A Quick Guide to Hot Tapping

Did you know that companies lose between 5 and 20 percent of productivity to disruptions and downtime repairs? If you work in an industry that relies on pipelines, you understand how vital the continued flow of your product is to business.

If you need pipeline repairs, there is a method known as hot tapping that allows work on lines or other equipment without stopping operations. The process requires special equipment and expertise. Since it involves working with components under high pressure, you should leave it up to a trained professional.

If you want to learn more about what hot tapping entails, keep reading. The information below will help you determine if your business can benefit from this innovation.

Hot Tapping Basics

What is hot tapping? It a repair method that allows you to connect to an existing pipe without depressurization or interruption to operations. You can perform the procedure on pipelines, storage tanks, or other pressurized vessels.

Adding nozzles or branches to pipelines is a common reason to use hot tapping. Another is to repair sections of damaged or corroded pipe. As long as there is enough room, you can install hot taps vertically, horizontally, or at almost any angle.

Benefits of Hot Tapping

Uninterrupted service is a big advantage of hot tapping, but there are other benefits to hot tapping as well. One is that it limits the potential for dangerous or environmentally hazardous chemicals from escaping from a pipe that needs repair. It can also help stop greenhouse gases like methane from venting into the atmosphere.

You cannot use hot tapping on pipes that contain flammable or combustible gases or fluids. Also, heat from the welding process can affect chemicals like sulfuric acid or acetylene. You should not use hot tapping on components that contain these acids.

The Hot Tapping Process

The first step in hot tapping is to weld a fitting to the existing pipe. You then attach either a block valve or control valve to the fitting.

Next, attach the hot tapping machine to the valve. It contains a telescoping boring bar that controls the cutting apparatus.

A hot tap saw uses a pilot bit to cut a circular hole into the pipe. The section of pipe that it removes is the “coupon.” Several u-wires run through the pilot bit and fold out when the bit cuts through the pipe. This allows them to hold the coupon so that you can retrieve it.

Once completed, the cutter retracts into the hot tap adapter. You can then remove the hot tap machine and open the valve.

Find Hot Tapping Near Me

Now that you have an idea of how hot tapping works and how it can provide efficiency and safety, you can decide if it is the right fit for your industry. 

RAK Industrial Services Inc. can repair your pipelines or other equipment with no downtime. We have the knowledge and experience to perform hot tapping that meets all industry codes and safety regulations. Reach out to us today to see if we can help with your piping repairs or modifications.

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