TRIC Tools Inc. is a company born of invention. That invention started not only a corporation, but an entire industry that continues to grow to this day. In 1996, when company founder Ward Carter was foreman with an underground construction firm near San Francisco, the term “lateral pipe bursting” was not yet a part of any contractor’s vocabulary. Repair or replacement of a home sewer meant digging it up, in whole or in part, with results that were messy, disruptive, and often incomplete. Then Ward assembled and tested the prototype of what was to become the TRIC lateral pipe bursting system.

Company details

1350 South Loop Rd. #104 , Alameda , California 94502-7081 USA

Locations Served

Our Distributors

Business Type:
Industry Type:
Water and Wastewater - Pipes and Piping
Market Focus:
Globally (various continents)
Year Founded:

TRIC Tools, Inc. is an infrastructure and environmental solutions company that provides proprietary technology, tools and services for the 'non-invasive' rehabilitation and replacement of sewer, water, gas and other difficult to access underground pipes. TRIC holds four U.S. and International patents for its device and method of trenchless pipe replacement. In 1997, TRIC established the standards and created the industry for lateral replacement (homeowner’s sewer line) using this non invasive procedure. In 2004, the United Nations Environmental Program recognized Trenchless Technologies as an Environmentally Sustainable. Today, TRIC is extending its position in the domestic sewer lateral replacement industry with the introduction of innovative solutions targeted at the U.S. and international sewer, drinking water and gas distribution renewal markets.

TRIC’s method uses a wire rope to pull a steel mole through the old pipe, while at the same time replacing this pipe with High Density Polyethylene (HDPE) pipe. This new pipe has been used by the oil and gas industry for the past 60 years. The estimated lifespan of the pipe, once in the ground, is 75 to 200 years. The pipe is chemically inert and is resistant to movements of the earth, root intrusion and other causes that seem to be problems for terra cotta, steel and cast iron pipe systems. TRIC’s technology is smallest, lightest, most portable and versatile “pipe-bursting” system on the market.

His father, engineer Robert (Bob) Carter, made drawings and applied the principles of manufacturing that turned the idea into a product. This whole process was not new to the Carters. Bob's father, Mitchell Carter, invented the Coleman Stove, the Garbage Grinder, and Foam Rubber. Innovation just runs in the family.

  • 1995: The term “lateral pipe bursting” is not yet a part of any contractor’s vocabulary. Repair or replacement of a home sewer means digging it up - in whole or in part - with results that are messy, disruptive, and often incomplete.
  • 1996: His father, engineer Robert (Bob) Carter, develops drawings and applies the manufacturing principles that turn Ward’s idea into a viable product. This whole process is not new to the Carters: Bob's father, Mitchell Carter, had invented the Coleman Stove, the Garbage Grinder, and foam rubber. Innovation just runs in the family.
  • 1997: TRIC begins pursuing patents at home and abroad, campaigning relentlessly for approval of HDPE plastic pipe in residential building codes. These combined efforts establish the lateral bursting industry, and set the TRIC method as the gold standard for trenchless lateral replacement across America.
  • 1999: TRIC receives IAPMO approval and a UPC listing for trenchless underground pipeline replacement using TRIC equipment and methods at the IAPMO meeting on August 31.
  • 2000: The new standard appears in the January publication of the Uniform Plumbing Code. The Installation standard for Trenchless Polyethylene (PE) Pipe for Sewer Laterals is IAPMO 26-99. Most US cities approve the TRIC Trenchless pipe replacement method soon thereafter.
  • 2001-2004: TRIC registers both device and method patents with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, and international patents for device and method in Canada, Australia, Brazil, Mexico, and New Zealand. Patent applications are pending in Japan and Norway.
  • 2005-Present: The TRIC formula - tools that are simple, modular, compact and adaptable - is applied to other utilities, including larger pipes of various materials, in commercial and municipal projects around the world.
  • 2010: HDPE pipe becomes certified for use in hot and cold potable water applications, fully opening most replacement projects to the use of TRIC Tools and proven techniques.

