, CA

Trenchless Sewer Repair & Service

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The Leader in Trenchless Pipe Bursting Equipment and Accessories

Trenchless Sewer Replacement

It’s something you may not think about every day but having your sewers in good working order is vital for your property. By scheduling a thorough sewer inspection, we’re able to determine whether your sewers need to be repaired or replaced.

When your sewer lines need to be repaired, the worst thing you can do is wait. Blockages and damage to your sewer line are an urgent plumbing issue, as they can cause drains to back up which can result in flooding.

Since 1946 Harry Clark has been serving the Bay Area as a family operated contractor. We are proud to bring to you the latest in technological innovation, new products, combined with old world craftsmanship.

Our friendly staff is waiting to serve you. Be it water heater repair or replacement, furnace repair or trenchless sewer repair, Harry Clark is here ready to assist you when you need it. We serve Oakland, Berkeley, the Bay Area, and all surrounding areas.

If you would like to schedule a sewer inspection, contact us today.

How Trenchless Sewers Are Replaced

Removing old sewer pipes can be more hassle than it seems like it’s worth. However, trenchless sewer replacement and repair technology has emerged as the most efficient and hassle-free method for removing old pipes.

Previously, a trench would have to be dug along the full length of the damaged pipe, the pipe would then be removed, a new pipe would be installed, and the trench would be refilled. This method is labor-intensive, and disruptive to the landscape, building structures sidewalks and more.

Trenchless sewer replacements and repairs have none of these disadvantages.

Two pits are dug, one for insertion and one for retrieval. A bursting head is placed at one end while a cable attached to a hydraulic arm is placed at the other. The cable is fed through the end until it’s attached to the bursting head. The head is then pulled through, bringing the old pipe with it while simultaneously laying new polyethylene pipe. Every 20′ the pipe is fused together with another special tool. Our system can pull up to 100′ of pipe with just two pits.

The freshly laid pipe provides seamless sewer to the point of connections. Cleanouts are provided along the path of the sewer as needed. This system eliminates the bell and spigot connections every 36″ with clay pipe and coupling every 10′ with cast iron. Fewer connections mean less potential failure points and a stronger and long-lasting pipeline.

The new Pipe provides a continuous seamless sewer to the point of connections. Cleanouts are provided along the path of the sewer as needed. This system eliminates the bell and spigot connections every 36″ with clay pipe and coupling every 10′ with cast iron. Fewer connections mean less potential failure points.

If you’re ready to schedule your trenchless sewer replacement or are just looking for more information about that or other plumbing repair services, call us today!

Trenchless Sewer Line Benefits

Trenchless Technology offers a faster, and more environmentally friendly method for replacing and repairing sewer lines for your home, business, or commercial property.

  • Repairs take less time – This means fewer inconveniences for customers.
  • Less intrusive process – Unlike the older technology, this method eliminates the need to dig up large parts of the surrounding earth.
  • Higher quality materials – Repairs or replacements are done with Polyethylene piping which is a better-quality piping material which will not corrode or rust.


The Polyethylene Story

Polyethylene was first developed by Phillips Petroleum in 1951. Today’s high-density materials contain “Marlex Resins” and are more versatile than ever. Polyethylene has been mainly used for industrial gas and chemical pipelines. There are tens of thousands of miles of this pipe in service. Later it was used for domestic water supply and most recently for sanitary sewers. This is the preferred material for municipal sewer replacement in Alameda and Contra Costa Counties. No wonder it’s the choice of Harry Clark Plumbing and Heating.

About the Warranty

Harry Clark Plumbing warranties from the date of installation for seven years all sewer piping to be free from defects in materials and workmanship. All other work is warrantied for a period of one year.

PSL (Private Sewer Lateral) Implementation

Eastbay Regional Private Sewer Lateral or PSL implementation dates have been set. The City of Piedmont and Emeryville started August 22, 2011, Stege Sanitary District starts October 17, 2011, and the City of Oakland is scheduled to start on January 16, 2012.

The program will directly affect homeowners selling their home, large remodel projects, home buyers, and sewer contractors. Realtors will be burdened with additional inspections and paperwork.

Compliance is triggered when a homeowner is selling their home, when a remodel project cost over $100,000, or you request a different size water meter.

