When plumbing pipes start to corrode and degrade, they form pinholes, which leak. As the pipes continue to age, those leaks get bigger and start damaging the internal structure of your building. One solution to leaking pipes is to coat them or line them with a specialized material, like epoxy, polyurethane or polyethylene. This prevents leaks and extends the useful life of your plumbing pipes, but which pipe liner method is right for your Chicago building?
Epoxy is a two-part plastic resin. It can be sprayed on or formed into liners that are inserted into your plumbing pipes. This is a trenchless pipe liner method that can restore the integrity of your pipes while stopping current leaks and preventing future leaks. Epoxy coatings can be used inside pipes with a diameter of between 4” and 36”. Liners can be used in pipes with diameters between 4” and 108”.
Epoxy Coating Pros
- Increases the useful life of your plumbing pipes
- More affordable that traditional pipe replacement
- Trenchless technology that requires minimal disturbance to your walls, ceilings and floors
Epoxy Coating Cons
- Cannot be performed on excessively corroded plumbing pipes or on pipes that are missing large sections
- May not be good for all applications
- Pipes must be thoroughly cleaned and prepared before the liner is inserted
Polyurethane coatings are also known as polyurethane paper, and it is another popular type of trenchless pipe lining technology that can be used inside pipes that have a diameter of 4” or greater. Like epoxy liners, your old pipe is used as the template. The liner is inserted then cured-in-place.
Polyurethane Coating Pros
- Less expensive than epoxy for large diameter pipes that are extremely long
- Shorter curing time than with epoxy
- Extremely Safe
Polyurethane Coating Cons
- Different formulations have different pros and cons
- A bad formulation could lead to further host pipe corrosion
- May separate from the metal pipe
Polyethylene Liners (PET)
Polyethylene terephthalate or PET liners are constructed out of a highly versatile type of plastic. Different formulations are already in use in the food industry for food packaging and the playground industry playground equipment. It is also very versatile as a cure-in-place pipe liner.
- Can be used inside steel and aluminum pipes
- Covers pipes, fitting and joints seamlessls
- Good for use inside sewer lines and potable water pipes
- Not crosslinked, which means if the PET liner stretches, it stays stretched
- Further deterioration of host pipe could lead to bulges in the PET liner
- May separate from host pipe over time
Building Pipe Assessment and Pipe Lining with Nu Flow
Here at Nu Flow, we are proud to be able to offer the latest in epoxy pipe liner methods, and we understand that it may be difficult to determine if pipe lining would be right for your Chicago plumbing pipes. This is why we offer plumbing pipe assessments. These assessments involve inspecting all your plumbing pipes to determine their corrosion levels and to determine if you and your residents would benefit from pipe lining.
To learn more about our epoxy coating and lining processes or to get an estimate for a plumbing pipe assessment, call us at 815-790-9000.