When’s the last time you thought about the condition of the inside of your plumbing pipes? If you’re like most building owners, superintendents and property managers, you probably don’t think about your plumbing pipes until there’s a problem, including a pipe leak, low water pressure or slow-moving drains. The good news is that pipelining can remedy all these problems, and it can even increase the usable diameter of your plumbing pipes.

What Decreases the Usable Diameter of Plumbing Pipes

Before we talk about maximizing the internal diameter of the plumbing pipes in your Chicago building, it’s important to understand what decreases the diameter. After all, if you install a three-inch pipe, you expect that pipe to provide you with three inches of water flow, but over time, that diameter can decrease due to a variety of factors.

Potable Water Pipes

You potable water pipes are the pressurized pipes that bring water into your building for showering, cooking, cleaning and washing clothes. Every time someone turns on a tap, water moves through the pipe to the desired location. The problem with water, however, is that it is the ultimate solvent. If given enough time and pressure, water dissolves everything. If you need a big example, you can think of the Grand Canyon, which is believed to have been carved by the Colorado River over the course of about 35 million years.

The water through your plumbing pipes is also dissolving solid objects, albeit on a much smaller scale. As it flows from the reservoir or lake into the water treatment system and through the municipal plumbing pipes, it picks up small particles. As the water flows through your plumbing pipes, it can either pick up more particles or deposit them along the interior walls of your pipes. If the water picks up more particles, it can lead to pinhole leaks. If the water deposits particles, it can lead to a reduction in the pipe diameter. If the particles are left to accumulate, it can cause a severe reduction in water pressure and even the complete cessation of water flow through the pipe.

Drain and Sewer Lines

Drain and sewer lines funnel wastewater from your building into the city’s water treatment system. As solid waste particles flow through the drain pipes, they can stop, which results in the formation of a clog. This can be due to bellying in the line, which is a flat spot, cracks and holes that catch the solid waster particles and tree root infiltration. The diameter reduction in drain and sewer lines can also be caused by pouring things down the drains that should not be poured down the drains. This includes fats, like grease, butter, oil and lard. Individuals tend to pour these items down the drain while they are hot. However, as they cool, they solidify and get stuck to the sides of the pipe, which reduces the diameter of the pipe while simultaneously catching other solid waste particles and holding them in place. If this happens over a long enough period of time, the pipe can develop a partial or full clog that results in extremely slow drains or drains that start backing up, usually at the lowest point in the system.

How Epoxy Pipelining Increases the Usable Diameter of Plumbing Pipes

Having your potable water lines and drain and sewer lines can increase the usable diameter of your plumbing pipes. It’s important to note that the total diameter of your plumbing pipes is limited by the pipe size, but epoxy pipelining can remove all the debris in the pipe in order to maximize the diameter and improve water flow.

1. Pipe Cleaning for Maximizing Pipe Diameter

Every pipelining project starts with a complete pipe cleaning. This removes all the debris and filth from inside the plumbing pipe down to the original pipe walls. The cleaning process is essential because pipe liners and pipe coatings don’t adhere well to debris and filth. Not to mention, the goal of pipelining is to maximize the usable diameter of your plumbing pipes while repairing any leaks, restoring the function of your plumbing pipes and extending their useful lives.

Once the pipes that are to be lined are cleaned, they are inspected with a camera to make sure they are completely clean. If debris is found during the inspection, a second round of cleaning is performed. In fact, the process is repeated until the internal pipe walls are completely clean.

2. Pipe Lining for Pipe Repair and longevity

Once the pipes are clean, the actual lining process begins. If we are lining potable water lines, a two-part epoxy is mixed and blown through the pipes with pressurized air. This covers every square inch of pipe, seals leaks and restores the function of the pipes.

When we line drain and sewer pipes, we prepare a felt liner and soak it with a two-part epoxy. Once the liner is ready, it is inserted into the drain line and pressed against the pipe walls using an air bladder. Once the liner is pressed against the pipe wall, the epoxy starts to solidify and cure.

3. Epoxy Pipe Liner Curing

Once the pipes have been lined, they are left to cure. The curing process involves the drying and hardening of the epoxy liner or coating. The resulting pipe-within-a-pipe (CIPP) is just as hard and durable as a brand new plumbing pipe. Once the curing process is complete, the pipes are returned to service.

Epoxy Pipelining with NuFlow, Serving Chicago

When you want to increase the usable diameter of your potable water pipes, drain lines and sewer lines while extending their useful lives and repairing small leaks and cracks, consider epoxy pipe lining from NuFlow in Chicago. Epoxy pipelining removes all the debris that’s reducing your water pressure and water flow and provides a smooth surface for potable water or wastewater to flow.

Pipelining is also safe, durable, cost-effective, fast and guaranteed. In fact, lined pipes have been known to last between 35 and 50 years, and we warranty all of our work for 10 years, which means if you experience a problem in a lined pipe, all you have to do is call us. We’ll come out and determine the problem. If the problem is with the pipe liner, we will repair it.

To learn more about pipelining and its benefits and to schedule a pipe assessment, give us a call at 815-790-9000.