Large Diameter Pipes: What Causes Failure And How Inspection Can Help

How to avoid failures of large water pipes

As one of the most prevalent forms of water transportation worldwide, large diameter pipes play a crucial role in maintaining infrastructure systems that supply millions of residents with access to clean water, as well as facilitate the safe transport of raw and wastewater materials. This means that should a leak or failure occur, the damage and disruption caused may impact countless end-users. In fact, main breaks can result in costly emergency repairs, transportation shut down, property damage, and other extensive issues. Understanding the causes of failures in large diameter pipes, as well as having a dedicated inspection plan can help you avoid such complications. Learn more about both topics below.

Factors That Put Large Diameter Pipes At Risk

While there are many different causes of pipe failures, the three most common aspects that are likely to affect large diameter pipes are:

– Pipe geometry, material type, pipe and soil interactions, and installation quality.

  • Stress placed on the line by external loads, particularly where soil over burden, frost loads, and third party interference are concerned.
  • Corrosion caused by biochemical, microbiological, and electro-chemical activities.

Over time, each of these factors can take a toll on your pipes, slowly eroding away at the overall integrity of the structure. Without proper and regular inspection, you run the risk of leaks and cracks going undetected, eventually resulting in a much larger scale issue.

How To Inspect to Protect

As mentioned above, inspection is important when it comes to protecting large diameter pipes from failure. At PICA Corp, we’re proud to be a leading provider of inspection services for clients around the world using innovative tools and technology. The EMIT tool, (see attached photo) crafted by our sister company Russell NDE Systems, offers flexible non-destructive evaluation of water and force mains ranging in size from 48 inches to 90 inches in diameter. Assembled within the line itself, with access through manways, the unit is completely self contained and provides exceptional results that clearly identify issues like wall loss due to corrosion, cracks, and more. Learn more about the EMIT tool, as well as PICA’s inspection services by contacting our team today.