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Pipeline video inspection: How does it work?

  • By proadAccountId-361762
  • 11 Oct, 2017

Pipeline video inspection is a form of telepresence used to visually inspect the interiors of pipelines. A common application is to determine the condition of small diameter sewer lines and household connection pipes.

With modern video equipment the interior of the pipe may be inspected - this is a form of non-destructive testing. A small diameter collector pipe will typically have a cleanout access at the far end and will be several hundred feet long, terminating at a manhole. Additional collector pipes may discharge at this manhole and a pipe (perhaps of larger diameter) will carry the effluent to the next manhole, and so forth to a pump station or treatment plant.

Inspection process

Using a camera tractor with motor and cradle for the inspection head:

A run to be inspected will either start from an access pipe leading at an angle down to the sewer and then run downstream to a manhole, or will run between manholes. The service truck is parked above the access point of the pipe. The camera tractor, with a flexible cable attached to the rear, is then lowered into the pipeline. The tractor is moved forward so that it is barely inside of the pipeline. A "down-hole roller" is set up between the camera tractor and the cable reel in the service truck, preventing cable damage from rubbing the top of the pipeline. The operator then retires to the inside of the truck and begins the inspection, remotely operating the camera tractor from the truck. When the inspection is complete or the camera cable is fully extended, the camera tractor is put in reverse gear and the cable is wound up simultaneously. When the camera tractor is near the original access point, the downhole roller is pulled up and the camera tractor is moved into the access point and pulled up to the service truck. A tractor may be used to inspect a complete blockage or collapse that would prevent using a fish and rope as described below.

Pulling the camera backwards

Semi-rigid fish may be pushed through the pipe to fetch a rope.

For small diameter pipes there may not be enough room for the tractor mechanism. Instead, a somewhat rigid "fish" is pushed through the pipe and attached to a rope at the access point near the truck. The fish is then pulled to place the rope along the pipe. The rope is then used to pull the inspection pig and cable through the pipe. Detaching the rope, the cable is then used to pull the pig backwards as the pipe is inspected on the monitor (this is the method shown in the illustrations below).

Analysis of video footage

Much of the analysis of what was viewed in the pipeline is conducted at the time of the inspection by the camera operator, but the entire inspection is always recorded and saved for review. Commercial software and hardware for video pipe inspection are available from a variety of vendors, including Cues, ITpipes, and WinCan.

Conduit Rehabilitation

Depending mostly upon the change in conditions from a previous inspection various improvements may be made to the pipe. It may be cleaned with a rotating root cutting blade on the end of a segmented rotating chain, or a chemical foam may be applied to discourage root growth. If damage is found limited to only a few locations these may be excavated and repaired. Extensive moderate defects may be repaired by lining with a fabric liner that is pulled through the pipe, inflated, and then made rigid through chemical means. Severe damage may require excavation and replacement of the conduit.

More information on Wikipedia

By proadAccountId-361762 31 Oct, 2017

The history of drain cleaners necessarily shares a relationship with the evolution of the drain systems themselves, and so there is not an extensive history of cleaners, as municipal plumbing systems were not readily available in middle-class American homes until the early 20th century. Prior to this time, Americans often discarded the dirty water collected in basins after use. Limited piping systems gradually developed with lead materials, but after WWI when the poisonous properties of lead became more well-known, piping was reconstructed with galvanized iron.

Galvanized iron is actually steel covered in a protective layer of zinc, but it was soon discovered that this zinc layer naturally corroded due to exposure to the atmosphere and rainwater, as well as cement, runoff, etc. Once corrosion occurred down to the base metal, plaques and rust would form, leading to sediment build-up that would gradually clog these drains. Thus, the first motivation for drain cleaners came to be.

The struggle against corroding galvanized iron pipes eventually led to a replacement by copper or plastic (PVC) piping by the 1960s. Copper and plastic do not possess that zinc layer that naturally corrodes to expose the base metal to decay. Still, however, natural substances such as hair, grease, or other oils continued to be an issue in drain clogs, and so, the development of more effective chemical drain cleaners became necessary.

A drain cleaner is a chemical-based consumer product that unblocks sewer pipes or helps to prevent the occurrence of clogged drains. The term may also refer to the individual who performs the activity with chemical drain cleaners or devices known as plumber's snake. Drain cleaners can be classified in two categories: chemical, or device.

If a single sink, toilet, or tub or shower drain is clogged the first choice is normally a drain cleaner that can remove soft obstructions such as hair and grease clogs that can accumulate close to interior drain openings. Chemical drain cleaners, plungers, handheld drain augers, air burst drain cleaners, and home remedy drain cleaners are intended for this purpose.

If more than one plumbing fixture is clogged the first choice is normally a drain cleaner that can remove soft or hard obstructions along the entire length of the drain, from the drain opening through the main sewer drain to the lateral piping outside the building. Electric drain cleaners and sewer jetters are intended for this purpose.

Danger and Usage considerations

Advantages of chemical drain cleaners include ready availability of some formulations through retailer stores and potential ease of use for removing soft hair and grease clogs that accumulate close the drain openings.

Disadvantages of chemical drain cleaners include a lack of effectiveness for removing clogs far from the drain opening (for example, clogs that occur in toilets[5] or in the main sewer drain), an inability to remove most solid obstructions, and the safety considerations outlined below.

 

The acid in drain openers reacts with aluminium oxide on the surface of some pipes.

Danger arises from chemical drain cleaners' potential to injure eyes, lungs, and skin; and damage to clothing and household materials such as wood, paint, aluminum, and fiberglass. Chemical drain cleaners should be used only according to the manufacturer's instructions, as other use may cause injury. Strongly corrosive and acid drain cleaners are among the most hazardous household products available to the public. Chemical drain cleaners can cause strong reactions—sometimes explosively—with other chemicals that may have been used previously, which can result in serious injury to anyone in the vicinity.

Moreover, because the acidic or basic drain cleaners themselves are washed down the drain, this contributes to pollution in the water supply. The heat generation can also soften plastic PVC pipes, and the pressure buildup by gas generation can cause older pipes to burst.

Often times, individuals may unknowingly mix two different types of drain cleaners, which can even lead to deadly results.

By proadAccountId-361762 24 Oct, 2017

A grease trap (also known as grease interceptor, grease recovery device and grease converter) is a plumbing device (a type of trap) designed to intercept most greases and solids before they enter a wastewater disposal system. Common wastewater contains small amounts of oils which enter into septic tanks and treatment facilities to form a floating scum layer. This scum layer is very slowly digested and broken down by microorganisms in the anaerobic digestion process. Large amounts of oil from food preparation in restaurants can overwhelm a septic tank or treatment facility, causing release of untreated sewage into the environment. High-viscosity fats and cooking grease such as lard solidify when cooled, and can combine with other disposed solids to block drain pipes.

Restaurant and foodservice kitchens produce much waste grease which is present in the drain lines from various sinks, dishwashers and cooking equipment such as combi ovens and commercial woks. If not removed, the grease can clump and cause blockage and back-up in the sewer.

In the US, sewers back up annually “an estimated 400,000 times, and municipal sewer overflows on 40,000 occasions”. The EPA has determined that sewer pipe blockages are the leading cause of sewer overflows, and grease is the primary cause of sewer blockages. Even if accumulated FOG does not escalate into blockages and sanitary sewer overflows, it can disrupt wastewater utility operations and increase operations and maintenance requirements”

For these reasons, depending on the country, nearly all municipalities require commercial kitchen operations to use some type of interceptor device to collect grease before it enters sewers. Where FOG is a concern in the local wastewater system, communities have established inspection programs to ensure that these grease traps and/or interceptors are being routinely maintained.

There are three primary types of devices. The most common are the types specified by ASME (American Society Of Mechanical Engineers), utilizing baffles, or a proprietary inlet diffuser.

Grease trap sizing is based on the size of the 2- or 3-compartment sink, dishwasher, pot sinks, and mop sinks.

The second most common type of interceptor is the large in-ground tank, which is usually 500–2,000 US gallons (1,900–7,600 l; 420–1,670 imp gal).

A third system type, GRDs (grease recovery devices), removes the grease automatically when trapped.

Passive grease traps and passive grease interceptors must be emptied and cleaned when 25% full. As the passive devices fill with fats, oils, and grease, they become less productive for grease recovery. A full grease trap does not stop any FOG from entering the sanitary sewer system. The emptied contents or "brown grease" is considered hazardous waste in many jurisdictions. "Brown grease" is generally not recycled and goes to landfill waste.

It is estimated 50% of all sewer overflows are caused by grease blockages, with over 10 billion US gallons (3.8×1010 l; 8.3×109 imp gal) of raw sewage spills annually.

Avoid grease trap problems, a proper maintenance and routine cleaning is important to keep drains flowing smoothly and prevent major problems from happening in your home or restaurant.

By proadAccountId-361762 20 Oct, 2017

Importance of Sewer Line Maintenance

 

A sanitary sewer or "foul sewer" is an underground carriage system specifically for transporting sewage from houses and commercial buildings through pipes to treatment facilities or disposal. Sanitary sewers are part of an overall system called a sewage system or sewerage.

