When you think about pipe repairs and choosing the most durable, longest-lasting option, you probably think about traditional pipe replacement. However, epoxy pipe lining is just as durable and long-lasting as traditional pipelining. Lined pipes are rated to last between 35 and 50 years, and pipes lined by us come with a 10-year warranty. Not to mention, it generally takes less time to line your pipes and cost less when compared to traditional pipelining.
Understanding Epoxy Pipe Lining
Epoxy pipelining involves inserting an epoxy-soaked felt liner into drain and sewer lines. The process is fairly simple. Access points are located near the area of the drain or sewer line or creating access points. The liner is then cut to length, scored and soaked in epoxy resin. Then, it is threaded through the pipe and inflated with an air bladder. The air bladder is left in place while the liner cures and hardens. This usually takes about 24 hours, but it can take less time.
Once the liner has cured and hardened, the bladder is removed and a camera inspection is performed to ensure the liner has adhered to the host pipe properly and is completely cured. If the pipe liner looks good, service is restored to the drain line. When wastewater flows down the rehabilitated pipe, it does not touch the host pipe, which means no further corrosion will occur to the lined section of the plumbing pipe.
How We Know Pipelining Works
Epoxy pipelining, also called cured-in-place pipelining was first developed in 1971 by Eric Wood in England. The first patent for the technology was issued in 1977. Since that time, epoxy pipe liners have been used to rehabilitate gas, water, sewer and utility pipes. This method has also been used to rehabilitate the plumbing pipes of historic buildings as well as city, state and federal government buildings.
The goal of pipelining is to restore the structural stability and water-tightness of the pipe so that it no longer leaks and performs as expected. This is accomplished by using the proper preparation techniques, that include vigorously cleaning the pipe prior to installing the pipe liner and performing camera inspections throughout the process, including after the liner has cured.
Why Are Homeowners and Business Owners Hesitant to Try Epoxy pipelining?
Homeowners, building owners and property managers may be tempted to dismiss pipelining as a viable method for restoring their corroded and leaking pipe due to a few prevalent rumors.
Rumor 1: No One Can Tell if the Pipe Liner Adhered to the Host Pipe
The first misconception is that it is impossible to tell if the liner adhered to the host pipe and cured properly is common but untrue. Here at NuFlow, we have a 360-degree panning digital plumbing camera that we can thread through plumbing pipes in order to determine if they are completely clean and again to check and make sure the pipe liner adhered to the host pipe and cured properly. It is only after we have confirmed that the epoxy pipe liner is in place, properly installed and cured that we turn on the service to the freshly lined pipes.
Rumor 2: Repairing Future Leaks Is Impossible
Once you have an epoxy pipe liner installed in a plumbing pipe, it does not leak. Epoxy pipe liners are single piece tubes that are cut to fit the length of pipe. Before they are inserted, they are soaked in an epoxy resin, which acts like industrial strength glue, and when it cures, it hardens. This means that any wastewater flowing down your drain or sewer line does not reach the host pipe. This eliminates future corrosion and deterioration of the host pipe. Not to mention, if the epoxy ever needs to be removed, it has to be ground out of the pipe, which takes at least a day.
Therefore, it is highly unlikely that the lined portion of the pipe would ever experience another leak. What’s more likely is that an unlined section of the plumbing pipe started to leak due to pinholes and corrosion or deteriorated fittings. If the leak is close to the lined portion of the pipe, it’s important to never use heat to cut out the leaking pipe.
Rumor 3: The Pipelining Process Can Damage the Host Pipe
Extremely corroded and deteriorated plumbing pipes should not be lined. Instead, those pipes should be cut out and replaced with new pipe. On occasion, a plumbing pipe may have an undetected thin spot in the pipe wall. These pipes typically blow out during the cleaning process, not during the insertion of the pipe liner. Once the blown pipe has been discovered, we, here at NuFlow, have professional plumbers on staff that can immediately remove the deteriorated plumbing pipe and replace it, which only delays work by a couple hours. Once the damaged pipe has been replaced, the pipelining process can continue.
Why Commercial, Industrial and Residential Properties in Chicago Choose pipelining with NuFlow
Commercial, industrial, municipal and residential properties choose pipelining from NuFlow for a variety of reasons. The most common reason is that it solves chronic plumbing problems. As plumbing pipes start to age, they are more prone to leaking. As a result, building owners can find themselves repeatedly paying for sections of corroded pipes to be removed and replaced.
After the third or fourth traditional pipe repair, they start looking for an affordable alternative that will completely rehabilitate their plumbing pipes without having every pipe removed and replaced, which can get rather pricey, especially when drywall and other finishes must be replaced or large swaths of the landscaping due to the digging of trenches.
For most Chicago building owners and property managers, the alternative quickly becomes trenchless pipe repair via epoxy pipelining. This is because there’s no need to cut out large sections of drywall, remove interior finishes or dig trenches on your property to reach your sewer line. Instead, all that is needed are access points. Once the access points have been identified or created, the pipelining equipment connects seamlessly to the pipe that needs to be rehabilitated. This often results in less mess, fewer manhours and lower costs.
What Buildings Have We Lined with Epoxy Pipe Liners?
Here at NuFlow, we’ve been lining the sewer and drain lines of residential, commercial and industrial buildings as well as sports arenas and public venues since 2012. To date, we’ve lined the vent pipe of a residential home in Riverwood and lined the P-Traps at Guaranteed Rate Field (formerly US Cellular Field) as well as the WYE fittings. We’ve also lined plumbing pipes at food manufacturing facilities, and lined the pipes at 70 East Cedar Street and 222 E. Pearson in Chicago as well as many other public commercial and industrial buildings.
If you need a way to rehabilitate your drain lines and sewer pipes, our pipelining technicians can come out to your building, inspect your plumbing pipes and tell you if they’d be good candidates for the pipelining process. To get started or to learn more about pipelining in Chicago, give us a call at 815-790-9000.