A contaminated water pipe repair carried out in a Power Plant in Puerto Rico
A contaminated water pipe in a Power Station in Puerto Rico is repaired using a SylWrap Pipe Repair Kit

Power Plant Contaminated Water Pipe Live Leak Repair

In 2015, the Puerto Rico Power Authority made a SylWrap live leak repair to a contaminated water pipe in a power station which, 18 months later, ensured the facility was operating at full capacity when Hurricane Maria devastated the island.

Case Study Overview

Site Power Plant
Location Puerto Rico
Pipe Type Steel contaminated water
Repair Type Live leak repair
Products Wrap & Seal Pipe Burst Tape, SylWrap HD Pipe Repair Bandage

Pipe Defect

The damaged steel pipe ran contaminated water from a generator in the power station back to a treatment plant. At some point, a small crack had appeared in the pipe, possibly from it being impacted when equipment being stored underneath was moved to a new location.

As a result of the crack, the pipe was now leaking contaminated water. To replace the pipe would have required the shutdown of the generator that the pipe supplied; an expensive undertaking which would have severely reduced the plant’s power output.

There was also a danger that once taken out of service, the generator may have remained offline for some time. New parts would have to be fabricated and shipped to Puerto Rico and specialist contractors flown in to complete the work.

If all of this proved too costly and time consuming, then the power station would have little incentive to return to operating at full capacity, leaving the repair or replacement to drag on.

The Power Authority therefore needed a relatively straightforward live leak repair method, capable of sealing the cracked contaminated water pipe in a much quicker timeframe than carrying out a replacement.

SylWrap Solution

Wrap & Seal Pipe Burst Tape was used to seal the crack in the contaminated water pipe. Wrap & Seal is a self-fusing silicone repair tape which stretches by 300 percent, forming a rubber band over holes in pipework.

It is pressure resistant to 30 bar and temperature resistant to 200°C, making a it a suitable repair method for an environment such as a power station.

A SylWrap HD Pipe Repair Bandage was then applied over the top of the Wrap & Seal to reinforce the initial repair. SylWrap HD is a composite wrap with a water-activated resin which sets rock-hard in minutes, providing an impact resistant layer to pipework.

By wrapping the contaminated water pipe in SylWrap HD, the Power Authority were protecting it from future breaches which could be caused in a similar manner to how this damaging crack appeared.

A repair carried out at a Power Plant in Puerto Rico
An earlier failed repair attempt made with blue tape
A cracked contaminated water pipe in a Power Plant is returned to full working order
Completed repair
The repair of a leaking pipe in a Power Plant in Puerto Rico
SylWrap HD applied to the contaminated water pipe


Within an hour of the repair, the generator was put back into service and the power station was operating at full capacity. That is only half the story, though.

18 months after the repair, Puerto Rico was hit by Hurricane Maria, a deadly Category 5 hurricane that devastated the island and its neighbours Dominica and the U.S. Virgin Islands. Hurricane Maria is regarded as the worst natural disaster in recorded history to have affected Puerto Rico.

Central to the relief efforts both during and after Hurricane Maria was keeping power running on the island. Had the contaminated water pipe not been repaired so quickly and easily using SylWrap, then the power station may have had one less operational generator when Hurricane Maria hit.

Follow Up

Six months after Hurricane Maria, the Puerto Rico Power Authority spoke to Sylmasta to reiterate the importance of having the repaired generator running when the island was desperate to power.

Since then, both the Power Authority and several maintenance companies on the island have started using the contaminated water pipe repair case study as an example of why industry should seek repair solutions as soon as problems arise.

Products Used

Wrap & Seal Pipe Burst Tape
Self-fusing silicone pipe repair tape for sealing live leaks

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

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

Pipe Repair Contractor Case
Easy-to-store case with everything needed to make up to six emergency pipe repairs

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