All over the United States, there exists a vast network of intrastate and interstate pipelines that are used to transport various substances such as water, gas, raw materials, hazardous liquids, oil, etc. These substances are crucial to the daily functioning of the economy and livelihoods as they deliver resources that are essential for various purposes.
What Are Pipelines?
These are lines of pipes that are equipped with valves, pumps, and other devices that help with moving liquids, gases, and slurries. They come in different sizes and usually are made of metals such as steel, aluminum, and cast iron. Some may also be constructed using concrete, clay products and, on few occasions, plastic. Different sections of the pipelines are welded or bolted together and are typically laid underground while some are built above ground. Pipelines are most times concealed from the view of the public so most people are not even aware of their presence.
These lines are designed to withstand harsh conditions for very long periods of time. To protect their integrity and reliability, it is important that ongoing and preventative maintenance exercises are carried out regularly especially when they are old or aging. This prevents situations that can potentially have damaging effects or result in the failure of strategic infrastructure. It also ensures that owners of such pipelines do not run afoul of federal regulations. Given the importance of these channels, in the event of an issue or a need for repairs, only qualified personnel should be tasked with such duties.
At the manufacturing and construction stage, pipelines are usually inspected for imperfections before being cleared fit-for-service. However over time and after a period of use, flaws can begin to develop.
They can get corroded and degraded. Many processes are available to help reduce degradation and flaws in pipelines but when an issue becomes severe, they need to be repaired.
Damage to pipelines carries a lot of risks because of the kind of substances or materials that they transport. In addition to this, they also affect the operations and bottom line of the operating company.
To forestall these risks and to make sure that you are always online, there are repair companies such as RJ Stacey that can help fix these damages before they degenerate to major disasters.
Pipeline Repair Methods
Repair companies have expertise in fixing any defect that might develop in a pipeline. Some of the common methods by which they do this include:
This is a method that involves isolating pipes without interrupting service. They are used to temporarily shut down pipelines to complete repairs or modifications without interrupting the system’s regular operations. Line stops can be used on most kinds of pipes. It helps to easily perform repairs, make replacements, bypass a line, make emergency shutdowns, effect valve replacements and other types of repairs.
This involves pumping and injecting different grout mixtures under pressure to stabilize and fill any space between the pipe and soil to prevent damage. The soil surrounding underground pipes may occasionally shift or get eroded, thus making the pipes susceptible to joint separation or damage.
Grouting can be used to prevent or fix any broken lines. Abandoned pipes can also be decommissioned using this method. This prevents them from leaking contaminates into the ground.
This is a technique used in making a connection to a pipe without interrupting or emptying that section of the pipe while it is being serviced. It can be used to isolate sections of the line for maintenance while other sections can be in operation. It can also be used for draining off pressurized fluids and adding test points or sensors to pipelines.
The benefit of this method is that operators can stay online without shutting down their system or losing their product. It also prevents the release of dangerous gases and chemicals to the atmosphere, eliminates the need for costly redesigns as well as cost of planning. Hot tapping is not used when the pipes contain combustible mixtures and substances such as acids, peroxides, chlorides as well as other chemicals that can easily be decomposed by heat. You can read more about hot tapping here.
This is a simple but cost-effective method of performing pipeline repair and maintenance without needing to drain it. Freeze plugs help isolate a section rather than shutting down the entire line. Substances such as nitrogen are used to isolate the issue and freeze the pipe till work is completed and then the lines are thawed. Freeze plugs can also be used to detect small leaks.
Other methods that can be employed in pipeline repair or maintenance include:
- High-pressure leak repairs
- Mechanical bolt-on clamps
- Removal by grinding
- Composite sleeve and so on.
Tips for Choosing a Pipeline Repair Company
When selecting a company to work on your system, here are some factors to put into consideration
Repairing pipelines require experience and expertise. The best companies have several years of experience and would have worked with different organizations in the past. They should have a portfolio and legal documents to back this up. They should also be licensed. All of these will help prove that they have the knowledge, skills, and capacity to provide you with good service.
Reputation and trust are important characteristics and a repair company should have them. You should seek for reviews and opinions of others about their services.
Pipelines need to function all the time therefore when there is an issue, you want a company that can respond on time so that your services are not affected. Get a company that can provide 24/7 emergency services no matter the time of the day or year. This will help you avoid downtimes and loss of revenue.
Pipelines are very important facilities that help keep the economy running. They need to be in good condition at all times so there is a need to keep monitoring and maintaining their integrity. In situations where they have major issues that require repairs, there are specialized companies that are available to help fix any such issues using a range of methods. Ensure that the company you choose for your repairs is experienced and knowledgeable enough to deliver at a level that you will be happy with.