The Formadrain system of NO-DIG pipe rehabilitation has been a staple for a number of plumbing contractors for many years. One such is Thos. R. Birnie & Sons Ltd. of Hamilton, Ontario, who has been a Formadrain licensee since 1998.
Boasting a 90-plus year history, Thos. R. Birnie & Sons was founded on sewer and drain cleaning. They are among the earliest businesses in Hamilton with their original business license from the City bearing the number 0002.
Thos. R. Birnie & Sons Ltd. was also the very first Formadrain licensee.
After the initial training of some of their technical staff, Formadrain sent a crew to Hamilton to help with Thos. R. Birnie & Son’s first installation. Bob Birnie recalls the job very clearly. It was a house on what is affectionately referred to locally as “the mountain”, that portion of the City of Hamilton built on the Niagara Escarpment, an area whose subterranean composition is largely rock and shale. The house’s sewer line was leaking into the wall of a neighbouring doctor’s office. Because the house did not have a basement, replacing the sewer would have involved digging through the house’s wood floors, past the two-foot gap between the house and the earth and then down three or four feet into the rocky terrain – a perfect application for the Formadrain no-dig technology to shine. And it did!
Bob says, “we were just blown away with seeing this old and cracked and broken sewer with all the fractures become this seamless, beautiful blue line that was as smooth as a baby’s bottom for the whole 65 feet”.
After that, there was no looking back!
Thos. R. Birnie & Sons has been successfully installing Formadrain liners for the past twenty years. Roy lets customers know “we won’t have to dig up your basement or yard”. He explains to them that, using the Formadrain lining system, the crew can actually form a new drain inside the old one without having to disturb the house’s structure or landscaping. The customer’s response is invariably “You can do that? When can you start?”
Music to any contractor’s ears.
Roy Birnie laughingly admits that using the Formadrain system reduces the volume of repeat lateral cleaning and repair calls because, for the pipes relined with the Formadrain system, “there was no longer root infiltration, there were no more cracks, there were no more things getting hung up in pipes”. He’s not very worried about it – Hamilton is an old city and there won’t be any shortage of old, damaged laterals to reline for some time to come.