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Downspout Rain Drain Leak Repair Using Trenchless Pipe Lining – No Excavation!

April 8, 2014 by  
Filed under High-Rise Condo Pipe Lining

Don’t Excavate Walls To Repair Leaking Downspout Rain Drains!

All across the United States leaking cast iron downspouts range drains are being excavated out of solid block concrete walls in high rise buildings and prominent structures in order to repair the leaks. Modern technology allows the repair of leaking downspouts by using trenchless pipe relining which last 100 years. No excavation is required and it only takes 4 hours. Depending upon the brand, the downspout pipe lining will have a warranty ranging from ten to fifty years.

How did is downspout pipe lining work?

First the leaking rain drain downspout is inspected with a sewer pipe video camera in order to determine the length of the pipe that has to be relined. Sometimes it is tempting to reline only the leaking part of the downspout. However, the entire pipe has experienced the same environment and is the same age and therefore will leak through its entirety soon after the downspout pipe lining was installed. In order to save mobilization costs it is therefore wise to reline the entire leaking down spout.

After the video inspection, a pipe lining material usually made of polyester felt and/or fiberglass interwoven, is cut to length. It is essentially a very long white sock which is then saturated with an epoxy which has its own exothermic reaction and heats up to a high temperature where it hardens. The alternative is that the epoxy is hardened using steam. The drawback of steam is that it could potentially hurt the installer is if there was a leak. The advantage of steam is that the curing only takes around 60 minutes as opposed to the exothermic reaction which can take up to 4 hours. Since it is a rain drain speed is all the importance if any rain is expected on the installation date.

Saturating The Downspout Rain Drain Pipe Lining Material

The next step is to insert the epoxy resin inside the lining and a heavy linoleum roller is used to push the resin throughout the lining. Once the lining is completely saturated it is either dropped into the roof drain from the rooftop or it is pulled up to the rooftop from an access point at the ground level, or it maybe shot into the roof drain from the rooftop using an air inversion technique. The installation method depends on the number of bends and the access points in the pipe.

Record breaking downspout rain rain pipe lining installed in Miami Beach Florida.

Leaking Vertical Apartment Sewer Stacks - Note the longitudinal crack along the length of the pipe

Leaking Vertical Apartment Sewer Stacks – Note the longitudinal crack along the length of the pipe

In 2013 a 16 story high rise building was experiencing leaking rain drain that were 5 inch in diameter. The lower floor had no access to pull the pipe lining up into the pipe because the walls were adorned with marble that could never be matched if it were the excavated. So the installation had to occur from the rooftop. However the line and could not be lowered into position because of multiple bends in the roof. This meant the only alternative was to use the air inversion technique to shoot the lining into position and thereafter shoot the calibration tube, which is a balloon, into the lining.

Leaking Rain Drains Flood Condos

Leaking Rain Drains Flood Condos

The challenge however was that once the lining was shot into position it would hang and exert a 250-pound pull on the equipment on the rooftop. That is until the balloon could be inverted into the pipe lining and then inflated. So the challenge to install the balloon into the lining that is trying to pull everything down into the building. A local pipe lining installer, Trenchless Pipe Lining, LLC, had a proprietary method to do this. The second challenge was the pipe lining material was so long and bulky that the heat activated resin would harden from sunlight before the lining could be inverted into the pipe. To get around this the Trenchless Pipe Lining, LLC, installed all the pipe lining materials at night time from the rooftop elevated 160 feet in the air. In all they installed 5 such linings in the downspout rain drains with perfect success.

160' of trenchless roof rain drain pipe lining at Atlantic Towers, Port Everglades

160′ of trenchless roof rain drain pipe lining at Atlantic Towers, Port Everglades

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