Category Archives: Commercial Plumbing Tips

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The World's 5 Most Famous Underground Structures

The World’s 5 Most Famous Underground Structures

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When you think of the great buildings of the world, skyscrapers, bridges, or mansions may come to mind. However, certain problems require complex solutions. From crypts to subway systems, underground infrastructure is vital to the success and convenience of humans. Here are some of the most famous and impressive underground structures in the world.

1. Arsenalna Subway Station

Built 346 feet below the streets of Kyiv, Ukraine, the Asenalna Subway Station is the deepest subway metro station in the world. Opened in 1960, it’s an engineering marvel based on necessity — simply to go comfortably under the Dnieper River.

Just as amazing as the structure itself, the escalator up or down into the subway station takes approximately five minutes, making it one of the longest escalator rides in the world to boot.

2. Paijanne Water Tunnel

Stretching 75 miles at a depth of between 100 and 330 feet below the ground, the Paijanne Water Tunnel is the main supply line of water for the city of Helsinki, Finland. Currently, it’s the second-longest tunnel in the world, trailing only the Delaware Aqueduct in New York City.

However, its relative size — wide enough to fit a truck inside, its depth, and the water flow of 350 cubic feet per second make it perhaps the most impressive underground infrastructure in the world.

3. AngloGold Ashanti Mponeng Gold Mine

Built to mine one of the world’s largest gold reserves, the AngloGold Ashanti Mponeng Gold Mine is also the deepest mine in the world. To get to the gold, a mine shaft extends more than 2.5 miles below the surface of the Earth. It’s so far down, that going from the surface to the bottom on an elevator takes over an hour.

Interestingly, scientists found several organisms at these depths that were previously unknown to mankind.

4. China Jinping Underground Laboratory

Constructed in 2010 under the cliffs and peaks of the Jinping Mountains in Sichuan, China, the China Jinping Underground Laboratory is the deepest facility in the world. Used to explore dark matter due to a lack of cosmic rays, the laboratory is situated more than 7,900 feet below the surface.

5. Wieliczka Salt Mine

Excavated from the late 13th century until 2007, the Wieliczka Salt Mine in Poland is the oldest continuously mined area in the world. But since its closure, the government wanted to do something extra special. Equipping the area with three floors open to the public, the salt mine features a labyrinth, hundreds of passageways, an underground lake, four chapels, sculptures, art, and more. As a result, it’s one of the world’s only below-ground UNESCO World Heritage Sites.

Building Underground on Your Own

While you may not build an impressive underground structure of your own, underground infrastructure is always integral to any current construction project. To successfully build utilities protected from the elements, underground pipes are always the best option. You only need to make sure that you get a reputable company to do the job.

EPS Engineering dba Express Plumbing has been performing heavy construction and underground construction services for multiple decades.  As an underground plumbing contractor and civil engineering company, we can make any project happen, no matter how large or small.

Finding an underground infrastructure company with a solid reputation, experience, knowledgeable staff, and the right equipment ensures that your project goes off without a hitch and becomes a benefit rather than a hindrance.

Team up with us for your next project by contacting nick@expressPlumbing.com


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Why You Should Switch To Underground Service Feeders

Why You Should Switch To Underground Service Feeders

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Whether you’re building a new house, you’re a contractor, or you work for a municipality, you have many choices to bring power to new construction. In the past, overhead service feeders were the industry standard — they still are today in many areas of the country. But it’s not the only option. By switching to underground service feeders for utilities, you can achieve a number of benefits you never thought possible. Here’s why you should consider it.

What Are Underground Service Feeders?

Before making the decision to use underground service feeders, you should probably know what they are. The idea is simple. Instead of having wires and cables for internet, fiber optics, and power above ground suspended by poles, they’re buried in the ground.

Moreover, the wires run along the standard utility poles, down a pipe to a transformer, and then into the ground where they’re fed into the house — typically through some type of PVC pipe.

