A leaking 50mm steel pipe in a ceiling cavity party of a district heating system undergoes repair using a SylWrap Pipe Repair Kit

District Heating System Suspended in Ceiling Cavity Live Leak Pipe Repair

An energy company reap the benefits of having equipped all their vans with SylWrap Pipe Repair Contractor Cases when a rapid response was required to a pinhole leak in a 50mm steel pipe, suspended in the ceiling cavity of a building as part of a district heating system.

Case Study Overview

Site District heating system
Location UK
Pipe Type Steel
Repair Type Live leak repair
Products Wrap & Seal Pipe Burst Tape, SylWrap HD Pipe Repair Bandage


Pipe Defect

The district heating was operated by a company who specialise in installing and maintaining sustainable energy generation systems in public buildings, residential developments, factories and manufacturing sites.

A pinhole leak had developed in a section of 50mm steel pipe, located where the district heating was suspended in the ceiling cavity of the building. Pressurised water was jetting out in several directions, causing substantial damage to surfaces and surrounding pipework within the cavity.

Flow could not be isolated as this would have involved shutting down heating for the entire building. A live leak repair was therefore necessary, involving lightweight materials which could be easily carried up and applied from the top of a ladder.

A leaking steel pipe in ceiling cavity part of a district heating system before undergoing repair using a SylWrap Pipe Repair Contractor Case
Water jetting from the steel pipe (running across the middle of the photo) and causing substantial damages to surfaces above and below

SylWrap Solution

Because of the importance of pipes to their systems, the energy company had already established a relationship with Sylmasta. Each of the company’s vans carries a SylWrap Pipe Repair Contractor Case in the event of emergencies, enabling contractors to make up to six live leak repairs.

As soon as the problem was identified, a contractor was rushed to site. From the Contractor Case, Wrap & Seal Pipe Burst Tape was first used to successfully seal the leak. Despite the minimal space to work in, Wrap & Seal was stretched by its maximum 300 percent around the pipe, amalgamating to form a solid rubber band temperature resistant to 260°C.

The entire section was then encapsulated with a SylWrap HD Pipe Repair Bandage. SylWrap HD is a composite wrap with a water activated resin which sets rock hard in minutes. Once cured, it reinforced the initial repair and strengthened the steel pipe from further breakages.

Wrap & Seal Pipe Burst Tape used to seal the leak
50mm steel pipe within a ceiling cavity as part of a district heating system having undergone successful repair with a SylWrap HD Bandage
Completed repair of the steel pipe within the ceiling cavity

Outcome

Repairing the steel pipe in the district heating system took less than 30 minutes, during which time there were no interruptions to the heating supply to the building.

Seeing the damage caused by a small leak in a short space of time – followed by the ease and speed with which a repair could be made – showed the company first-hand the benefits of equipping their vans with Contractor Cases.

Had a pipe repair method not been so readily available, this could have turned into a major incident for the heating system and the building. Instead, the company’s reputation was enhanced by the swift manner in which they reacted to and repaired the problem.


Follow Up

The company have since used their Contractor Cases to make live leak repairs to pipes in various systems they operate, including those made from the semi-rigid polypropylene material aquatherm.

Once thought to be foolproof, it is now known that aquatherm can fail due to reasons including excessive clamping, extreme vibrations, flow velocity, water pressure and chemistry, or the presence of copper ions.

There is also the danger posed when a section of aquatherm pipe has been repaired by inserting copper or iron pipe, leading to different coefficients of thermal expansion and severe cracks.

In the event of any failures in their aquatherm piping, the presence of Contractor Cases across the company’s fleet of vehicles means that leaks and bursts can be attended to instantly, instead of suffering delays waiting for materials or parts to be delivered.


Products Used

Pipe Repair Contractor Case
Easy-to-store case kept on vans and sites containing products to make up to six live leak repairs

Wrap & Seal Pipe Burst Tape
Self-fusing silicone pipe repair tape, seals live leaks, temperature resistant to 260°C

SylWrap HD Bandage
Water-activated wrap sets rock hard to reinforce repairs and protect and strengthen pipes

Universal Pipe Repair Kit
Wrap & Seal and SylWrap HD can be purchased together in a Universal Pipe Repair Kit


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