Leaking pipes mean a mess whether the leak comes from a pinhole or a large crack. Our aging water infrastructure faces 240,000 water main breaks a year, but even new pipes in construction can spring a leak.
Knowing your options for pipe repair can save you time making a decision when you discover a leak. Let’s take a look at five common methods used in construction pipe repair and when you might want to use them.
Types of Pipe Repair
Deciding how to repair a pipe once it starts leaking depends on several factors. Some of it has to do with the type and size of the leak, but you also have to consider whether service interruption is acceptable. Timing, material availability, and local regulations also impact your choice.
1. Pipe Coatings
Coatings are one of the recent pipe repair options and popular as trenchless options because they don’t require digging up the damaged pipe for repair. They’re generally cheaper and faster but best for dealing with smaller holes and cracks.
Sprayed-in-place repairs apply a new coating to the pipe’s inside surface, and SIPP technologies can do hundreds of feet of pipe in one continuous run. The coating sets in 15 seconds and can be used with all pipe types.
Cure-in-place linings involve epoxy resin and an absorbent tube that creates a new pipe inside the old one. The lining is formed in place with hot air or hot water and can last for 50 years.
2. Slip Lining
Slip lining involves putting a smaller diameter pipe into an existing one, then filling the space between them with grout.
Unfortunately, you do reduce the line’s flow capacity, and the technique only works for large pipes running in a straight line. It also isn’t the best choice for severely damaged pipes.
3. Clamps and Collars
Larger pipes and damage might call for digging to repair by wrapping the pipe. This type of construction pipe repairing can be used on all types of lines and usually on small pinholes, leaks, and corroded areas.
The repair involves wrapping the clamp or collar around the pipe, dropping bolts in place, and tightening them. Compression of gasket seals in the collar seals the leak.
4. Pipe Bursting
Like slip lining, this method involves sliding one pipe into another. The difference here is that the new pipe will break up the damaged pipe and take the place of the old one.
This method is cheaper than some of the lining options and keeps digging to a minimum. It also allows you to replace the old pipe with one the same size or larger to maintain flow capacity. It’s only appropriate when you have a longer length of pipe to replace and the damaged pipe hasn’t collapsed.
Like a clamp, a repair sleeve goes around the outside of the pipe then is tightened down to compress gaskets and seal the pipe. Repair work doesn’t interrupt service, but you do have to dig up the pipe to get the sleeve around it.
Sleeves work well when you have bigger splits or holes in the pipe to repair.
Need to Learn More?
Once you identify the type of damage your pipe has, it’s important to choose a method of pipe repair that is appropriate for the damage. Learning how to repair a construction pipe with the five methods we’ve listed here should cover most of your repair needs.
Check out our other articles for more information on construction, repairs, and building codes.