Can You Fix a Pipe Leak Without Shutting Production Down?

A little leak can create big problems—especially in industrial settings. For the sake of safety and quality, it’s critical to repair leaks fast, without risking worker injury. But, studies indicate unplanned manufacturing downtime costs major manufacturers roughly $50 billion each year.

Fortunately, a pipe leak doesn’t necessarily require managers to shut down the building for the day. Discover how to fix a pipe leak without disrupting production.  

How to Repair a Pipe Leak Without Halting Production

When a pipe leaks, non-disruptive, industrial pipe repair services can save the day. When technicians approach these repair jobs, they have a few options to choose from. Which of these tools best suits your organization’s needs? 

Option 1: Hot Tapping

Hot tapping maintains the functionality of a pipe and its tank while the technician repairs it. It’s a method of boring into a pipeline to repair a leak without disrupting the flow of fluid. 

Hot tapping utilizing a weld-on (or bolt-on) saddle. The saddle includes a flanged outlet. The technician bolts a valve onto the saddle then attaches a pressure-tight tapping machine.

The process enables a new branch connection. 

Repair technicians will evaluate whether this method is suitable for a given pipe’s repair. They’ll perform a “hot work” risk assessment. Some system configurations and environments are unsuitable for welding. 

If hot tapping isn’t safe, consider other pipe leak fix options. 

Option 2: Pipe Freeze System

The pipe freeze system may be safer than hot tapping in some circumstances. This method utilizes a controlled, chemical freeze to plug a leak in a pipe.

Ice plugs are a quick way to stop a leak in the short term. Liquid CO²-based ice plugs can withstand up to 7000 psi. 

With an ice plug in place, you don’t have to drain your lines for repairs. Instead, your pressurized pipe systems can function normally while the technician cuts permanent repair tubing. 

Option 3: Leak Diverter

A leak diverter is a tool that harnesses drips and sprays. They can protect employees from pipe leaks in the ceiling, so production can continue without risking employee safety. These tarp-like objects are like funnels with hoses.

Engineers structured diverters to capture leaking fluids and move them safely into a container. Leak diverters are made from non-permeable PVC or acrylic polymers. Technicians attach diverters to the ceiling with D-rings. 

Leak diverters are a useful option for overhead leaks. 

Option 4. Composite Repairs

Industrial pipe repair may incorporate composite wrapping.

Composite repairs wrap damaged areas of pipes in industrial-grade sleeves. The sleeves may be made of epoxy polymers, glass fibers and resin, or chemically-activated materials. They’re ideal tools to stop gas leaks for repairs—without shutting down to install new pipes.

Composite repairs restore pipe systems to their full strengths. Technicians typically use turnkey solutions to implement composite repairs. This way, they can perform repairs with minimal downtime. 

Discover Pipe Repair Near You

The next time you have a pipe leak, who will you call? Instead of sorting through Google’s results for “pipe repair near me,” talk to an expert. 

Rak Industrial Services Inc. offers industrial piping services in Northeast Ohio and surrounding regions. Contact us today for a consultation. If you’re dealing with an emergency, give us a call at 440-597-4540.

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