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Thread: Epoxy lining of H20 copper pipes??

  1. #1
    DIY Member JeffH's Avatar
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    Default Epoxy lining of H20 copper pipes??

    Had a appointment with a Customer that just happened to have a suspected slab leak. She had called a company Ace Duraflo for an in house estimate. The salesman was there while I was working, so I got to hear a little of the pitch. It sounded pretty intriguing and theoretically perfect. Fix the problem without reroute, no distruction and done in a day. I asked the rep how the pipe was cleaned prior to treatment and he showed me a vile of "corundum", which I read is a form of aluminium oxide. the corundum is used under air pressure to sandblast the ID of the copper pipes. I asked him about the inspection process afterward, but he stated that there really isn't one (how can there be?). They follow a procedure that works well in the lab (controlled environment). I don't know how well it works in the real world.

    I was wondering if anyone here has had recent experience with this procedure and what your take on it is. I told my Customer that I'd try to do some homework and get back to her.

  2. #2
    Moderator & Master Plumber hj's Avatar
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    Default epoxy

    You have addressed the key question. How do you know the entire pipe is coated and ALL the rough spots were scoured out. You have to go by faith in what they claim.

  3. #3
    Aspiring Old Fart, EE, computer & networking geek Mikey's Avatar
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    Suspected under-slab leak? What else might it be? In any case, I'd pressure-test the line(s) before and after treatment. Run it up to 100psi or so for 24 hrs and see what happens. What kind of warranty do they offer?

    There are leak-detection compaines out there that can locate an under-slab leak to within a few inches. Then it's not such a bad job to go through the slab and repair the leak. However, usually a leak like that is a sign of more such leaks to come -- not a good thing.

  4. #4
    Master Plumber master plumber mark's Avatar
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    Talking not too impressed

    I have a CD on this procedure from a plumbing
    convention, trying to sell franchises in the mid
    west...


    they claim to be big in Califoornia....

    the problem is that some times when you sand blast out the pipe you actually can
    blow a larger hole through the corroded area....


    then it has to be cut open and repaired anyway...

    I dont trust it...

  5. #5
    Master Plumber Redwood's Avatar
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    Add me to the list of sceptics!

    Ace makes a great pitch until you see beyond the hype, smoke, & mirrors.

    Lab results are great but in nearly every case when it comes to applying those lab learned techniques in the real world some tweaking is required.

    There is no verification that full coverage occurs.

    What if a change in pipes is required like perhaps a new water heater, a sweated on stop valve at a fixture, or, maybe replacing that outside frost proof hose bib that you forgot to take the hose off last winter.

    How will sweating a new fitting onto a coated pipe affect it?

    How big of a leak will it fix? Permenently?

    Yep! I'm a sceptic! Looks like VooDoo to me!



    If you pipes are leaking rattle them chicken bones!

  6. #6
    DIY Junior Member Rj68's Avatar
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    Default Need some advice on re-lining pipes

    Anyone have any experience with relining pipes? I have this old house which is like a money pit and the pipes are shot. I have the option of tearing down walls or going the relining route with a company like the one my friend used...aceduraflo or something like that, which would mean no tearing down walls and just reling. But not sure if this is a good solution. Anyone know about relining pipes? The main reason I joined was to get some opinions on this. I will check in a little later to see if you guys ave any advice. I have heard great things about relining, but I jus don't know if it's better to just go the old fashion route, or if its better to reline and keep what I have. Guess it comes down to practicality and price. Replacing all the copper pipes is sure to cost me a pretty penny!

  7. #7
    Retired Defense Industry Engineer jadnashua's Avatar
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    I know they can reline drain pipes, but trying to do that on a multibranched supply system would be really tough. Even then, relining a drain pipe is normally restricted to from the house to the street. It won't correct any pitch faults (bellies, or uphill sections). Sometimes, you just need to bite the bullet. Unless your water is aggressive, copper can last a very long time and it would be unusual to need to replace.
    Jim DeBruycker
    Important note - I'm not a pro
    Retired Defense Industry Engineer; Schluter 2.5-day Workshop Completed 2013, 2014

  8. #8
    In the Trades Gary Swart's Avatar
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    This reminds me of the cans of zip zop that will overhaul a worn out car engine. Snake oil.

  9. #9
    Moderator & Master Plumber hj's Avatar
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    quote; However, usually a leak like that is a sign of more such leaks to come -- not a good thing.

    My experience has been that the majority of hot water underslab leaks are due to "local" installation errors and once that leak is fixed, they seldom have others. Of all the ones I have repaired, they have only been a COUPLE which had a leak recur, and even then it was because the installers damage that tube also.
    Licensed residential and commercial plumber

  10. #10
    Aspiring Old Fart, EE, computer & networking geek Mikey's Avatar
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    A neighbor just had an under-slab hot water leak repaired. A quick calculation estimated the leak was costing him close to $450/month in electricity, so after a couple months of watchful waiting he decided to do something about it. I used the hand-on-the-floor technique to locate the leak, which turned out to be within an inch of the true location found by the expensive high-tech locating service. The hard work was chiseling through the slab to expose the leak, which turned out to be in a galvanized tee below a bath vanity. A pro plumber had it fixed in an hour, and the inside of the pipes otherwise looked brand new.

    The plumber knew his stuff. His and my experiences are the same as HJ's -- leaks tend to be isolated, not systemic. However, in some instances, especially with copper, the chemistry of the soil is such that the copper is gradually eaten away. It's unusual, but the only option is to re-pipe.

    I asked him about lining the pipes with some Poly-razzmatazz or whatever, and he just rolled his eyes. I share Jim's skepticism about relining supply systems, but I would be open to being convinced otherwise. In Rj68's case, what is the cost of relining vs the cost of repiping? Using modern flexible pipe might eliminate much of the tearing out of walls. I also wonder just how "shot" an entire houseful of pipes can be? What does your water test show (especially pH)?

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