Harry Clark is ready to help homeowners obtain a compliance certificate. We have multiple sewer video cameras and trained technicians to operate them. We have met with officials from EBMUD, and the City of Piedmont. We are the first contractor to obtain a compliance certificate. We will be working directly with EBMUD and the PSL administrators to help identify problems and streamline their process. For more information on the EBMUD’s PSL program go to

Here is what you do. Call 444-1776 and set up an appointment or schedule online. Give us your information and were ready to start. If you have a proper cleanout a video of the sewer will be made. If the sewer is in good condition the test can be scheduled. Then pay the permit fees. If it passes the test the certificate will be issued. If problems such as leaks, damaged pipes, offsets, or root intrusion are shown, the sewer will need to be repaired or replaced. Once the work has been completed the test can be scheduled and the compliance certificate issued.

Faulty sewers are responsible for pollution in the Bay, overflowing sewer treatment plants, backed up city mains, and raw sewage spilling on to residential properties. Last year many properties flooded with raw sewage. As a result of these problems, the EPA has mandated EBMUD have a PSL program.

Harry Clark Plumbing and Heating has over 60 years of experience working as a contractor in the Eastbay. We helped pioneer the Trenchless sewer replacement techniques and can repair or replace all types of sewers.

For more information about the PSL contractor’s guideline Click Here.

Frequently Asked Questions – Sewer Lateral Replacement

Q: What is a “sewer lateral?”
A: A sewer lateral is the portion of the sanitary sewer line which connects a house’s or business plumbing to the districts sewer system. Typically, most but not all, of the “sewer lateral” is on the private property, while other portions of the sewer system, the “sewer main”, is usually all in the public right away.

Q: Why is there so much concern over private “sewer laterals?”
A: Sewer laterals which are in poor condition present two problems: (1) faulty sewer lines can leak raw sewage into the ground which may be a public health issue; (2) stormwater can invade the poorly sealed sewer lines which overloads the waste treatment plant. The overloaded plants then spill partially or untreated sewage into the bay. The results are serious bay pollution, and fines from the EPA to the sanitary districts.

Q: What are the problems associated with the sewer laterals?
A: Most homes in our service area were built before 1950, and often have never replaced their original sewer laterals. Over time these pipelines, generally made of clay, crack, become disjointed or displaced, and have root intrusion which causes leakage and backups. Many of these laterals lack the proper cleanout access for clearing of blockages.

Q: Whose responsibility is the maintenance of the sewer lateral?
A: In most cities, districts or local jurisdictions, the maintenance of the sewer lateral, up to and including the connection to the main is the responsibility of the private homeowner. The district is responsible for maintaining the sewer main. In some cities, you are only responsible for the curb.

Q: At what point am I required to replace the sewer lateral?
A: You may voluntarily choose to replace the sewer lateral at any time you feel it is necessary. This may be when you have experienced frequent backups, have had video inspections which visually show problems, or are about to sell your home. Most districts require some type of compliance certifications for the sewer lateral at the time a home is sold, transfers ownership, or has a remodel / addition project. This is usually required before the close of escrow or final of the project.

Q: Do I need a video to replace my sewer lateral?
A: Yes. The point of the video is to demonstrate that the sewer lateral is in compliance, identify problems that can be repaired, or determine if replacement is needed. If the sewer lateral needs replacement the video provides information needed such as the sewer depth, location, grade, and relation to other utilities.

Q: Is Trenchless method the best for sewer lateral replacement?
A: Yes. Trenchless sewer replacement is best when it can be used. It has 90% fewer mechanical connections, is a seamless pipe with 100-year service life, and is pliable for earth movement, settling, and earthquakes. The process is the least invasive for both landscapes and hardscape.

Q: If the Trenchless method cannot be used what else is available?
A: Cast iron pipe is the best if the Trenchless method cannot be used. There are special couplings designed for underground use and the pipe comes in 10′ lengths.

We don’t have to reiterate how important it is to have proper sewer systems in place. But we do want to reiterate that our knowledgeable and highly trained experts can be relied on for sewer repair and service. Whether you have a trenchless sewer system or a traditional sewer system, some requirements and regulations must be met. Our team will see that your system meets all the requirements and have the proper repairs made.

If you are unsure of the condition of your sewer or you know something is wrong but you don’t quite know, contact us for our sewer inspection services.