The Advantages of Switching to Underground Service Feeders

Aside from having no visible wires above ground and a better overall aesthetic, underground service feeders have a more important role: they’re impervious to damage from weather, motorists, thieves, vandals, or any other thing that could cause significant damage. More than anything, you won’t have a disruption of power, internet, or other services that are integral to the comfort and convenience of your daily life.

The Added Cost of Underground Service Feeders

Unfortunately, the major downside of underground service feeders is the additional cost. According to some estimates, the underground infrastructure of this type is three to five times more expensive than traditional overhead service feeders.

This added expense can pose a problem to those on a budget. However, you have to make some major assumptions about the future of these wires. If these feeders or wires have far less of a chance of being damaged, the associated costs of repairs and downtime may actually make cost a non-issue.

A similar concept would be purchasing a brand-new car as opposed to a used one. A used one can certainly get you where you need to go, but after repairs and maintenance, you may find that buying a new car is actually the better option in a cost-benefit model.

Safety Concerns

When live wires come down during a storm or an accident, they pose an imminent threat to everyone around. But with underground service, you don’t have to worry about such issues. The only true safety concern is knowing where you can dig. As long as you plan ahead for digging a water feature or trench, underground infrastructure is almost always the safer solution.

Finding a Reputable Contractor for Underground Infrastructure

Even the best planning, budgeting, and management are all for nothing if you don’t have the proper company to do the work.

EPS Engineering not only specializes in underground infrastructure solutions but we have a variety of options available to residential, commercial, and municipal clients.  With many successful projects completed throughout the Bay Area, we can help.

You should place the utmost priority on finding a reputable contractor for underground infrastructure, or you just might find yourself behind on time and light on cash. Make sure that you choose an experienced company with great resources, the right equipment, and knowledgeable workers. Only then can you truly reap the benefits of a switch to underground service feeders?  The EPS Engineering team is here to assist you on your next underground infrastructure project anywhere in the Bay Area.  Contact us to discuss.


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Types of Foundation Drainage

Types of Foundation Drainage

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In residential and commercial construction, you probably don’t think much about what lies beneath the surface. However, every type of building has some sort of foundation drainage that takes water away from the building to prevent foundation cracks, leaks, and hydrostatic pressure. The importance of such drainage cannot be understated; it’s just as important as any other facet of the building. So if you didn’t know about foundation drainage, check out some of the most common types, how they work, and why they’re integral to any structure.

1. Footing Drain

As the name implies, a footing drain sits adjacent to the footing of the foundation of the building. When it rains outside, the water runs through the soil or the side of the foundation into the footing drain, which is carried away from the building. Some footing drains send the water to a storm drain, a sump pump, or back to the surface.

2. French Drain

Although the name is misleading, the French drain wasn’t invented in Paris. It was actually the creation of Henry French, a resident of Massachusetts in the early 1800s. Surrounding the perimeter of a building or structure, a French drain uses a perforated pipe that sits below the foundation. It also goes around the entire perimeter of the structure, hence the alternative name of perimeter drains.

The holes in the pipe allow water to run off from the foundation and into the pipe, which is then whisked away from the building and into a sewer. The pipes are also angled away from the structure to avoid any inadvertent hydrostatic pressure.

3. Sump Pit/Sump Pump

Sump pits that are accompanied by a sump pump are one of the oldest drainage solutions in modern construction. The sump pit is merely a hole cut into the floor of the foundation which features a perforated bin, typically made out of plastic.

The sump pit gets filled with water by either holes in the side of the plastic or through the natural migration of the water. Once the water hits a certain level within the sump pit, the sump pump springs into action. The sump pump then takes any extraneous water away from the building and into a sewer or storm drain, effectively limiting the chance of a flood.

4. Grading Drain

As the name implies, a grading drain uses a piece of concrete or similar materials to propel water away from the foundation. The grading drain isn’t so much of a drain as it is a simple slope that allows the water to drain. The steepness of the grading drain varies, but it’s usually at least 60 degrees to ensure that no water or pressure builds up along the foundation.