Our Mission
To provide the best equipment and information to empower the trenchless revolution in the replacement of failing underground pipelines - sewer, water, and gas - and to expand our technology and method from private homes to municipal projects, and ultimately to public policy across America and beyond.

Our Vision
TRIC Tools Inc. invented and marketed the first practical sewer lateral pipebursting system, thus establishing the industry of trenchless home sewer replacement in America. Private sewer laterals have since been clearly identified as the primary contributor to sanitary sewer overflows in municipal sewer systems, leading to chronic pollution of open streams and waterways. Like all other underground pipelines - large and small, public and private - sewer laterals are just the tip of the iceberg of urgently needed repairs to wasteful and dangerous underground infrastructure all over the world. We foresee a viable and evolving green technology promoting efficient, economical, and timely replacement of bad underground pipelines locally, nationally, and globally.

Our Future
We intend to expand our methods and machinery to accommodate our vision of a growing trenchless industry. Sewer, water, and gas pipes come in all sizes and various materials, and each utility line has a particular set of conditions, be they mechanical, geographical, or political. TRIC is constantly exploring different ways to apply our tried and true technology towards new and untested challenges in the trenchless industry. There is still much to be done. Crumbling underground infrastructure causes waste and environmental degradation in communities everywhere. Our goal is to build upon our success in trenchless sewer replacement, while we address other problem utilities with equally inventive solutions.

We’re proud that TRIC Tools help a wide array of utilities, municipalities and contractors get the job done right the first time, with speed, accuracy and cost-conscious operation. We’re happy to send you a list of our selected clients on request. Here’s what a few of them have to say about our products and customer service:

Careers/Distributor Opportunities
We’re always on the lookout for smart, motivated people with the desire to work with one of the best teams in the business to help our customers find innovative, cost-saving solutions to their underground pipe replacement challenges. If you enjoy thinking beyond the horizon and finding ways to say “yes,” we’d love to talk with you about coming on board here at TRIC.

Vision. Invention. Innovation. TRIC Tools Inc. pioneered the pipe bursting process that gave birth to the modern trenchless home sewer replacement industry. And we’re not resting on our laurels—we continue to move this important technology forward with new tool and equipment development, along with our continuing advocacy for common sense regulation in keeping with today’s technological realities.

In our third generation of family ownership by people of imagination and vision, our efforts continue to make it possible for municipalities, utilities and contractors to meet the enormous challenge of replacing aging underground infrastructure using cost-effective and long-lasting solutions.

Markets Served

Trust your pipe bursting needs to the company that pioneered the industry of trenchless home sewer replacement. We’ve seen it all and can advise you wisely. TRIC is still out front, and we’ll keep you there, too.

Stay ahead of aging infrastructure failures with a proactive plan to replace the worst first, and choose TRIC Tools as your equipment partner. We’ve got the knowledge and experience to guide you to successful solutions every time.

Whether you need to replace an aging conveyance system or simply increase capacity, we’ve got the equipment to keep you online as much as possible, make quick work of the job and ensure your continued profitability.


TRIC introduced sewer lateral pipe bursting to the underground utilities industry, and since then we have expanded our patented method to larger municipal sewers in all types of situations. From a two-inch laundry line to a 14-inch sewr main, we’ve got what it takes to make it happen quickly, with as little disruption as possible on and under the surface.

Potable Water
TRIC Tools are the premium choice for equipment that can effectively remove old water pipes and accommodate the sanitary needs of potable pressurized line replacement.

Natural Gas Transmission
As natural gas becomes a more significant option for future energy needs, TRIC Tools will help ensure sound infrastructure and increased capacity to handle projected conveyance volumes.


Why Choose TRIC Tools?
When you choose TRIC equipment, you’re getting more than just hardware. You’re investing in decades of innovation and field-tested products, coupled with an ongoing commitment to product improvement and customer satisfaction. When you choose TRIC, you choose to be part of the solution.

What Our Customers Say
We believe our customers can sing our praises so much better than we can.