How to Choose the Best Trenchless Pipe Lining System for Your Needs

To understand the best CIPP lining system for your needs, first decide whether it is the best fit for you as a contractor? What do you currently offer as a solutions provider for your clients? Do you have past experience in CIPP working for another company, or subcontracting with another company? If not, is this something you truly want to invest in – not just financially, but also, the time to learn the craft? What are your expectations once you have the equipment? This determines the best timing for purchasing a pipe lining system as well as whether you should start out at a crawl or a run.

Next, what will be the frequency of CIPP projects?  One job a week, one a day or do you have several crews available to support multiple jobs a day?  As an experienced plumber, you might think you know what you need, or maybe you don’t know, either way, that’s where MaxLiner can help. Our customers tell us frequently, that “Not too many people have taken the time to listen and know our market!”

There are various factors that need to be considered that could affect your particular market and thus the components of a trenchless pipe lining system you purchase. A few of those include:

  • Pipe diameters: Will you be working on primarily 4 inch or 4- to 6-inch transitions?
  • Do you service a city with dense population and commercial buildings requiring equipment that fits in tight spaces?
  • Do you mostly encounter pipes requiring liners that can accommodate multiple bends up to 90 degrees?
  • Or do you service more rural areas, demanding longer liners with larger diameters?
  • Ownership: Does the Municipality own the lateral to the mainline, property line or clean out?
  • What is your level of experience with each of the variables above?

Once you determine your level of experience, crew availability/frequency of work and market factors, MaxLiner can help you determine the best system for your needs.

Putting this into real terms, here is an example of a recent MaxLiner customer’s journey to purchasing the best CIPP liner solution – a plumbing company based in California.

The variables for this company included:

  • The need to take the time to learn the process
  • Their desire to invest a minimal amount and build the system as they learned, e.g., not invest in a trailer, instead, purchase a compact system that could be easily transported in a box truck or van, but at the same time purchase a system that they could build on, to expand as they needed to meet the demands of the market, without there being a backlog of work
  • Considering the extreme heat of CA
  • That most of their lining projects were pipes 60 to 80 feet, requiring longer than average liners 

As the company learned from MaxLiner all the details of the system, they also did their own research online, spoke with other contractors and then visited the MaxLiner facility in Virginia. The biggest decision came down to which inversion unit to purchase for their needs, the Max LinerGun or the Max LinerDrum? Both were compact, but, due to the fact their projects usually required longer liners, and they needed to keep the liners cool in the hot CA weather, they chose the LinerGun. With the LinerGun, you are not limited to a certain length, and you can wet out with an ice bath and also invert the liner while it is still in the ice bath.

Next decision comes to curing, heat cure via air, water, or steam? For this company, hot water was the best curing system for them, as it didn’t require having a compressor running the entire time, adding heat to the already hot environment. They also liked the idea of hot water, as it is a tankless water heater. As plumbers, they were very familiar with how it worked.

Other companies however are discovering they prefer UV curing to heat cure. The beauty of UV Cure is less stress and risk reduction (which is key to the success of a company).  The pot life of UV resin is longer than traditional resins cured via heat. With longer pot life (once you mix the resin, the clock starts ticking), you don’t have to worry about it kicking off and getting too hot (as long as you keep it out of the direct sun and/or UV rays).

UV curing also lends itself well to companies who have more of a mix of commercial customers, the work is high production and comes with an entirely new mix of industrial considerations. When working at factories, hospitals, schools, restaurants, hotels, fast food or convenience stores, there are time restraints. A Sheetz or 7/11 is open 24 hours and does not want to be closed and lose revenue. Also, there are certain times you can’t dig when the facility is open, for example, where hotel guests are checking in or during the early morning coffee rush before work.

That being said, most commercial facilities need the work to be done overnight, or in the case of hotels, quickly in the middle of the day, when people aren’t in their rooms. For a factory, during a shift change. The reason UV is a better curing option is not because the actual time of the cure is less then heat, in fact, it takes twice as long as heat cure. The time savings comes in the prep work. With UV, you can pre build your liners at the shop. A typical project would include, taking all the measurements at the customer site one day, and whether one liner or multiple, clean and televise during the day with little to no interruption for the commercial facility, go back to the shop, measure, wet out the liner with the UV resin, then, during shut down, stage equipment and start lining, with no staging or prep work required on site. 

Success and risk reduction depends on how prepared you are, it is all about the prep work!   (How to be more efficient on the job site will be the subject of a future blog).

Bottom line, MaxLiner’s team will walk you through each step from choosing the right equipment and materials, to training, fulfillment and ongoing support – all from a single source. If you do the research, you will learn that there aren’t many CIPP suppliers that offer all this under one roof to help you determine your best liner solution. 

MaxLiner’s CIPP systems include curing options (ambient, heat, UV), inversion units, wet-out equipment (which includes our Max VacPump™, a high-precision scale, roller, mixing bits and other parts and accessories to impregnate the liner), calibration rollers, cutters, reinstatement equipment and all the materials needed including felt and hybrid liners, calibration tubes and resins.

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