EPS Engineering in the Bay Area has been focused on underground construction, plumbing, pipes and drains for multiple decades.  Contact us to discuss your next project and we’ll be happy to go over all the options available to you with a detailed proposal.


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Why Choose Trenchless Utility Installations

Why Choose Trenchless Utility Installations

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Integral to infrastructure, underground utilities sustain and enhance the quality of life within residential communities and businesses. Maintaining such an infrastructure is another story. In the past, the arduous task of replacing or repairing such utilities required digging massive trenches while also shutting down roads and other above-ground infrastructure. That is until trenchless solutions became widespread. Today, this technology provides a solution to underground repairs and installations that makes old methods nearly obsolete.

Reasons to Choose Trenchless Technology

So why choose trenchless technology? Because it has a number of upsides that can’t be attained by antiquated digging methods. Plus, it has a variety of applications that make it as diverse of a procedure as possible. EPS Inc. dba Express Plumbing relies on advanced solutions to achieve successful outcomes, that combined with experienced staff and advanced equipment leads to some great perks when choosing trenchless.

Versatility

Every type of underground utility can benefit from trenchless technology, including:

With so many practical applications, trenchless technology provides companies with an avenue to fix any type of issues. So whether you need to repair 100-year-old clay sewer pipes or just replace a section of a gas line with a leak, trenchless technology provides a versatile solution to your problems.

Less Disruptive

Digging holes for utility installation or repair can uproot the very infrastructure it’s supposed to support. In most instances, trenchless technology allows utilities and other infrastructure to run continuously throughout the installation or repair. That means that residents, business, and road traffic are all free to operate just as they ordinarily would.

Cost-Efficient

Oftentimes, the cost of shutting off utilities or roads that bring local or intrastate commerce is immense. Not only does the repair cost money, but the inflow of money also takes a dramatic hit. In addition, the risk of a spill or damage to an existing utility line is far higher when digging than with trenchless technology.

However, trenchless tech negates these hindrances. It prevents the incidence of accidents that can draw out the project and drain a budget while also allowing businesses to continue to operate unimpeded.

Safety

Safety is another major concern when dealing with underground infrastructure. The settling of soil can create problems when boring underground, while piles of dirt or rubble can pose a problem to local residential populations. Furthermore, a break in a sewer or gas line may require people to temporarily move out of their neighborhood or business, creating even more issues.

With trenchless technology, you no longer need to worry about safety issues, as digging huge holes is no longer necessary.

Accuracy

With cameras, sensors, and more, trenchless technology is far more accurate than any other technique. Instead of reading old reports or digging through trial-and-error, trenchless solutions can “see” exactly where utility lines are and what needs to be done. This accuracy translates to both safety and the speed of installation.

Trenchless technology has revolutionized the ability to install underground utilities and piping. With minimal hassle and less staff needed, going trenchless is both quick and cost-effective. So whether you’re a business, residence, or municipality that needs utility repair or installation, trenchless technology is the ideal and smart choice. 

Contact our Bay Area plumbing professionals to schedule a complimentary evaluation or to discuss your particular plumbing needs.


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Commercial Underground Pipes and Proper Maintenance

Commercial Underground Pipes and Proper Maintenance

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Just like residential plumbing systems, underground lines and pipes for municipalities and commercial properties can take a beating over time. That’s why local governments and business owners should familiarize themselves with the importance of proper maintenance for underground pipes and utilities. With routine maintenance and consistent monitoring, these pipes will provide their intended services without the risk of catastrophe.

Trenchless Technology and Its Role in Underground Pipe Maintenance

Underground pipe maintenance isn’t a simple fix, or at least traditionally. But over the past decade or so, trenchless technology has been a saving grace in the industry. Without the need to dig huge holes manually or with heavy machinery, the amount of time needed to fix underground pipes has been halved or become even more efficient than that.

