pipes

Repair Pipes Without Disrupting Residents

HVAC system failure leaves luxury condo owner searching for re-pipe alternative
Thursday, May 19, 2016

A 16-storey, luxury-style condominium began to experience a failing HVAC system, just a few years after completion. As it turned out, delays during the construction process had resulted in rapid corrosion and buildup in the pipes, leaving the condo owners in search of a long-term solution. The HVAC system had to be repaired without causing destruction to the new building and, in the process, not disrupting residents who lived among the 200 units.

System

The carbon steel HVAC system is comprised of two- and three-inch wide supply and return lines. The entire system contains around 4,400 feet of pipes.

Problem

While the condominium was being built, there were construction delays, so the cooling tower was turned off and the HVAC lines were left exposed. In the process, the pipes aged faster than normal because of corrosion and scale formation. Nu Flow was called in and immediately noticed the owner’s apprehension about the repair process. If the process triggered more construction and walls had to be torn down, residents would have to temporarily vacate and move into another location, costing additional money and time.

Circumvention

As a property manager or owner, you have two repair options for pipe system issues: a traditional re-pipe, in which pipes are removed and replaced, or an in-place pipe coating method where a technician uses existing access points to clean pipes and apply a barrier coating. If this condo owner had chosen a traditional re-pipe alternative, the HVAC lines would have been nonfunctional for five to six months while they were excavated and changed. In turn, the method would produce messy construction throughout the pristine property—walls, floors and ceilings would be torn out and reconstructed upon project completion.

Solution

Nu Flow’s technicians used their innovative and time-tested solution for the condo owner that would avert destruction and alleviate HVAC downtime. The technicians isolated each stack and segmented the work, focusing on each stack one by one. This created minimal AC interruption of around three or four days per unit, compared to what could have been months.

To avoid cluster in the stairwells, air hoses used to blow clean air through the pipe system were run along the outside of the building to the roof. After the HVAC lines were cleaned with an abrasive agent, liquid epoxy was pushed through the pipe system using clean, compressed air. This is a patented method used to rehabilitate pressurized pipe systems from half an inch to 12 inches in diameter. Pressurized systems can include potable and grey water systems, HVAC systems, fire suppression, compressed air systems, conduit piping, water risers and water mains.

Pouring Epoxy (002)

Technician pours epoxy into pipes

Once the epoxy cured, it formed a smooth, protective coating throughout the pipes. This pipe coating lasts approximately 100 years and is a long-term solution against lead leaching, corrosion buildup, pinhole leaks, joint failure and mineral deposits that limit water flow.

In the end, Nu Flow saved the condo half a million dollars and, in turn, minimized resident disruption. Whether its drain pipes failing from root intrusion, structural failure, copper pinhole leaks or even corroded galvanized pipes, Nu Flow’s smart solutions help keep operations running smooth and residents comfortable.

While the aforementioned case examines a pressurized water system, the method also benefits non-pressurized systems, such as mains, sanitary systems, storm and roof drains and vent systems, to name a few. Clogs and structure loss are common failures with non-pressurized pipes. Pipe lining increases the life of piping, causes little disruption and preserves a building’s structure and surrounding landscape, particularly noteworthy for aging condos.

 

Nu Flow specializes in small-diameter pipe renewal for pressurized and non-pressurized inside infrastructure pipe systems. The company’s innovative technologies create ideal repair solutions for a property’s new or old pipe systems.

Top photo: Three stages of epoxy coating.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *