Hot tapping is a valuable service as it allows engineers to connect to service pipelines without having to shut down the whole system. This is a huge advantage as it avoids downtime on the pipelines and additional costs. Here are 5 key considerations that hot tapping engineers need to think about.
Commercial Hot Tapping
State of current pipeline
Before work is undertaken, engineers should always perform an audit to understand what they are working with and any additional hazards or risks to be aware of. Understanding the maximum operating pressure and the type/size of the pipe is important before the hot tapping process is started.
Following industry-standard requirements
Industry codes of practice give engineers a minimum standard to achieve for every part of the hot tapping process. Hot tapping must be performed in a safe and controlled way, considering the environment and any hazard risks.
Cost of performing a shutdown
Engineering companies should always consider the cost and impact of a potential shutdown of pipes in case of emergency or if the hot tapping attempt fails. This can be done by referencing previous costs or estimating by using a similar project costing.
Is hot tapping the best financial option?
Although in most cases hot tapping will be the most viable option financially, it is key to account for all costs and compare that to a shutdown. The added costs of skilled engineers and hot tapping machines can make the cost creep up in some instances.
Using correct steel pipe fittings
When hot tapping on steel pipes, the fittings should be a welded branch connection However alternate techniques such as compression sleeves should be used in cases of cast iron, asbestos, cement and concrete.