Executing Pipe Lining Jobs in the Winter

With a few slight modifications, you should have no problems performing your typical pipe lining work during the cold-weather months

Executing Pipe Lining Jobs in the Winter

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“I’ve held up my lining jobs until warmer weather, but I am getting too many jobs to get them all done in the spring. What’s the rule on winter lining? Can I do it?”

I understand why you are trying to put off until spring any lining jobs, but the reasons revolve around your comfort, not the lining materials. 

That said, there are other obstacles to lining pipe in the winter. If your access needs to be outdoors and your pipe is buried 6 feet deep with 3 feet of frost to dig through to get down to the pipe, this drives up your costs and time. It may be best to delay these types of jobs till spring unless you are concerned that you will lose the job to competitors before you get to it.

Here are a few things to consider. First, can you find a clean-out to line through, thus avoiding any excavation? We’ve had customers successfully line 4-inch and 6-inch pipe through 4-inch clean-outs provided the clean-out allows a long sweep heading out of the building. If your clean-out was installed by adding a tee in place of a regular clean-out, you may have trouble.

A second option would be to consider whether or not you have a basement or a place inside the building to line from. This may involve an inside clean-out or opening up a basement floor to gain access.

A third consideration would be to thaw the ground with heat so that you can easily dig out the soil to access the pipe. Urgency may dictate which option you choose: Saw cutting a floor and replacing the concrete, or defrosting the ground or excavating with frost cutting teeth on an excavator or trencher.

Some more notes about winter installations: If using a heater, the heat loss from the weather will be greater, which may slow down the ability to heat the liner. Upon completion of the heating process, if water was used, you need to drain your equipment. Unlike the cooling of resin that you do during hot summer installations, you may need to raise the resin temperature in order to keep the resin more viscous. Resin thickens the colder it gets, so you may need to raise or keep the temperature of the resin at or above 50 degrees F.

While it’s tempting to work in the sun, the UV light from the sun can prematurely cure the resin before you are ready. You can stand in the sun, but be sure to keep your resin and resin-impregnated tube out of the sun.

You may want to avoid lining in the winter, but there are many contractors who continue their regular daily lining operations during the cold-weather months. A few considerations and modifications to your normal routine will allow you to continue your pipe lining revenue stream 12 months of the year as opposed to six months.

About the Author

John Heisler is the owner of Pipe Lining Supply and Quik-Lining Systems. He has more than 20 years of experience in the CIPP lining industry and 40-plus years in the underground construction industry.


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