Whether you’ve owned your building for years or just purchased an existing multi-story family building, epoxy pipelining can help you keep your plumbing system operational while minimizing damage to walls. Here at NuFlow, we can line potable water, drain, sewer and parking lot piping systems in order to prevent corrosion, leaks and blowouts.

Have You Contemplated the Useful Lives of Your Chicago Plumbing Pipes Recently?

If you’re like most property managers and building owners, your answer is probably not since the last time you had a leak or a complaint about water pressure. The truth is that plumbing pipes do not last forever, and it’s best to have them inspected and repaired on a regular basis or lined with epoxy to prevent future problems.

  • Black Iron – 80 to 100 years
  • Brass – 40 to 70 years
  • Cast Iron – 80 to 100+ years
  • Copper – 50 to 75 years
  • CPVC – 25 to 40 years
  • Galvanized Steel – 25 to 50 years
  • PEX – 100+ years
  • Pipelining – Up to 80+ years
  • PVC – 25 to 40 years

When you think about the life expectancy of your plumbing pipes, think about the age of your building. The average life expectancy of plumbing pipes is between 40 and 70 years, which means if your building was built prior to 1980 and has never had the plumbing system replaced, the pipes are likely reaching the end of their expected useful lives.

Benefits of Epoxy Pipe Lining Over Traditional Pipe Replacement

If you’ve just purchased your building or have only owned your multi-family building a few years, you probably don’t want to spend a lot of money on a whole-building pipe replacement, which often results in significant damage to walls and the need to hire additional contractors. After all, you’re looking to break even on your initial investment and turn a profit, not dig a deeper hole into the red. With that in mind, it’s important to look at the benefits of epoxy pipe lining over traditional pipe replacement.

Epoxy Pipe Lining

Epoxy pipelining is safe and effective for potable water lines, drain lines and sewer pipes. It’s even safe to use on vent stacks and risers, which means you can have every pipe in your building lined. Not to mention, it doesn’t destroy drywall, plaster or the finishing details on your walls, like crown molding.

The reason pipelining doesn’t destroy the building’s interior is because the pipes do not need to be dug out of the walls. Instead, they merely need to be accessed via existing cleanout lines or access points. If there is no access point for an existing pipe, one is created. This means that our pipe lining technicians at NuFlow will cut an access hole then install a door. The installation of a door means that if the pipe needs to be inspected or cleaned in the future, the door merely needs to be opened, and holes are not left in your walls. It is for this reason that many historic building owners often choose pipe lining instead of traditional pipe replacement. Not to mention, epoxy pipe lining is slated to last as long as 80 years, which is slightly longer than the average expectancy of new plumbing pipes.

Traditional Pipe Replacement

When traditional pipe replacement is chosen to upgrade the plumbing system in a building, every pipe has to be removed. Since most plumbing pipes are located inside walls for aesthetic purposes, the drywall or plaster needs to be removed first, which involves cutting large holes. Once the plumbers are finished replacing all the pipes, the holes are left in place. This means the property manager or building owner must hire new contractors to repair the walls, which adds to the cost of the project. Of course, if you choose traditional pipe replacement, you’ll get to enjoy the full life expectancy of all the new plumbing pipes, which is 40 to 70 years.

Case Study: DK Condo Management Group – 1250 N. LaSalle

What would you say if you contacted a traditional plumber for a quote on a potable water pipe replacement and received an answer of $2.5 million? It happened at 1250 N. LaSalle. Through ultrasonic testing, the management group learned that the potable hot water pipes were at the end of their life and needed to be replaced. This replacement was going to cost upwards of $2.5 million and require the teardown of many of the interior walls in order to access the deteriorated and corroded pipes.

Upon receiving that quote and knowing they’d have to hire drywallers after the plumbing project was completed, DK Condo Management group along with the board of directors decided to explore Nu Flow’s blown-in epoxy lining as an alternative solution to a full pipe replacement because pipelining is less intrusive, meaning less construction and disruption to the building’s tenants.

Instead of opening up walls and removing old piping, water is drained from the plumbing system and corrosion buildup is removed by blowing heated air through the existing pipes. This is basically like power washing the interior of those corroded pipes with air.

Once the pipes are clean, liquid epoxy is blown through the system and left to cure for between 12 and24 hours. After the epoxy has cured and hardened, it creates a durable finish that acts as a barrier between the water and the old pipes, which eliminates future corrosion and pipe deterioration.

DK Condo Management Group was impressed with the idea of lining their pipes with epoxy. However, they wanted to test a small section of pipe prior to committing to the full project. We obliged and lined a section of pipe so that they could see the process and test the epoxy pipelining. It was a complete success. Next, we lined all the risers and completed the full project.

By combining actual pipe replacement in some areas of the building with epoxy pipe lining in other, they were able to save over $1 million on the overall pipe restoration, as well as prevent invasive construction throughout their highly marketable property!

How to Get Nu Flow Pipelining for Your Chicago Building

Are you interested in restoring your building’s plumbing system with epoxy pipelining? We’d love to talk to you. Epoxy pipe lining can save you money over the cost of a traditional pipe replacement while taking less time and involving less disruption to your tenants. Not to mention, every pipelining job is warrantied for 10 years, which means that if you have a problem with a lined pipe in the future, our pipe lining technicians will arrive on-site and inspect the pipes. If it is due to a pipelining problem, we will repair it free of charge.

To learn more about epoxy pipelining, give us a call at 815-790-9000.