What Is Directional Drilling Used For?

Not long ago, the only way to install new piping underground — or even make simple repairs — was to tear apart the ground and ruin the landscape in a time-consuming trench digging process.

With the advent of horizontal directional drilling (also known as directional boring, depending upon the scale of the job), the entire process has been revolutionized. No longer do you have to deal with large crews digging up the ground for weeks or even months to get a single job done.

The most common uses of directional drilling is to install pipes, conduits, or cables in areas where traditional open cut construction is difficult to achieve. 

Directional drilling follows a pre-planned path, creating a minimal amount of impact because it uses a relatively shallow arc. 

Almost the entirety of the drilling process is done underground, with the exception of the entry and exit sites of the drill bit. Even then, the amount of surface space needed to accomplish direction drilling is minimal.

Directional drilling can be used with many different types of pipe materials, including PVC, ductile iron, steal, polypropylene, and polyethylene. As long as the pipes you are using have the thickness and material strength to withstand the stress, they can be utilized. 

Directional drilling is just another way Master Bore, LLC is showing its commitment to leaving as little surface damage as possible while offering a full range of underground utility services.

How Does Directional Drilling Work?

Directional drilling is a fairly simple process that consists of three phases.

Drilling The Initial Hole

The first step in the process is to create what is called a pilot hole. At Master Bore, LLC we take special care during this initial stage in the process. We strategically place entrance and exit areas in order to cut down on the disturbance to the surface level. We also meticulously plan out the bore route, taking into consideration other underground piping and lines that already may be in place.

Once the drilling process begins, an electric transmitter (placed directly behind the drill head) sends a signal back to the operator who then ensures the drill is continuing along its intended path and can make course corrections as needed.

Widening The Initial Bore

This next process involves widening the initial hole created by using a reamer. During this part of the process, the hole is enlarged to the point where it can accommodate the piping system you are trying to install. 

Reamers are attached at the opposite end of the pilot hold and pulled back into the initial hole while slurry is progressively pumped out. The slurry ensures the integrity of the hole and allows cuttings to be flushed out.

Pulling The Pipe Or Lines Through

The final stage in the process is installation. Once the hole is sufficiently enlarged, the pipe is attached to the end of the bore and is run through the hole using a reamer. This pullback operation is accomplished as the rig rotates and pulls on the drill string until the pipeline is in place.

After all is done, we run a series of rigorous tests to ensure the integrity of the installation. We don’t consider the job done until we’re sure it’s completed to the highest quality standards.

From start to finish our expert operators use the latest technology to monitor the drill bit every step of the way. This ensures we make directional corrections before any incident occurs, saving time and money on costly mistakes. We also take measurements as we go, so the project progress is documented, and it’s made clear we are in compliance with permits and project specifications.

Top Benefits Of Directional Drilling

As a minimal impact process, directional drilling offers a plethora of benefits over traditional trench-heavy methods of installing underground utilities. Here are some of the top benefits of directional drilling:

Minimal Disruption Of Surface

Unlike traditional underground utility installation which requires a massive amount of trench digging — sometimes over long stretches — directional drilling allows you to avoid this and leave the surface relatively undisturbed. 

This means you can do drilling in busy urban areas where shutting down sections of road or sidewalk to dig trenches would cause major disruptions. Or if the work is being done on your home or commercial property, you won’t have to rope off large sections at a time for safety concerns. This is especially important if your business relies heavily upon foot traffic since construction may cause potential customers to avoid your store entirely. 

Lower Environmental Impact

Any time you don’t have to dig trenches and disturb the environment, you’re going to have major benefits. This means you don’t have to replace any landscaping that could be damaged or uprooted in the process. This is especially true if you have permanent hardscaping features or large trees that are difficult to uproot and replant. That alone could save you hundreds or even thousands of dollars.

Digging in cities also poses a great risker of bringing contaminants to the surface. While most soil is safe — though you should always get it tested to be safe — some common contaminants found in cities are radon, petroleum products, pesticides, asbestos, lead, and more. When these contaminated soils are exposed, they can be carried by the wind and inhaled, potentially causing physical or chemical damage.

Underground Pipe And Line Installation Is Done Much Quicker

Directional drilling can also be completed at a much faster pace than traditional methods because large sections don’t need to be blocked off so the ground can be dug up. On top of the issues mentioned above, digging trenches makes up a significant portion of the job and can take up a lot of time. Laying down thousands of feet of pipe takes far less time when a long trench does not have to be dug up, especially if some of the areas are located beneath concrete.

Cost Savings

Because it takes less time, directional drilling also requires less manpower than traditional pipe and cable installation methods. When you need a smaller crew to get the job done, you’ll have to pay less for the labor. Master Bore is able to complete trenchless jobs far quicker than other companies that rely on traditional methods. Some of our trenchless sewer repair jobs can be completed in less than a day. On top of that, directional drilling makes the best use of modern technology, ensuring less room for human error and malfunctions. 

You’ll also avoid the costs associated with hiring a landscaper to fix all the areas that would be damaged with trench digging. All this means more money in your pocket to spend on your home or business. 

Permitting Issues Can Be Kept To A Minimum

Because most of the work is done underground, it also reduces the amount of permitting needed, meaning your directional drilling company can get the work done quickly and with fewer hang ups in the process.

At Master Bore, we make sure all the proper permits are in place, and we are compliant with city codes. 

Why Trust Your Directional Boring Needs To Master Bore?

When it comes to directional drilling, you don’t want a company whose sole goal is to undercut everyone else and do a quick, but shoddy job. You want a company that focuses first and foremost on quality and getting the job done right the first time, all while staying within the project budget.

At Master Bore, we believe in earning your loyalty one job at a time. This commitment to your satisfaction has emerged out of our core company values that we hold to without compromise.

Safety

This is our number priority. Our goal is to protect not only our employees but our customers from any unsafe situations. All our employees can make the call to halt a project if they see any unsafe scenario.

Integrity 

This means being held accountable for our actions. Our crews will handle every job with honesty and truthfulness, keeping you apprised every step of the way.

Teamwork

At Master Bore, we see our clients as part of our team. As such, we believe that when you win we win together with you. We bring a spirit of collaboration, openness in communication, and top-quality results to every drilling service.

Choose Master Bore For Directional Drilling Services In Seattle

At Master Bore, LLC we work with you to ensure our rates are affordable and a reasonable job completion timeline is given. Our goal is to exceed your expectations with professional service, innovative technology, and an unwavering commitment to the highest quality standards.

“Go Trenchless” by choosing us to handle your directional drilling, commercial underground utilities, and underground utility services in Seattle. Contact us today and schedule your free estimate.