Reduce costly downtime for pipe repair

by Brianna Crandall — April 19, 2017 — Lubrizol, a company focused on chlorinated polyvinyl chloride (CPVC) resins and compounds, has partnered with Wheeler-Rex and Victaulic to introduce new mechanical joining methods that dramatically speed installation, repair, replacement, and alteration times for Sch. 80 Corzan pipe while still providing a high-quality mechanical joint. The methods provides facilities managers (FMs) and other users with a pipe repair method that reduces system downtime without sacrificing long-term performance.

Wheeler-Rex Mfg., a pioneer in the development of pipe-cutting and -threading solutions, developed the 6950 Plastic Cut Groover, which forms standard cut grooves in CPVC by removing material with a specially formed cutting bit. The process is simple: The installer cuts the pipe squarely, sets up the tool using the appropriate-size tool set, then steadily removes material until the tool’s groove head assembly touches the pipe surface and plastic waste ribbon is no longer present. The tool’s ratchet handle maneuvers easily in tight spaces.

Just as important are Installation-Ready flexible couplings from Victaulic, a company focused on mechanical pipe joining technology. Rated for potable water systems, the Style 177N, the Style 72 Outlet Coupling, and the Style 750 Reducing Coupling complete the mechanical joint. Victaulic has developed a grooving tool, as well, which will be available to broader audiences in the coming months.

The result: Fast, clean installation. For alterations of existing systems, downtime is significantly reduced, depending on the extent of the alteration or repair, making it ideal for larger facilities that cannot have plumbing system shut-down for longer periods of time.

Rob Janowiak, Lubrizol’s market manager for North America Commercial Plumbing, stated:

For decades, engineers, building owners, and facility managers have relied on Corzan piping systems for long-term reliability and performance. With the introduction of mechanical joining capabilities, Lubrizol and its partners are adding even more value to the product line with increased flexibility, efficiency, and speed. It’s a solution that directly addresses customers’ requests for a portable, fast installation method that reduces system downtime without sacrificing long-term performance.

Developing mechanical grooving systems for Corzan was a years-long process to ensure methods did not compromise the long-term performance of the pipe and joints, notes Lubrizol. The cut-groove method went through well over 20,000 hours of testing, where everything from pressure to bending moment was evaluated to existing ASTM and UL piping standards.

Contractors are already responding positively: In more than 50 in-depth surveys, more than 65 percent of respondents indicated that they would use Corzan more frequently on the large projects they install based on the mechanical-joining results they have seen, while more than half indicated that they feel even more comfortable using Corzan now than they did previously.

The cut-groove tool accommodates Corzan pipe from 2” to 8”, with cutting bits sized specifically for pipe sizes to ensure a smooth replacement.

Lubrizol and Wheeler-Rex recommend first-time users complete a short training on proper operation of the cut-groove tool prior to use on an actual pipe repair or installation.