Pipe Relining Process
How does pipe relining work?
Inspect the pipe damage
The first step in the pipe relining process is to find out exactly what is wrong with the pipe. To achieve this, a drain camera is sent down to see what is happening inside the piping. The drain camera is on the lookout for any blockages that may need clearing, as well as any damage that is apparent and any junctions will need to be addressed later on.
Once this is complete, this information is used to decide on the best way to get the pipe ready for relining.
Clear and clean the piping
If any solid intrusions or damage are found to the pipe, a robotic cutter is used to remove them. Robotic cutters will cut through almost anything, including steel and concrete.
A high-pressure water jetter is used to clear the pipe of any debris and blockages, as well as thoroughly clean the pipe wall to ensure a good bond between the outside of the new lining and the old pipe.
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Check pipe is ready for relining
Before the pipe relining starts, drain cameras are sent down again to do one final check. This is to ensure that all intrusions have been removed and the pipe is clean of debris and ready for relining.
It is also finalised as to exactly how the pipe is to be relined and how much lining is needed to be prepared.
Preparing the pipe lining
The length of lining that is required is then measured and prepared for insertion in a purpose-built truck.
When using inversion pipe relining this involves mixing epoxy resin with a hardening agent. This resin is then poured into the liner, which is rolled repeatedly to ensure that the resin is evenly distributed along the entire length and impregnated into the material.
Inserting the pipe lining
Inversion pipe relining uses a special inversion drum to blow the liner into the pipe. This utilises compressed air to not only insert the liner into the pipe, but to also invert it (so it becomes inside out). Once this process is complete, the inside of the liner that has the resin impregnated is now on the outside and pressed against the original pipe using compressed air.
Curing the pipe lining
Now it is a waiting game, as the resin needs time to cure so it turns into a hard protective coating along the pipe.
When using the inversion pipe relining method, this can either be left to cure by itself, or the process can be sped up by using hot water.
Cutting out junctions and inspection pits
Once the the damaged pipe has been completely lined, any junctions or inspection pits need to be cut out.
With inspection pits, this can generally be completed from the surface with a grinder or similar. However, with junctions, a robotic cutter needs to be used.
Completing the process
The damaged section of pipe has now been completely relined.
One final check is carried out to ensure the pipe is fully covered and as good as new (maybe even better), providing 50+ years of protection.
This involves both a visual inspection with a drain camera and a check for leaks with the appropriate leak detection equipment.