Everything you wanted to know about Hot Tapping but were afraid to ask!
What is Hot Tapping?
Hot Tapping is an expert – and difficult – technique that can only be undertaken by engineers with specialist training. In fact, we send our engineers, who are all directly employed by us, to Scandinavia where they complete extensive training over a two-year period before they can undertake this procedure. It means Eneteq is one of just a handful of UK based organisation who are qualified and certified to conduct Hot Tapping on live heat networks.
In Hot Tapping, we connect to pipelines while they are in operation and therefore under considerable pressure. This may be, for example, for maintenance or modification of the line. The benefit to the customer, of course, is that there is no costly shutting down of operations and no downtime whilst the procedure is carried out.
Recently we connected a new customer to an existing city-based heat network. This required a new DN100 connection to be formed into the live network, without service interruption.
After completing the excavation operation and exposing the existing DN200 twin pre-insulated pipe, our technicians removed the pre-insulated outer jacket of the pipe to expose the steel carrier pipe. After welding a new strengthening saddle to the carrier pipe, the bespoke hot tap valve assembly was attached and pressure tested to verify compliance and integrity.
At this point, the Hot Tap drilling tool was attached to the valve before drilling through the wall of the existing DN200 pipe and into the live pressurised heating main which was carrying water at over 85°. Once the drilling was completed and the penetration correctly formed, the Hot Tap drill was withdrawn through the Hot Tap valve, bringing with it the drilled section of DN200 pipe and sealing the live network against the Hot Tap valve.
Both bespoke connections were insulated in the trench using the flexible and adaptable Mittel non-standard joint. This was manufactured on site to ensure the correct connection location/angle by our technicians.
Finally, the DN100 pre-insulated series 2 pipe could then be installed in the traditional manner between the Hot Tap connection and the PHE substation.
Not at all simple but in the hands of our highly trained technicians, smoothly and efficiently completed.
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