In addition, studies show that nearly $1 trillion of aging water and sewage pipes across American will need to be replaced within the next 25 years. But with trenchless technology techniques such as directional drilling, microtunneling, pipe ramming, and pipe bursting, municipalities and commercial properties can fix the issue on time and under budget.

Sewer Rehabilitation

Destroyed over time by roots, natural wear, and tear, and other environmental factors, sewer pipes are always a concern for homeowners, commercial property owners, and municipalities. But with the advent of trenchless technology for pipes and maintenance, how people approach the problem has changed drastically.

Again, instead of digging a hole and searching for signs of aging or leaks, trenchless tech provides an easier way to fix any issues. Small, flexible cameras can find signs of potential problems. Once these issues are discovered by the technician, pipe bursting (installing a larger pipe inside the original pipe by breaking the old pipe), slip lining (installing a smaller pipe in the original pipe, or cured-in-place piping is administered.

Using any of these techniques can prevent a full-scale project with holes and potential hazards present in highly trafficked areas. And with the addition of trenchless technologies, governments may even save money due to the less amount of man hours per project.

Time Is a Major Factor

Time is always a major factor with regard to underground pipes and infrastructure repair. And that’s what makes trenchless solutions such an excellent choice for a project. With less setup work, easy operation of the machinery, and quicker repairs, trenchless options provide a fast option for projects where time is of the essence.

Hiring the Right Company for Underground Pipes and Maintenance

With the latest breakthroughs in underground maintenance technology, municipalities should begin to take a proactive approach to underground infrastructure. The more they can monitor pipes and provide maintenance, the less of a chance that a major problem is likely to occur.

But these same government entities and companies should also be wary about who they hire for the work, as not just any company will do. Therefore, they should look for a company with the right mix of modernized equipment, a skilled staff, and years of experience. By doing so, maintenance of pipes and underground systems becomes a routine expense that offers a fully working solution to plumbing, sewer, and other utilities.

EPS Inc. dba Express Plumbing has been serving the Bay Area since 1989.  We are an advanced civil engineering and plumbing contractor.  Our fleet of advanced equipment combined with our experienced technicians can get the project done within budget and on time.

If you have an upcoming project, contact Nick Bechwati today to discuss plans.


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Trenchless Solutions vs. Traditional

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When you need a new sewer line or a plumbing repair it’s important to know the facts about trenchless solutions vs. the traditional methods.

Traditional Plumbing Repairs

A traditional plumbing repair may require exposing the pipes along an entire trench or line in the backyard or front yard.  There are also many occasions when the pipe or sewer you’re trying to repair is under the house or an area that’s difficult to reach.

In order to reach the location, digging is required, this tends to create a big mess up top that will also require repairing after the work is done underneath.  Whether it’s concrete or dirt, grass, and flowers, it has to be put back.  More work means a longer period of time, and more money.

trenchless repair vs traditional repair main replacement

Trenchless Vs. Traditional Plumbing Repairs

Trenchless means exactly the way it sounds “trench less”, this means any plumbing repair or installation is done without any digging.  Advanced equipment allows the contractor to get to the point of repair or installation without creating a large dug up area that will need follow up and repair.

Trenchless solutions are used at our San Mateo plumbing company for all repairs and new installations. We promote methods that not only save time, but also save our clients money.

Besides time, and money, when you choose trenchless solutions you’re protecting the environment.

We’ve been serving the Bay Area since 1989.  Our company has helped thousands of home owners with trenchess sewer replacement and trenchless plumbing repairs.  We’ve been labeled the “No dig” plumbers in San Mateo.

If you’re in need to a plumbing repair or a new line installation, you owe it to yourself and your budget to find out about the advanced plumbing techniques available to you in the Bay Area.

Schedule a free consultation, we’re happy to give you a quote that won’t cost you a dime, and answer all your questions about trenchless solutions vs traditional plumbing methods.


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Express Plumbing
307 N. Amphlett Blvd San Mateo, CA 94401
Phone: (800) 246-6425 $246 - $6425
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