If you’re thinking about having an epoxy pipelining project at a Chicago area building that you manage, you may be wondering how long the pipe lining will last and how long the payback period will be for the clients you represent. Fortunately, when done properly, an epoxy resin pipe lining project will last for several decades. But what happens differently when the process is done properly, and how much impact will it have on the longevity of your project? Here’s a quick overview to help you get started.

How Long Does Epoxy Pipelining Last?

If you have a quality epoxy resin pipe lining project completed by Nu Flow, we not only know that our projects will have a 10-year no-hassle warranty, but we also meet a wide range of standards and do extensive testing to help our clients answer questions just like this. To date, we’ve determined that most epoxy pipe lining projects will last between 30 and 50 years, or about the same amount of longevity you could expect from having all the pipes in your structure replaced with new ones, at a fraction of the cost, disruption and time.

But what about outside of those numbers? You may have heard some horror stories from people who have had pipe lining done by companies who do not have the same attention to detail and dedication to doing a good job, where the pipelining doesn’t attach properly and slips out. Because we pay close attention to the quality and aspect of every project, including investigating the existing system, making spot repairs where needed, and performing remote camera inspections of the system to ensure that everything is properly handled, we’ve seen systems set up in accelerated labs last up to the equivalent of 80 years.

Why Does Job Quality Impact Pipe Lining Longevity?

Let’s look at it this way: if you took your car to a mechanic for an oil change, and they didn’t change the oil, forgot to put the drain plug back in, or otherwise really screwed up the job, would you expect your engine to keep operating properly after you leave? The same applies to epoxy resin pipe lining. Let’s start by working through the steps Nu Flow uses on a daily basis and how they can be shortchanged by companies who are trying to save a few dollars during their process.

  • Assess the system. What shape is your system in? Will there be any problem areas that need to be looked at more closely prior to starting the project? Some contractors will simply tell you that they can proceed without this step, but this is like going into a construction project without knowing what’s going on. This can cause much higher expenses later if pipes are blown out or there isn’t enough structure for the epoxy resin to hold in place.
  • Make necessary repairs. If we find during the assessment that there are parts of your system that require repair before we start the pipelining process, we’ll make these spot repairs to ensure that your epoxy resin has a solid base to work with as it’s deployed and cured. We’ll also swap out any valves for unions to ensure that you get a solid fit throughout the system.
  • Clean out the pipes. It’s not that uncommon for copper, iron, or other metal pipes to have some level of corrosion inside of the pipe, which can limit flow and eventually lead to the surface of the pipe. We use an abrasive blown by hot air to clean out all of this corrosion, creating a clean surface for the resin to attach to and ensuring a good-quality installation.
  • Line the pipes. This is a little more complicated than it seems because lining the pipes involves first heating them to an appropriate temperature for that material. Once the pipes are at the right temperature, the epoxy resin can be introduced to the pipes, as well as an air bladder, which will inflate and force the epoxy against the interior pipe walls.
  • Cure the pipelining. The epoxy pipelining resin will need to cure at particular temperatures for a short period of time, typically a couple of days, after which it will have hardened significantly. This resin is so tough after curing that it must be ground out to be removed, which is why we pay so much careful attention to the entire process, to ensure that you won’t have to have the work redone due to any issues on our part.
  • Inspect the project using a remote camera. Even after the resin has cured, we’re still not done. Prior to adding water back to your pipe system, we will carefully take a remote camera through every inch of the resin rehabilitation of the pipe system, to ensure that the job was completed properly and that you’re going to get many decades of reliable performance out of your rehabilitation project.

By working with experienced professionals who have a solid dedication to the quality and integrity of your epoxy pipe lining project, you can ensure that you’ll get results that will last for many decades to come. This allows you to make a solid investment in your building without having to worry about what the future may hold. If you need help finding more information on epoxy resin pipe lining, have questions about the process, or would like to get an estimate for a high-quality pipe lining project at your building, please feel free to contact the experienced professionals at Nu Flow today.