Myths and misconceptions are a dime a dozen when it comes to online leak repair. While many engineers are familiar with the concept, there is a lot of misinformation when it comes to their capabilities, hazards, and feasibility.
In this blog, we’re drawing on decades of experience with online leak repairs and thousands of successful repairs to shed light on some common myths.
Myth #1 – It Can’t Be Done
One of the most common myths about online leak repairs is that they simply can’t be done in a lot of situations. Whether it’s due to high temperatures, pressures, flow rates, or simply concerns that it would be prohibitively expensive, a lot of people assume an online leak repair just isn’t feasible for their line.
While this may have been true in the past, the reality is that the industry has come a long way in the last few decades. Between advances in sealant technology and a wealth of accumulated experience and knowledge on leak repairs, our team can repair virtually any leak without taking the line offline.
Myth #2 – It’s Destructive
Another common misconception is that online leak repair is destructive. A common example is valve leak repairs. In many cases, our clients worry that a valve leak repair will leave the valve completely inoperable.
Similar to the first myth, this just isn’t true. With modern leak repair techniques and the application of the right sealant, we can actually repair leaks online without causing any lasting damage to the line or the system as a whole.
Myth #3 – The Sealant Will Contaminate or Damage the System
A common concern at many facilities is the danger of a sealant contaminating the system or causing complications down the line. This is especially important at nuclear power plants. It’s also a concern for any lines that lead to screens, reverse osmosis equipment, or wind turbines, where mainlining a sealant could be very costly.
In these situations, there are a variety of different ways to avoid these hazards. In a situation where the sealant absolutely cannot come into contact with process chemicals, we can create what’s called a perimeter seal where the two are completely separated.
For other applications, we can ensure we use a sealant that poses zero harm to the system or process chemical. This brings us to our next point…
Myth #4 – All Leak Repairs Are Performed With the Same Type of Sealant
Many people falsely believe that all leak repairs are performed with the same type of sealant. In truth, there are now a large number of specialized sealants that can be used to ensure each online leak repair is safe and effective.
In the past, sealant options were a lot more limited for online leak repairs. This is part of why people assume these repairs will be destructive or cause complications – because many companies tried to use one or two sealants for every job, even when it was not the right application. If all you have is a hammer, everything looks like a nail.
Our team has dozens of sealant options at our disposal, each tailored to different use cases. We have a line of sealants specifically engineered for use in nuclear power plants, as well as pharmaceutical-grade, food-grade, and feedwater-grade sealants.
For every online leak repair, we perform an exhaustive review of your line, process chemical, and broader system to pick the right sealant for the job. This includes considering issues regarding water chemistry and problems that could potentially occur downstream due to mechanical or chemical interactions.
Myth #5 – It’s Dangerous
This is another myth that stems from the poor practices of leak repair companies in the past. 20 years ago, companies had fewer technologies and less experience, which naturally led to more problems.
Here at RJ Stacey, we have performed hundreds of safe, effective online leak repairs. Every single leak repair is meticulously engineered with written procedures and calculations. Even the smallest leak repairs are developed with scientific and mathematical rigor. From stress to injection pressures to volume of sealant, we consider every factor and plan far ahead to make sure the repair is not only effective but safe.
Call RJ Stacey today to learn more about our online leak repair capabilities.