Sanitary sewer overflow can occur due to blocked or broken sewer lines, infiltration of excessive storm water or malfunction of pumps. In these cases untreated sewage is discharged from a sanitary sewer into the environment prior to reaching sewage treatment facilities. To avoid this, maintenance is required.

Maintenance

The maintenance requirements vary with the type of sanitary sewer. In general, all sewers deteriorate with age, but infiltration and inflow are problems unique to sanitary sewers, since both combined sewers and storm drains are sized to carry these contributions. Holding infiltration to acceptable levels requires a higher standard of maintenance than necessary for structural integrity considerations of combined sewers. A comprehensive construction inspection program is required to prevent inappropriate connection of cellar, yard, and roof drains to sanitary sewers. The probability of inappropriate connections is higher where combined sewers and sanitary sewers are found in close proximity, because construction personnel may not recognize the difference. Many older cities still use combined sewers while adjacent suburbs were built with separate sanitary sewers.

 

For decades, when sanitary sewer pipes cracked or experienced other damage, the only option was an expensive excavation, removal and replacement of the damaged pipe, typically requiring street repavement afterwards. In the mid-1950s a unit was invented where two units at each end with a special cement mixture in between was pulled from one manhole cover to the next, coating the pipe with the cement under high pressure, which then cured rapidly, sealing all cracks and breaks in the pipe.[10] Today, a similar method using epoxy resin is used by some municipalities to re-line aging or damaged pipes, effectively creating a "pipe in a pipe". These methods may be unsuitable for locations where the full diameter of the original pipe is required to carry expected flows, and may be an unwise investment if greater wastewater flows may be anticipated from population growth, increased water use, or new service connections within the expected service life of the repair.

Another popular method for replacing aged or damaged lines is called pipe bursting, where a new pipe, typically PVC or ABS plastic, is drawn through the old pipe behind an "expander head" that breaks apart the old pipe as the new one is drawn through behind it.

These methods are most suitable for trunk sewers, since repair of lines with lateral connections is complicated by making provisions to receive lateral flows without accepting undesirable infiltration from inadequately sealed junctions.

 

Before an emergency arises, talk to Joe The Plumber about sewer line maintenance. We can inspect your sewer line to determine if any issues will come up in the future. Just give us a call now!

Cypress: 281-256-2239

Houston: 346-319-2029

By proadAccountId-361762 11 Oct, 2017

Pipeline video inspection is a form of telepresence used to visually inspect the interiors of pipelines. A common application is to determine the condition of small diameter sewer lines and household connection pipes.

With modern video equipment the interior of the pipe may be inspected - this is a form of non-destructive testing. A small diameter collector pipe will typically have a cleanout access at the far end and will be several hundred feet long, terminating at a manhole. Additional collector pipes may discharge at this manhole and a pipe (perhaps of larger diameter) will carry the effluent to the next manhole, and so forth to a pump station or treatment plant.

Inspection process

Using a camera tractor with motor and cradle for the inspection head:

A run to be inspected will either start from an access pipe leading at an angle down to the sewer and then run downstream to a manhole, or will run between manholes. The service truck is parked above the access point of the pipe. The camera tractor, with a flexible cable attached to the rear, is then lowered into the pipeline. The tractor is moved forward so that it is barely inside of the pipeline. A "down-hole roller" is set up between the camera tractor and the cable reel in the service truck, preventing cable damage from rubbing the top of the pipeline. The operator then retires to the inside of the truck and begins the inspection, remotely operating the camera tractor from the truck. When the inspection is complete or the camera cable is fully extended, the camera tractor is put in reverse gear and the cable is wound up simultaneously. When the camera tractor is near the original access point, the downhole roller is pulled up and the camera tractor is moved into the access point and pulled up to the service truck. A tractor may be used to inspect a complete blockage or collapse that would prevent using a fish and rope as described below.

Pulling the camera backwards

Semi-rigid fish may be pushed through the pipe to fetch a rope.

For small diameter pipes there may not be enough room for the tractor mechanism. Instead, a somewhat rigid "fish" is pushed through the pipe and attached to a rope at the access point near the truck. The fish is then pulled to place the rope along the pipe. The rope is then used to pull the inspection pig and cable through the pipe. Detaching the rope, the cable is then used to pull the pig backwards as the pipe is inspected on the monitor (this is the method shown in the illustrations below).

Analysis of video footage

Much of the analysis of what was viewed in the pipeline is conducted at the time of the inspection by the camera operator, but the entire inspection is always recorded and saved for review. Commercial software and hardware for video pipe inspection are available from a variety of vendors, including Cues, ITpipes, and WinCan.

