GF Piping's snap-in-place pipe solves EPA compliance without disrupting manufacturing

With new EPA regulations for containing pipes transporting hazardous fluids, companies are continually faced with the challenge of adapting to meet these rulings, often at significant expense. Such was the case for a car manufacturer in Lafayette, IN. The plant secondarily contained the existing pipe system without system shutdown in order to comply with new EPA regulations by using GF Piping's snap-in-place Contain-It Secondary Containment Piping System...

TUSTIN, CA, Oct. 9, 2006 -- With new EPA regulations for containing pipes transporting hazardous fluids, companies are continually faced with the challenge of adapting to meet these rulings, often at significant expense. Such was the case for a car manufacturer in Lafayette, IN, that discovered it needed to contain existing pipe in order to bring its facility up to new EPA standards.

The car manufacturer used transmission fluid, motor oil, windshield wiper fluid, and steering fluid in their production process. All these fluids were stored in 10,000 gallon undergound tanks, pumped out, and then transported through above ground pipe to the building. Once inside the manufacturing facility, the fluids are used to start up the new vehicles coming off the line. With new EPA regulations in effect, the existing above ground 2-inch carbon steel pipe now needed to be secondarily contained in order to comply.

Faced with the prospect of a possible system shutdown in order to work on the pipe and contain it properly, the company turned to Craft Mechanical, a full service mechanical contractor, also in Lafayette, in hopes of finding a solution. With the goal of purchasing a system that would require as little down-time as possible, or one that could actually avoid down-time altogether, Craft Mechanical searched out a variety of suppliers and chose Contain-It™ Secondary Containment System from GF Piping for the job.

"GF Piping's Contain-It System was the only system we could find that would allow us to continue production without system shutdown," explains Don Moore, project superintendent for Craft Mechanical. "It snaps around the existing pipe -- there's no need to disturb anything with the current system or shut the system down at all. We couldn't find any other product that would work without physically taking the entire existing pipe apart."

The system's split pipe and fitting design allows installation over virtually any carrier system. Its clear PVC (Polyvinyl Chloride) construction allows for visual inspection of the annular space, in many cases eliminating the need for expensive leak detection systems in above ground applications.

In addition to the major advantage of retrofitting the system in place without shut-down, Craft Mechanical soon found that installation of the Contain-It pipe was a major advantage compared to other systems as there are no gaskets or hinges to align. Additionally, interlocking construction, predetermined fitting clip locators, and split pipes shipped with crossover holes pre-drilled at the factory, all combine to make installation fast and easy. Using common pipe preparation tools, all that is needed are a few special, inexpensive tools.

According to Moore, GF Piping's field representative, Kevin Klaum, performed an excellent installation demonstration to ensure that the job went as smoothly as possible. He also provided a list of the manufacturer recommended installation tools, which included special drill bits, special pipe clamps, a vice grip that fits two pipe sizes, a special sealant, and an injection gun. With these simple tools, Moore and his four-man team installed roughly 2,000-2500 feet of 4-inch PVC pipe in 2-1/2 weeks.

"Klaum showed us all the do's and don'ts," said Moore. "We found that by using the special tools recommended by GF Piping, we really saved time. It's pretty simple -- you use the vice grip to snap the pipe together, then put on the 90s, then inject the sealer into the pre-drilled holes using the caulking gun." Moore says the only tricky part is making sure that the sealant is maintained at the correct temperature (70°F) in order for it to flow correctly and enable smooth injection of the bonding adhesive into the fittings. "We had no problem at all," said Moore. "The whole installation went off as planned."

Once in place, Moore's team finished the installation by adding identification labels and painting the pipe safety yellow using latex paint for protection against ultraviolet light and discoloration. A piece of one-inch wide tape was adhered to the bottom of the pipe prior to painting and then removed. This allowed enough visibility through the clear thermoplastic pipe for leak inspection. For additional inspection safety, the company kept their existing leak monitoring system in place.

While Craft Mechanical found the Contain-It's split pipe design the key solution for retrofitting the pipes at the plant without taking the line out of service, the system is also available in a solid pipe version for new plant construction where retrofitting isn't an issue. The Solid Pipe Contain-It System uses split fittings and can be used where it is preferred to pull a leak detection cable. Both systems are available in pipe diameters of 4" and 6" with flexible adapters and clear PVC construction, offering high tensile strength and good impact strength.

GF Pipng Systems (www.gfpiping.com) supplies a full range of plastic pipe, fittings, valves, actuators, rotameters, fusion machines, secondary containment, tank linings, heat exchangers, custom products, and sensors and instrumentation for industrial fluid handling and control.

Craft Mechanical Contractors (www.craftmech.com) is a full service mechanical contractor providing single source responsibility for mechanical systems. From design, fabrication and installation to preventative maintenance and service, Craft Mechanical provides complete cost-effective solutions to your problems.

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