Imagine scheduling a drain pipe replacement for your entire Chicago multi-family building and having most of the units entered by the plumbing team over the course of the project. It happened at 1250 N. LaSalle. Conversely, when our technicians lined the drain pipes at Pearson on the Park, we only had to enter 5 out of the 27 units. We didn’t have to enter every apartment because we use a specific pipe lining method, called Pull-in-Place (PIP) pipelining.

How Does Pull in Place Pipe Lining Work?

PIP pipe lining involves the use of a pipe liner, usually felt, and a two-part epoxy coating. The liner is the exact diameter of the plumbing pipe that is to be lined, and it is cut to length. The liner is then soaked in the epoxy and inserted and inflated against the pipe walls where it is left to cure and harden for a specific amount of time, usually overnight. Once the pipe within a pipe has cured, it is fully refurbished and acts exactly like a new pipe, and the process was accomplished with no damage to your building’s structure, finishes or drywall. Not to mention, we didn’t have to enter every apartment or condo in your building.

How Our Technicians at NuFlow Install PIP Liners in Chicago Drain Pipes

It all starts with a thorough cleaning of your existing plumbing pipes. This is because drain lines corrode and collect debris over time. Just take a look at this video of the uncleaned and unlined pipes at 222 E. Pearson.

As you can see, those pipes are lumpy, bumpy and disgusting-looking. Not to mention, there are lots of raised ridges where debris can collect and cause a clog. The good news is that we clean all that debris from the pipe walls with a specialized pipe cleaner that contains blades and chains. As we thread it through your drainpipe, it scrapes and slices the debris off the pipe, and it doesn’t harm your plumbing pipes because the width of the cleaning mechanisms is exactly the diameter of your pipe.

Preparing and Inserting the Pipe Liner

Once your pipes are clean, it’s time to prepare the pipe liner. The liner is scored to help the epoxy completely permeate the material. Then, the two-part epoxy is mixed and poured into the pipe liner. Next, our team lays the liner flat and uses a small rolling device to squish the epoxy through the liner. Since the liner is white, we know the epoxy has completely soaked the liner when it turns the same blue color as the epoxy.

After the liner has been completely prepared, we insert an air bladder and pull the epoxy-soaked liner through the pipe. Once the liner is in place, we inflate the air bladder, which presses the liner against the pipe walls. Then, we leave the air bladder in place while the pipe within a pipe cures and hardens.

Fast Return to Service After NuFlow Pipe Lining

It can take up to 24 hours for the pipe liner to cure and completely harden. After the liner has cured, we perform a camera inspection to ensure that the liner is completely against the pipe walls and thoroughly cured. If the liner looks good, we restore service to the pipes. This means that we can often complete a project faster than a traditional pipe replacement so that you can enjoy your clean, newly lined pipes sooner.

Maintaining Your Newly Lined Drain Pipes

After your pipes have been lined, you can maintain them as normal by having them periodically hydro jetted to have any suspected debris or filth removed. However, the lined pipes can never have heat applied to them, which means if you need to cut into the lined pipe to connect another pipe for a renovation or addition, welding is not recommended. Instead, we recommend cutting through lined pipes with a mechanical saw and attaching mechanical fittings to secure any new pipe junctions.

LifeSpans of Pull in Place Lining and Warranties

Lined pipes have an expected useful life that ranges between 35 and 50 years, which is comparable to having new drain pipes installed in your building. We also offer a 10-year warranty on all our pipe lining work.

To learn more about PIPP lining and how it can help rehabilitate and extend the useful lives of your drain pipes, give us a call at 805-790-9000.