Line stops are a way of temporarily stopping all material flow within a piece of pipe using a mechanical or inflatable stopper. This enables pipeline modifications and upgrades to be made without shutting down the system. Pipeline stops are preceded by hot taps, which make an opening in the pipeline under pressure and install a valve for proper control. This allows our experts to place plug heads into the orifice in the pipeline for proper stoppage of the pipeline material. While some of the most common line stops used are pivot-head stoppers, inflatable stops are a popular option for many applications. In this article, we’ll discuss when to use inflatable line stop plugs and some of their benefits.
When to Use Inflatable Line Stops
Inflatable line stops are used to temporarily turn off a pressurized pipeline system you’re working on. These mechanical field services can shut a portion of piping, allowing you to access damaged pipe segments for maintenance or replacement. Because of their various diameters, you may utilize them in multiple applications, including:
- Wastewater systems
- Hydrocarbon or chemical pipelines.
The use of these inflatable stoppers allows the following procedures to be carried out without risk:
- Pipe repairs
- Pipeline maintenance
- Valve repairs
- Flow deviations
- Air or water-tightness testing
- Hydraulic testing
Line stops are a safe way to seal pipe ends and dirt and vermin out. They are perfect for preventing machining tools from dropping into pipelines or orifices into non-recoverable situations when utilized vertically.
Inflatable line stop plugs may fit into a pipe end that may be right on an elbow or just inside a flanged neck on a casting or other fabrication when there isn’t enough pipe length for the conventional cylindrical and spherical stoppers.
How to Choose the Best Inflatable Line Stops
Inflatable line stops are a common sight in pipeline installation and repair. The appropriate line stop allows you to conduct pipeline inspections, maintenance, and other operations with little disruption.
You may protect your infrastructure and create the least inconvenience for everyone concerned by repairing a stretch of a pipeline without emptying it or otherwise pausing its operations. Of course, not every line stop method is the same.
To complete the task, the plug must fit the pipe. It must also be capable of handling the appropriate pressure, temperature, and liquid product. With this guide on picking an inflatable pipe stopper, you can make your repair and maintenance go as smoothly as possible.
Inflatable line stop plugs are available in many sizes to fit various pipes. You’ll need the proper size to establish an efficient seal to suit your pipe. Our team needs the precise diameter of your pipeline to select the correct inflatable plug. Otherwise, the stop may be too small or too large in diameter to form an effective seal.
Temperature and Product
Because pipelines carry a broad range of fluids, it’s important the stop can withstand the flowing substance. Make sure you can provide not only information on the product in the line, but also the average temperature. Different inflatable plugs are made of different materials to withstand a wide range of conditions. It’s important for our team to have this information to ensure we choose a line stop option that survives the content in the pipe.
A blocked pipeline creates pressure. When deciding which inflatable pipe stopper to use, we must consider the force of the product you’re trying to stop. Even if the plug is the proper size and substance, if it can’t handle the pressure, the barrier will break. This can create serious safety hazards, product loss, and unexpected downtime. Most inflatable line stops do well in lower pressure applications, so let our experts know the average pressure to expect so we can select the right tools for the job.
Dependable Service from Leverage Mechanical Services
Whatever project you’re working on, you can rest easy knowing that our team at Leverage Mechanical Services has the line stop and hot tap expertise you need. We have locations throughout Texas and Louisiana and travel all around the Gulf Coast to help maintain, repair, and install critical industrial infrastructure. Contact us now for a free quote for your mechanical field service or machining needs.