Are you looking for a long-term solution to your plumbing pipe problems? As plumbing pipes age, they develop leaks due to corrosion. These leaks can occur anywhere along the pipe or at the joints, seams and fittings. Epoxy pipelining can be a long-term solution to chronic leaks.

Short Term Plumbing Pipe Fixes

When you are having a plumbing emergency, you can opt for a short-term fix. However, these fixes are only meant to prevent immediate water damage to your building and limit the amount of time your residents, employees and visitors are without water while you call a licensed plumber in Chicago.

  1. Turn Off the Water Supply to the Broken Pipe

Once you realize you have a plumbing leak, it’s essential that you turn off the water supply to the affected pipe in order to prevent severe water damage. If you’re lucky, they’ll be a shutoff valve not too far from the leak so that you can minimize the number of units or water fixtures that are without power. In some instances, you may have to turn the water off for an entire floor or building until you can temporarily fix the leak or call a Chicago plumber.

  1. Duck Tape and Hose Clamps

If the pipe is easily reachable and the leak is small, you can wrap duck tape or electrical tape around the leak and affix hose clamps over the tape. It’s important to understand that this is a very temporary fix that may only hold for a few hours to a day, which is long enough to contact an emergency plumber for a permanent repair.

  1. Pipe Clamps

Pipe clamps, also called pipe repair clamps, are specifically designed to temporarily repair leaks. They are comprised of metal plates and one or more screw clamps. This fix involves placing the clamp over the leak and tightening the screws. This is a slightly longer repair than tape and hose clamps. However, you’ll still want to make arrangements with your local Chicago plumber for a permanent repair.

Long-Term Plumbing Pipe Fixes

While temporary pipe repairs can help minimize the time the water is off to your floor, building or individual unit, you’ll eventually need a long-term solution to your plumbing leaks. Commercial, industrial and large multi-unit family buildings have two options when it comes to fixing plumbing pipe leaks for the long-haul, including a traditional repiping and epoxy pipelining.

Traditional Repiping

When your Chicago building has experienced numerous leaks over the last 12 to 24 months, the first long-term solution that comes to most property managers’, superintendents’ and landlords’ minds is a traditional repipe. This solution involves removing all your old, corroded and decaying plumbing pipes and replacing them with new plumbing pipes in your desired material. By replacing all the plumbing pipes in your building, you will be getting the entire useful life out of the new pipes.

However, a traditional repipe typically means cutting through drywall, ceilings and floors and removing finishes in order to reach the plumbing pipes. This can create an incredible mess. Not to mention, it’s noisy and disruptive to your employees and residents. Once all the pipes have been removed and replaced, you may need to hire additional contractors to repair all the damaged drywall, floors and ceiling tiles and to reattach and replace finishes, like moldings and decorative panels.

Average Useful Life of New Plumbing Pipes

Brass Potable Water Pipes – 40 to 70 Years

Copper Potable Water Pipes – At Least 50 Years

Galvanized Steel Potable Water Pipes – 20 to 50 Years

PVC and CPVC Potable Water Pipes – 50 Years or Longer

Pex Potable Water Pipes – 50+ Years

Cast Iron Drain and Sewer Pipes – 75 yo 100 Years

PVC Drain and Sewer Pipes – 50+ Years

Epoxy Pipelining

The second solution is to have your plumbing pipes lined with epoxy. For potable water lines, this involves cleaning the pipes and blowing a two-part epoxy mixture that’s been approved for use with drinking water pipes and waiting for it to cure. Drain and sewer pipes are lined with an epoxy soaked liner. The liner is then threaded through the pipe and pressed against the interior walls of the pipe with an air bladder. Once the liner and epoxy have cured, the new pipe-within-a-pipe is just as durable as a new pipe.

The biggest benefit that epoxy pipelining has over a traditional pipe replacement is that it takes less time. In fact, each section of pipe can typically be lined in two to three days, and residents don’t lose access to clean water for the entirety of the pipelining process. Instead, water service is typically turned off during the daily workday and restored for the evenings, overnights and early mornings.

Part of the reason pipelining is faster is because large sections of drywall are not cut out in order to reach the pipe. Instead, existing access points are used or new access points are created in order to reach the pipes that need to be lined. Once the access to the pipe has been established, the equipment is connected to the pipe, and the pipes are lined. This is less invasive, less noisy and faster than a traditional pipe replacement.

If you are considering cost, it’s important to note that epoxy pipe lining is typically less expensive when all pipe replacement costs are taken into consideration, including the purchasing of new pipes, labor and the need to hire additional contractors for drywall and potentially landscaping repairs if you had to have your sewer pipe replaced

Average Useful Life of Epoxy Pipelining

Epoxy pipelining typically lasts between 35 and 50 years, which makes it comparable to most types of traditional piping materials, including brass, copper and PVC. In laboratory testing, epoxy has shown the potential to last up to 80 years.

Epoxy Pipelining with NuFlow, Serving Chicago

Our pipelining technicians at NuFlow are here to help you with your aging pipe problem. If your pipes have needed numerous repairs over the last year or two, we can line your pipes with epoxy in order to stop current leaks and prevent future leaks while extending the life of your current plumbing pipes by as much as 50 years. All of our work is warrantied for 10 years, and our pipe lining technology is environmentally friendly.

To learn more about our pipelining for water supply and drain and sewer pipes, give us a call at 815-790-9000.