Did you know that there are several different ways to line plumbing pipes with epoxy? If you’ve spent any time researching epoxy pipelining solutions, you’re probably familiar with blown-in epoxy and epoxy-soaked pipeliners. However, there’s another solution. It’s called Picote Brush Coating™. Picote Brush Coating™ was designed and developed by Picote, which is a Finnish company that develops and manufactures a broad variety of trenchless equipment. Their lead designer and inventor is Mika Lokkinen, who has won several awards over the years for his innovation. One of his biggest awards was the 2014 Finnish Innovator Reward, and he’s been designing pipelining solutions since 2001. One of those innovations was the Picote Brush Coating™ system. This design was born out of necessity. He was looking for a more accurate way to apply epoxy to plumbing pipes in order to ensure a 100 percent success rate because he wasn’t happy with the 99 percent success rate of the other epoxy pipelining solutions. Let’s take a look at how Picote Brush Coating™ got its start and why we’re thrilled to be able to offer it at NuFlow Midwest, serving Chicago.

How Picote Brush Coating™ Got Its Start

Picote Brush Coating™ got its start when Picote went to renovate the pipes inside two apartment buildings. At that time, only the traditional methods of epoxy installation were available. There was no such thing as brush coating. Of course, Picote did the job. Then, they tested the pipes. The traditional epoxy pipelining methods achieved a 99 percent success rate. While that may sound impressive, it also meant that 1 percent of the pipes were leaking. Picote and Mika Lokkinen didn’t find that to be acceptable. After all, once the epoxy pipelining process has been completed, there shouldn’t be any leaks. That’s the whole point of the process because leaking pipes can cause extensive damage inside buildings. To remedy that situation, the pipelining crew would identify the areas that head leaks and tear out all the pipes in the areas that were leaking, reinstall the pipes, and reline them. To Mika Lokkinen, this was wasteful, and the realization started him on the path to designing Picote Brush Coating™. Today, pipeliners and clients can expect the Picote Brush Coating™ to last up to 50 years and exceed every metric put in place for drain lines.

How does the process of Picote Brush Coating™ start?

The process of getting Picote brush cast epoxy installed in your plumbing pipes starts with an inspection. This plumbing inspection is performed using a special camera that is attached to the end of a long, flexible rod. The camera is sent down into the pipe while the pipelining technician watches the images. This step is necessary to ensure that your pipes are in good enough condition to host the brush-cast epoxy. It’s important to note that brush-cast epoxy can seal small cracks and pinhole leaks. However, if the pipe has significant breaks and gaps, another epoxy pipelining solution may be needed.

How are the pipes cleaned before the Picote Brush Coating™ is installed?

The first step to any epoxy pipelining involves cleaning the interior of the pipe. Over time, pipes can develop corrosion and attract debris that makes the interior surface of the pipe rough while simultaneously restricting the flow of water. Additionally, the epoxy coatings won’t adhere correctly to debris. This means that all of the debris and corrosion must be removed prior to the installation of the coating. At NuFlow, we have various methods that we use to clean the pipes. Our two primary methods involve using cleaning chains and sending a special pipe-cleaning grit down the pipe. The chains help rapidly remove large debris. However, we don’t just use any pipe-cleaning chain. The chain that we choose must match the diameter of the pipe. This helps ensure that the chain is removing debris and not damaging the pipe. Once the pipe cleaning step is complete, we perform another camera inspection to make sure the interior pipe walls are completely clean and smooth. If they look good, we start the process of applying the brush-cast epoxy.

How is Picote brush cast epoxy applied?

Brush-cast epoxy is a relatively innovation for pipelining. Instead of being blown through the pipe or soaked into a liner, it’s brushed onto the pipe in layers. For basic installations, two layers are applied to the pipe to prevent future corrosion. In general, the first coat helps seal small pinhole leaks and hairline cracks. The second layer creates a smooth, corrosion-resistant surface. Of course, more layers can be applied to help reinforce the pipe’s structural integrity.

What are the benefits of Picote brush cast epoxy?

Picote brush cast epoxy offers several benefits over similar types of technology. The first benefit is that it’s accurate. The brush application allows for precise targeting and even applications of the coating. It’s also able to line pipes as small as 1.25 inches or as large as 12 inches, depending on the machine used. It’s also less messy than traditional epoxy because it comes in buckets and cartridges. It can be used around bends and to seal the gaps that are left behind from other types of epoxy installation methods, which helps ensure that the interior of the pipe is completely smooth with no deep ridges that could catch debris. It’s also cost-effective when compared to traditional pipe replacement and even other types of epoxy installations.

  • Corrosion Resistant
  • Damp-Proof
  • Wear Resistant
  • Non-Corrosive

This technique has been used in hundreds of various applications. It can be used to line sewer pipes, stack pipes, vent stacks, and drain lines. It’s been successfully used in industrial and nuclear plants, apartments, condos, high-rise buildings, residential homes, pools, dams, hydroelectric structures, and government buildings.

Epoxy brush coating can be used with three different pumps, including the mini Pump, the maxi Pump, and the Express Coating System. The Express coating system can line pipes with diameters between 1.25 and 12 inches, and it has a maximum range of 131 feet.

The Mini Pump can line pipes with diameters between 1.25 and 8 inches, and it has a max range of 75 feet. The Maxi pump can line pipes with diameters between 3 and 12 inches with lengths of up to 128 feet.

What are the long-term benefits of Picote brush cast epoxy?

Brush cast epoxy is designed to last between 30 and 50 years, which means the coating can last just as long as a new pipe. After all, brass lasts between 40 and 70 years. Copper lasts an average of 50 years unless they’re L-type copper pipes, which can last up to 100 years. Galvanized steel only lasts between 20 and 50 years, and PEX lasts an average of 40 years. This means that installing Picote Brush Coating™ can almost double the expected life of your current plumbing pipes.

Does NuFlow offer Picote brush cast epoxy in Chicago?

Nuflow Midwest does offer Picote Brush Coating™. We are proud to be able to offer this trenchless technology, and like our other epoxy pipelining services, this one doesn’t require large holes to be cut in your walls, floors, and ceilings. Instead, brush cast epoxy only needs to have an access point where we can connect the equipment. Of course, the first piece of equipment we use is our plumbing camera. Then, we connect our cleaning equipment, and finally, we connect the brush casting system. Once all of the layers of epoxy have been added to the pipe, the final curing time is about 24 hours. This makes the process of installing the brush cast epoxy fairly fast.

If you’d like to know more about the bust cast epoxy system or schedule an appointment for epoxy pipelining, feel free to contact us.