IN EARLY 2017 a leak repair was required on a 12-inch DIP serving a large populated area. The pipe had corroded on the outside due to the surrounding hot soil. The standard repair started by taking the section of affected water line out of service and completely draining it. Next, the crew needed to remove the damaged section, cut a new piece of pipe to replace it, and secure it in place with a solid sleeve and two mega-lugs at each end. Implementing this repair, however, would completely disrupt service to customers for about eight hours. Once completed, the field technicians would need time to recharge the line and flush it until all debris and air were purged from the line before resuming service. The whole process would be extremely expensive, and time consuming, and would disrupt service for an unacceptable amount of time. The District had previously tried making this kind of repair by wrapping stainless steel bands around the affected pipe but found that the high water pressure would blow out the seals once regular service resumed. The challenge was to repair the pipe quickly and securely while minimizing service downtime.
Stan Linker is the district manager for the Central Weld County Water District. It provides water service for approximately 50,000 in an area about 50 miles northeast of Denver covering 250 square miles. The water infrastructure contains 500 miles of pipe measuring 2 to 42 inches in diameter, and made from ductile iron pipe, PVC, and asbestos cement.
Linker decided to use a 12-inch HYMAX VERSA, which was much stronger and easier to install compared to the stainless steel repair bands. Instead of cutting out and replacing the pipe, an eight-hour job for two or three installers, the HYMAX VERSA was installed in about three hours with only two workers. There was no need to drain the water main, and Linker’s crew could maintain positive flow pressure without shutting it down completely. Water contamination was completely avoided, since the pipe wouldn’t have to be cut for the repair, and flushing was greatly reduced, saving time and water due to flushing.
“Using the HYMAX VERSA made the repair very easy both in terms of time and manpower,” says Linker. “When you can return service to customers faster and reduce the number of installers on the job, using the HYMAX VERSA was a good choice to make.”
HYMAX VERSA also offered a very durable solution. Its weld-free construction and 100% stainless steel parts made it resistant to corrosion, a key benefit given the surrounding hot soil. HYMAX VERSA uses the same coupling gasket in Krausz’s HYMAX coupling, which features a patented hydraulic pressure-assisted gasket that inflates as water pressure increases. This allows for three degrees of dynamic deflection on each end to reduce the risk of future damage to the pipe due to ground shifts and temperature changes. The radial closing design and sealing systems also help eliminate installation errors.
While the HYMAX VERSA was used to repair pipe in this situation, it can also be stab-fit between two pipes like a coupling. This gives installers the option to either connect or repair a range of water and wastewater piping types with diameters from 1.5 inches to 70 inches. This multi-functionality, together with wide tolerance, substantially reduces inventory costs and saves shelf space as the product suits a wide range of pipe diameters, eliminating the need for dedicated wrap-around and coupling products.
The HYMAX VERSA coupling presented two fundamental advantages for this repair.
- Ease of Installation: The HYMAX VERSA coupling could wrap around the damaged pipe in one step without draining or flushing out the pipe, cutting a new section of pipe, and reducing and then increasing water pressure once the repair was completed. This allowed the installation time to be shortened by an estimated five hours and required only two workers compared to three with a cut-and-replace solution. By using HYMAX VERSA, the complications associated with water contamination were entirely avoided.
- Durability: The HYMAX VERSA coupling is made of 100% stainless steel and features weld-free construction, making it resistant to corrosion in hot soils since welded areas are where corrosion often starts. The HYMAX VERSA also has a patented hydraulic progressive pressure-assisted gasket that inflates with increasing water pressure. The resulting dynamic deflection capacity reduces the risk of future damage to the pipe due to ground shifts or temperature changes.
Using the HYMAX VERSA helped Linker quickly make the repair to limit downtime with a solution that could withstand corrosion caused by hot soil. While installing a sleeve connected with mechanical joint restraints would have required significant downtime and disrupted service for a long time, the HYMAX VERSA needed only to be wrapped around the damaged pipe without any of the contamination risks posed by cutting the pipe and resumed service within three hours.
“I could also see how the HYMAX VERSA would be especially useful for cutting asbestos cement pipe,” says Linker. “By wrapping it around the pipe, we can avoid health and environmental issues and the related paperwork involved. We’ll definitely look
to use HYMAX VERSA again in the future.”