Conduit Rehabilitation

Depending mostly upon the change in conditions from a previous inspection various improvements may be made to the pipe. It may be cleaned with a rotating root cutting blade on the end of a segmented rotating chain, or a chemical foam may be applied to discourage root growth. If damage is found limited to only a few locations these may be excavated and repaired. Extensive moderate defects may be repaired by lining with a fabric liner that is pulled through the pipe, inflated, and then made rigid through chemical means. Severe damage may require excavation and replacement of the conduit.

More information on Wikipedia

By proadAccountId-361762 06 Oct, 2017

Plumbing is any system that conveys fluids for a wide range of applications. Plumbing uses pipes, valves, plumbing fixtures, tanks, and other apparatuses to convey fluids. Heating and cooling (HVAC), waste removal, and potable water delivery are among the most common uses for plumbing, but it is not limited to these applications. The word derives from the Latin for lead, plumbum, as the first effective pipes used in the Roman era were lead pipes.

In the developed world, plumbing infrastructure is critical to public health and sanitation. Boilermakers and pipefitters are not plumbers, although they work with piping as part of their trade, but their work can include some plumbing.

Systems

The major categories of plumbing systems or subsystems are:

·    Potable cold and hot tap water supply

·    Plumbing drainage venting

·    Sewage systems and septic systems with or without hot water heat recycling and gray water recovery and treatment systems

·    Rainwater, surface, and subsurface water drainage

·    Hydronics, i.e. heating and cooling systems utilizing water to transport thermal energy, as in district heating systems, for example the New York City steam system.

Water systems of ancient times relied on gravity for the supply of water, using pipes or channels usually made of clay, lead, bamboo, wood, or stone. Hollowed wooden logs wrapped in steel banding were used for plumbing pipes, particularly water mains. Logs were used for water distribution in England close to 500 years ago. US cities began using hollowed logs in the late 1700s through the 1800s. Today, most plumbing supply pipe is made out of steel, copper, and plastic; most waste (also known as "soil") out of steel, copper, plastic, and cast iron.

The straight sections of plumbing systems are called "pipes" or "tubes". A pipe is typically formed via casting or welding, whereas a tube is made through extrusion. Pipe normally has thicker walls and may be threaded or welded, while tubing is thinner-walled and requires special joining techniques such as brazing, compression fitting, crimping, or for plastics, solvent welding. These joining techniques are discussed in more detail in the piping and plumbing fittings article.

Present-day water-supply systems use a network of high-pressure pumps, and pipes in buildings are now made of copper, brass, plastic (particularly cross-linked polyethylene called PEX, which is estimated to be used in 60% of single-family homes), or other nontoxic material. Due to its toxicity, most cities moved away from lead water-supply piping by the 1920s in the United States, although lead pipes were approved by national plumbing codes into the 1980s, and lead was used in plumbing solder for drinking water until it was banned in 1986. Drain and vent lines are made of plastic, steel, cast-iron, or lead.

For more information go to Wikipedia

By proadAccountId-361762 02 Sep, 2017

Hurricane Harvey stands as the first hurricane of 2017 Atlantic Hurricane season and the most destructive storm in Texas History. Becoming a Category 4 just before landfall near Rockport, TX it is estimated to have claimed the lives of 48 human souls. Recovery is estimated to take years and upwards of 160 billion dollars in damages. Amongst this horrible disaster, our city has shown such strength, resilience and beauty for humankind. I stand proud to be a Native Houstonian and an American. I have never felt so overwhelmed with emotions ranging from fright to pure joy and comfort knowing we have so many heroes amongst us. Our Newscaster’s placed their lives in danger, not only to inform the general public of current situations, but also set their microphones down to rescue people from windows and rooftops, assist the elderly onto their boats, deliver babies, and share water out of a bottle cap…wink wink. We had people from all over the states load and gear up with their boats and any extra supplies; drive towards the torrential rains and flooded streets. They saved everyone and every animal they came across. First responders from all over the state didn’t see their families for days at a time. Team Rubicon, American Red Cross, Volunteers, and even victims have been helping in any way they can. The outpour of food and supplies for those that lost everything is simply unimaginable. There aren’t enough words to express the gratitude and overwhelming emotions. Texas, Thank you! Thank you for saving humanity. This tragedy brought so many people of different backgrounds, color, and beliefs together. We were one…we are one…we are humankind.

By proadAccountId-361762 01 Jun, 2017
What is a galvanized pipe you ask? Prior to the 1960s and through the 1980s, new homes were being built using galvanized pipe. It was a very popular and effective way to transport water throughout the home and a great alternative to lead pipes. A galvanized pipe is a steel pipe dipped in molten, naturally occurring zinc allowing us to safely drink water without the risk of contamination of rust or metals from the steel. Naturally occurring zinc is impure so these pipes may also have been contaminated with lead and other impurities.
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