Pros & Cons of Hot Taps for Pipelines

hot taps on pipeline
Hot taps allow you to perform work and maintenance while a pipe is “live.”

Hot taps allow you to isolate pipelines for work like branch additions, maintenance, or repairs without interrupting service. This involves attaching the hot tap machine to the pipeline, typically through welding, bolting, or clamping. Once attached, field specialists cut into the pipe wall. There are pros and cons to hot tapping pipelines; it’s important to consider both sides before choosing to hot tap your piping system.

Pros of Hot Taps

One of the main advantages of hot tapping is that it allows work to occur while the pipeline is operational. There’s significantly less downtime with hot taps compared to shutting down for pipeline work. This helps reduce disruptions to your processes and operations. It can also help save you money by minimizing downtime and service interruptions. Hot tapping can help prevent product loss as well, despite service being performed while the pipeline continues to operate.

Cons of Hot Taps

While hot taps can help reduce downtime and costs for necessary maintenance, repairs, or branch additions for your pipeline, it does come with some disadvantages as well. Most of these drawbacks come down to inherent safety risks of working with live pipelines. 

Hot tapping mechanical field services involve working with pipes under pressure. This can expose people, equipment, and the environment to materials under high pressure. The materials may also be high temperature or potentially harmful to people, processes, and the environment. 

Because of the potential dangers of hot tapping, these services require extensive planning beforehand. From mitigating risks for hot tap procedures to gathering in-depth data about the pipeline and materials inside the pipe, this can take some time. Therefore, if you’re planning on hot tapping your pipeline, it’s important to keep in mind that this service typically isn’t suited for fast completion timelines. 

Choose Seasoned Professionals for Mechanical Field Services

Hot tapping is a difficult and complex process. With the potential risks associated with these pipeline services, it’s crucial to choose a skilled and experienced team for hot tap procedures. The team you choose needs not only the in-depth training and experience necessary to successfully execute a hot tapping procedure, but also needs the knowledge and skill to be able to tailor procedures to your specific pipeline. 

Also, you want a team that prioritizes safety at all times. Taking a safety first approach helps protect people, equipment, and the environment by identifying and mitigating risks during hot tapping services. Therefore, it’s important to fully vet the team responsible for servicing your pipeline. 

Specialty Services from Our Trusted Team at Leverage Mechanical Services

When you need specialty services, our team at Leverage Mechanical Services is here for you. We offer total service and support for your infrastructure, from equipment installation to field machining and rebuilds. You can trust our certified technicians for your critical infrastructure. Contact us now to get a quote for your service needs.