Traditional non-polyethylene (PE) piping systems have gasket-sealed bell and spigot joints every 20 feet, which can be a potential maintenance and repair point at each connection.
Metallic pipes are subject to corrosion which can require constant maintenance over the life of the pipes. A heat fused high density polyethylene (HDPE) pipeline is not only corrosion and chemical resistant but the leak free joints at 40 to 50 foot intervals are as strong as the pipe itself which provides a maintenance free system except for infrequent unforeseen third party damage, or possible damage incurred during initial installation. However, if HDPE is damaged, repair methods may be required to bring the piping system back into service as soon as possible.
The deployment of fusion techniques for the field repair of HDPE pipe for damaged buried water lines is possible but requires additional training and expertise due to challenging (wet, dirty) conditions typically encountered in such applications. Fortunately, mechanical solutions are available that represent permanent repairs for water distribution applications when using properly installed, appropriate hardware, with restrained connections and stainless steel inserts, as necessary.
There are several types of available mechanical solutions or products that are appropriate for water distribution applications, and are considered to provide reliable, permanent repairs. For example, the full circle band clamps, or equivalent are appropriate for localized damage, for which pipe section replacement is not necessary. For more extensive damage, for which replacement of a pipe section is required, the following hardware solutions are appropriate for most applications:
- Circumferentially bolted mechanical coupling
- Radially bolted mechanical restraint with MJ gasket
- Compression fittings (various types), using internal stiffeners, with full axial restraint capability, as available (may depend on pipe size)