Defense For Leaky Pool Pipes

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From pH bounce to vinyl liner wrinkles to filter sand clumps, there are many things that can go wrong in a pool, but leaks, once a serious headache, are easier to deal with now.

An increasingly common repipe alternative, epoxy coatings, are a type of pipe lining technology that rehabilitate pipes from the inside without the need to remove the host pipes. Epoxy coatings are applied in a cleaned and prepped pipe system most commonly by use of compressed air. This method turns the host pipe into a restored pipe with a protective barrier coating that greatly reduces the chances of leaks, corrosion, discolored water and other types of failures without causing a lot of destruction by removing and replacing the original pipes.

Some skeptics might wonder if this process really is as minimally-destructive for large pools as is touted. However, epoxy coating technologies are so efficient that they work well on both residential and commercial pool applications. As evidence, let’s explore what happened at a project at the Crowne Plaza Hotel in Redondo Beach, California.

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This beautiful hotel is located on the coast of southern California, close to the Redondo Beach Pier and Marina. The hotel staff became alarmed when the hotel’s scenic terrace pool and spa water supply pipes leaked. These copper and PVC pipes run from the pool area, over the roof of the hotel’s parking structure and are partially encased in structural slabs, making them extremely difficult to access.

Although the leaks were spotted in the parking garage, the hotel did not jump at the idea to close the parking structure for a repipe, which would be too expensive, invasive, destructive and extremely inconvenient for the hotel’s guests. After researching options, the hotel chose the local ACE DuraFlo licensee to conduct the repairs using the patented ePIPE epoxy coating process. While many epoxy coating technologies don’t work for both metallic and nonmetallic pipes, ePIPE can be performed on both.

To kick off the pipe restoration, the ePIPE technicians first introduced an abrasive agent into the pool and spa’s water supply pipe system, which has pipes with diameters that range from 3/4" to 3”, by using heated, compressed air hooked up to existing access points in the pipe system. This technique cleaned corrosion and debris from the interior of the pipes, while also prepping it for the epoxy. Next, liquid epoxy was blown through the pipes with the use of heated, compressed air. Owing to ePIPE’s 90-minute curing time, the epoxy didn’t need to inconveniently sit for a day to fully cure. Once the epoxy cured, the pipes were tested and then the pipe system was brought back online, making the pool ready for use.

Except for the brief closing of the hotel’s outdoor pool and spa, the rest of the hotel’s operations continued as normal throughout the project.

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Approximately 700 feet of copper and PVC pipes were restored and protected with ePIPE, which will prolong the useful life of the pipe system by protecting it against future leaks, corrosion buildup and other problems. The staff was very pleased that the project cost less, took up less time and was much less disruptive than a repipe.

A repipe would have taken two to three weeks, due to all of the structural work, core drilling and resealing pool penetrations, ePIPE completed this project in only four days. After ePIPE was finished, the hotel staff refilled the pool and a wedding was held in the area the following day.

When it comes to epoxy coatings, a bigger pool doesn’t mean a more challenging project. By using existing access points, as opposed to digging up and replacing pipes, plumbers greatly benefit by minimizing the project timeframe, as well as minimizing the amount of labor to be done, which keeps crew sizes small and exponentially increases the number of projects that can be completed. Epoxy coatings also serve as a serious advantage for customers, because they are less expensive, less destructive and less disruptive than traditional repipes.

Don’t back your business into a corner by only offering the oldest, most traditional type of plumbing repair. Epoxy coatings can fix and prevent many types of pool and spa plumbing issues, as well as open many more doors for your business.

Amanda Strouse is on the marketing and public relations team for world-leading pipe lining technology innovator, ACE DuraFlo, creator of ePIPE.

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