SprayPoxy System Lets Trenchless Innovations Take On More Pipe Rehab Jobs

Quick-cure pipe coating system expands business opportunities for Chicago-area contractor

SprayPoxy System Lets Trenchless Innovations Take On More Pipe Rehab Jobs

 The user-friendly SprayPoxy MiniSpray+ system allows 45 minutes to an hour of work time before the epoxy hardens, so it wastes less epoxy.

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When the Art Institute of Chicago contacted Trenchless Innovations to see if the pipeline rehab company could fix leaking drainlines in its parking garage, co-owner John Reid was positioned to offer a great solution: coating the lines with an epoxy lining applied with a SprayPoxy MiniSpray+ system.

“The pipes were leaking into classrooms located below the parking structure,” Reid explains. “It would’ve cost the museum a ton of money to rip out walls and ceilings to repair those pipes.

“But we descaled them (using drain machines from Picote Solutions) and coated about 400 feet of 4-inch-diameter, cast iron drainlines. And with the SprayPoxy coating, those pipes won’t scale up again.”

The company, based in Crete — a southern suburb of Chicago — bought the SprayPoxy unit in March for around $22,000. It paid for itself after two or three good-size jobs, Reid notes.

Furthermore, the investment added yet another technology to the company’s toolkit, which already included pipe lining systems from LMK, Perma-Liner Industries and LightRay (brands owned by Waterline Renewal Technologies) as well as SpeedyLight from Sewertronics.

“We want to be able to offer as many options to customers as possible,” Reid says. “Customers prefer to deal with a one-stop shop.”

The company primarily uses the SprayPoxy system to seal cracks, pinhole leaks and other defects in 4-inch-diameter cast iron sewer laterals and other drainlines as well as vertical 4-inch-diameter pipes.

Amp up efficiency

A chief advantage of the SprayPoxy system is a shorter curing time, which greatly increases productivity. Pipes require three epoxy applications, and other coating systems require as much as two hours of curing time between applications, Reid says.

“That can make for a really long day. But with the SprayPoxy system, each coat cures in 30 to 45 minutes.”

The system also wastes less epoxy. Other systems mix the epoxy coating at the pump, and it then can take 15 to 20 minutes for the product to make its way down through a hose and into the spray head, Reid explains.

“The hoses are 60 feet long and it takes two epoxy cartridges — which cost $125 each — to completely surcharge both hoses. As a result, all that epoxy left in the hose gets thrown out after each coat. So after three applications, you’ve thrown away hundreds of dollars’ worth of product, plus the hoses.”

But with the SprayPoxy system, the epoxy is mixed just before the spray head, so only about 1 foot of material inside the hose gets thrown away, he says.

Furthermore, the SprayPoxy system allows for around 45 minutes to an hour of work time before the epoxy hardens. With other systems, work time is lost as the mixed epoxy travels through the hose.

“So when it reaches the spray tip, you really have to work fast,” Reid says. “It’s much more convenient when the epoxy is mixed at the head instead of at the pump.

“It’s a very user-friendly system,” he adds, noting that it takes about a month or so for operators to become fully proficient at using it.

Expanding markets 

When the company first started to consider investing in a SprayPoxy system about a year ago, Reid says he was intrigued by the business doors it might open. So far, so good.

“In a lot of cases, it’s hard to line pipes with multiple tie-ins or vertical stack pipes,” he points out. “But this allows for those kinds of applications and enables us to offer customers alternatives.

“It definitely opens up more opportunities for us. We now can do jobs that we never thought we’d be able to do. In the past, we used to shy away from jobs at bigger buildings. But now the SprayPoxy system has opened up a bigger market for us.

“Plus more and more engineers are finding out about this technology and speccing it for jobs, so it pays to be able to do those kinds of jobs. It puts you ahead of competitors that can’t offer the same technology.”


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