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Question DetailsAsked on 7/26/2013

coper leak Water Pipe Restoration Technology

Water Pipe Restoration Technology for repairing leaks under slabs with out re-piping the house.

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Yes, it can work. Would I use it on pipes too small to manually inspect, or which are already failing due to corrosion - no.

This is a cleaning and epoxy lining technology originally developed for large - diameter water lines (especially asbestos cement ones), and now used for industrial piping, water and sewer pipes, etc. Historically it was used for pipes beginning to show signs of wear, or ones getting clogged with chemical deposits that needed removal. I have used pipe cleanign and relining (not this specific company) on commercial jobs from 1 inch chemical lines to 6-96 inch water and sewer lines to 24 foot steel penstocks.

The problem with using it for residential pipes is several fold -

1) if your pipes are corroded enough to be blocked or leaking, then the cleaning process (essentially sandblasting or chemical etching) is likely to thin weak spots even more, and the epoxy sealant is just a paper-thin coating, which does not solve the problem of the weakened pipe, or of corrosion already in the pipe itself, which will normally continue to spread.

2) because of the small diameter and inability to direct the cleaning to only where it is needed, to get full cleaning it is necessary to erode all surfaces, thinning the walls in areas where there is no buildup. This happens aprticularly when going around bends, where it tends to differentially erode the pipe, and is also the place where natural cavitation erosion is most likely to cause a leak.

3) because of the small diameter and the cost, generally there is no post-application inspection to confirm that the coating was complete and uniform (though some companies do run a video camera afterwards, though usually at extra cost)

Basically, for my money, it is a lot of money for a short-term fix - I would rather see money go to having old pipes removed and replaced, totally eliminating the damaged pipe.

The crux of the problem, and this is an industry-wide issue, is that running water pipes under a slab to get to the distribution point, at least if not in a race so they can be pulled out from outside, is just stupid if it can be avoided - it makes a lot more sense, from a construction damage, corrosion and access standpoint, to bring the pipes up above slab immediately upon entering the house and then run them in floor joists to the distribution point. This is a preferred solution to repairing/replacing leaking below-slab water lines - it gets the pipe to a place it can be repaired in the future, if necessary.


Answered 6 years ago by LCD




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