25th July, 2022

How to Remove Concrete From Pipes

Commercial plumber using ims robotic running tool to clear pipes

It might sound crazy, but concrete blockages in your drainage pipes can happen! It’s not the most common blockage we find when inspecting drain pipes; but it happens enough that we need to have the right solutions available for our clients.

You may ask “how on earth did that concrete get there in the first place!?”

There are a few ways and unfortunately, one is that excess concrete simply gets hosed down nearby drains when a contractor is completing concrete floors becuase the proper methods for cleaning up concrete are ignored.

The most common way concrete or mortar ends up in your drainage is during renovations or building, cement dust or tiler’s grout is swept, washed or blown down the drains accidentally. While this doesn’t always cause problems immediately, over time buildup can develop into serious blockages.

So now you’ve found out there’s concrete in your pipes, how are you going to remove it?

 

Enter The Robotic Cutter

IMS Robotic Cutter

The IMS Robotic Cutter is the latest mobile cutting system which is designed to clear out the toughest blockages – including concrete!

The robotic cutter uses carbon, tungsten and diamond drill heads and high pressure air to cut at high speeds, making it tougher than other tools on the market. Along with the attached camera, we can cut and navigate multiple junctions and bends at the same time. Which means we can break through blockages without cutting through your existing pipes.

At Emu, we use this specialised equipment to cut through objects where traditional equipment isn’t able, including broken pipes, concrete, steel bar and even failed relining projects by other contractors.

 

Benefits of the Robotic Cutter

In many cases, to remove concrete plumbers may try using high pressure water jetting, this can work if the concrete has not yet cured or set. However, if the concrete has set, it may be too late for that approach.

Another method is to use a mechanical eel or auger, while this may break up small deposits of hardened concrete, large deposits may be too difficult to work through. There is also a risk of breaking the host pipe due to uncontrolled spinning activity of the cutting head.

Special concrete dissolving solution may also be used, but needs to be used carefully and has limitations on suitability including amount of concrete, how cured the concrete is and the type of pipe it’s used in.

When we use the Robotic Cutter, we are able to cut, clear and/or drill through many of the toughest obstacles whilst minimising the damage to the host pipes.

The Robotic Cutter has a flexible hose and drilling head with an attached camera, so this incredibly strong tool can access the damage from an inspection point without needing to dig up the area.

Using the attached camera, we can be precise in our work so that we can see how much concrete (or other blockages) is present, how much we are cutting, and stop before causing damage to the pipe we are working in.

Commercial plumber using ims robotic running tool to clear pipes

 

How the Robotic Cutting Process Works

  1. If you suspect a blockage in your drains, give the team at Emu a call, the first thing we’ll do is use CCTV technology to inspect the pipe. We’ll do this to pinpoint the location of the blockage and determine what’s causing the blockage. We may also use water jetting or Picote machine technology to clear away debris/effluent for a clearer picture of what’s happening.
  2. Once we’ve found that the blockage is concrete, steel or pipe (that can’t be jetted or chained away), we can use the Robotic Cutter which can grind, chip or drill through the obstacle.
  3. When your pipes are clear of concrete and anything else, we’ll be able to see if there’s any permanent damage that needs to be repaired – we can then carry out any necessary repairs with pipe relining or patching.

 

Get through even the most stubborn drain blockages using the very latest in German technology.

Request a quote today or give us a call
on 07 3358 3201.



  • “Emu Plumbing used latest technology combined with their considerable experience to creatively problem solve”

    We cannot fault Tony and the team at Emu Plumbing. We had a very complex reline of a long combine sewer that had plagued us for decades. Emu Plumbing used latest technology combined with their considerable experience to creatively problem solve over four days of hard yakka. It was over 36 degrees! The team were professional, courteous and went the extra mile to do the job. After three days on site they left the place clean and tidy as if they were never there. We would recommend Emu Plumbing without reservation.

    Alan and Lesley C
  • “Thank you so much for a hassle free pipe repair”

    Emu plumbing were the most prompt and competitive in pricing for an under slab pipe repair; which a few other companies actually declined as it was quite a complicated job. Tony from Emu Plumbing attended site with a “can do” attitude and completed the job after a long and tough day. I returned home to find the work area spotless. Thoroughly recommend Emu plumbing. Thank you so much for a hassle free pipe repair.
    Jason G
  • “Tony from Emu plumbing restored my faith in people.”

    Tony from Emu plumbing restored my faith in people. I contacted him after being quoted $13K to fix our sewer line by another company. Tony spent time with me on the phone going through all possible options to address this issue more economically. He then offered to come and inspect the sewer line at no cost. It turned out we did not have to do anything. Tony has found in us a client for life instead of a quick buck. We would be recommending him to all our friends and family.

    Tim C
  • “I am, and will continue to recommend Emu Plumbing for any re-line and general plumbing work.”

    EXCEPTIONAL SERVICE

    We had a particularly tricky job on a site with extremely difficult access. Tony and Niles quickly investigated and set forward to fix the issue. When plan A didn’t go exactly to plan Tony took full control and delivered a brilliant outcome. He arranged machine access through our fully landscaped property, went over and above to ensure the problem was fixed, and left our property almost as he found it. I am, and will continue to recommend Emu Plumbing for any re-line and general plumbing work. Their customer service second to none.

    Mark M, Cooper Property Group
  • “In a league of your own! ”

    Both Iréna and I wish to convey our most sincere thanks for you and your team’s swift and professional resolution to our recent plumbing challenges. We could not praise Alistair and Niles more highly for their incredible technical capabilities, their client focus and their well developed interpersonal and communication skills.

    It has been an absolute pleasure dealing with such a progressive organization as Emu Plumbing. What this rather long-running issue that we have been grappling with over several years, and having engaged numerous other “so-called plumbing professionals”, has proven to us is that there are plumbers and then there is your team….in a league of your own!

    Richard G
  • “Do yourself a favour and call them!”

    Tony and the team at Emu Plumbing are amazing! Emergency sewer issue – no problem. His team leader, Niles, turned up the next day. Friendly, approachable, great communication, knowledgeable and hard working. Caved in sewer line was jetted to clean & clear, patch inserted and cured, in the end a hard clean clear pipe – like new. Problem fixed same day, and at a very fair price. I can’t recommend this company enough. Do yourself a favour and call them!

    Andrew H
  • “Professional, responsive, competitively priced”

    Highly recommend these guys.
    Professional, responsive, competitively priced and were very thorough in their investigations and repair. The team worked tirelessly all day, went the extra mile and stuck by their quote on job completion. I will definitely use Emu Plumbing again.

    Adam L
  • “Great to see a company these days taking responsibility for they workmanship.”

    I called Emu Plumbing to fix a broken pipe that was causing my stormwater to flood my neighbours yard.
    They came out, fix a problem, when it was discovered that there was another issue they fixed it no charge.
    Great to see a company these days taking responsibility for they workmanship.
    Thank you Tony and the team!

    Chris M
  • “Fast, responsive, knowledgeable and honest”

    Tony and team were excellent – fast, responsive, knowledgeable and honest – what more could you ask for in a tradie. Definitely recommend, and will use them again.

    Ted B
  • “Emu Plumbing won't let you down”

    If you are reading these reviews, trying to find an honest and reliable team, Emu Plumbing won’t let you down.

    Tony and his team are brilliant, they cleared and patched a severely broken storm water pipe under our carport.

    Niles & Jason were on time, professional and left the site clean and tidy.

    Can’t recommend highly enough!

    Thanks Tony

    Harry S

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