Monday, November 20, 2017

Tampa Raw Water Pipe Pigging

Over the course of their lifetime, Tampa Bay's raw water pipes need continuous routine maintenance in order to function properly and safely deliver water. Without it, they can be subject to debris, corrosion, and structural failure. Cleaning pigs assist in all areas of pipeline maintenance, including debris removal, as well as helping to clear air out of any lines.

A crucial benefit that cleaning pigs provide is that while they are in use, a pipeline can often still function normally with no interference. Very important for a large metro area like Tampa Bay, that depends heavily on functioning pipelines. Several different sizes of pigs are/can be used in conjunction; for example, a larger pig may be sent into a pipeline for heavy cleaning, followed up by lighter pigs to clean up whatever is left over.

Pigs come in all sorts of different shapes and styles. They can have a gel coating on the exterior, or have a bullet shape, flat ends, or even a crossing pattern style with embedded silicone carbide. Shape dictates the speed in which a pig travels in the pipe, and a faster pig is able to remove more stubborn debris and buildup. Pigs with gel coating are more commonly used for general or light cleaning, while pigs with silicone carbide are used for cleaning lines with buildup or corrosion (this is because the silicone carbide has a rough coating). Additionally, foam pigs offer flexibility when a project requires cleaning pipes with bends or changing-diameters.

Another type of pig is called a "Mandrel"; Mandrel pigs have a metal exterior that contains seals, discs, and scraping equipment. In addition to cleaning and sealing, they can be used to check a line for its diameter, as well as drying lines when needed. Mandrel's have attachments for additional debris-scraping discs, as well as attachments for additional cups and brushes.

Lastly, different pipelines require different pigs. Cleaning a PVC pipe with plastic-bristle foam pigs is okay as the bristles will not remove the coatings and will take care of most of the build-up. A gas line with internal coating will be cleaned by a polyurethane pig, as it doesn't have external cleaning equipment that can harm or remove the coating. If there was no coating, a cleaning pig that is equipped with brushes could be used. Polyurethane pigs are also ideal for cleaning an oil pipeline (or something comparable) as they are strong enough to remove internal wax buildup or even water.

With a population of over 3 million people, it is imperative that Tampa Bay's pipes are inspected and cleaned on a regular basis for the people who depend on them.

Friday, November 3, 2017

Tampa Pipe Mapping

The Tampa Bay Area of Florida is an important metro region with millions of residents and plenty of attractions for tourists. There's Busch Gardens for those that like roller coasters, Adventure Island full of water slides and we have an NFL team, hockey team, and Major League Baseball team. Pinellas county has amazing gulf beaches. We have inland, pier and deep sea fishing. Our northern neighbors love to visit, especially to get away from the harsh winters.

All these people, and therefor businesses, need fresh water and fuel delivered and wastewater and storm water taken away for treatment. That means there are miles and miles of pipes that need to be taken care of. If you happen to be one of those responsible for keeping Tampa's pipes in good operating condition, there may come a time that your piping system, or some section of it, turns out to be a mis-match from the provided design. The desire to track down the original designers or contractors and… well, we'll stop right there because what you really have to track down is the pipes.
You could get out a shovel or backhoe, but that's a lot of disruption, costly downtime and possibly a bunch of beurocratic red tape. This is where the "Sherlock Pig" saves the day.

I've written about Pipe Pigging in other blog posts, but as a brief review, it's a plug like tool that goes inside the piping system and is able to pass through it. Cleaning pigs scrape the interior as they pass. The tracking pig or "detector pig", in our case called "Sherlock", includes a transmitter, allowing it's position to be tracked. It can be used to map mystery legs, find valves and re-map the entire piping system if necessary. Sherlock can also confirm suspected blockages, identify size disparities and find leaks.

Sherlock and related pigs, Watson & Little Piggy, can be used in nearly any pipe, including underwater pipe and subterranean pipes, recording their position & depth.

These smart pigs are minimally disruptive, allowing your system to get back to normal as quickly as possible.

Professional Piping Services, Inc. has the training and experience to help with smart-pig pipe mapping as well as pipe pigging for cleaning & maintenance.

Industrial Piping

Tampa Pipe Pigging Alternatives

For piping system engineers and managers, no matter if your product is really product, or perhaps your “product” is actually waste, your pipes have to stay clean or they will fail you. You might experience a reduction of flow over time, or you might face a full blockage. Reduced flow when your transporting product translates to less product per second and therefore less dollars per second. The bean counters won’t like that! If your "product" is waste, then you may have a huge mess to deal with, especially if you have limited upstream storage. Reduced flow costs you more money in electricity, running your pumps harder, possibly wearing them out much more quickly than they normally would.

The cliche' is that an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. In this case, a small amount of downtime for cleaning may prevent days or weeks of downtime caused by a complete system failure. Clean pipes just flow better. Professional Piping Systems, Inc will help you determine what method of pipe cleaning will work best in your system.


For some systems, a high power jet will be required to scrub your pipes. Water jets are effective on any diameter pipe when correct flow and pressure are maintained. High Power Water Jetting is effective against sediment, build-up & debris including roots, cooking or automotive grease, lime scale / hard water mineral scale, sewage and much more. Professional Piping Services Inc. can use your water supply or bring a tank if the job requires it.


If water jetting isn't the right choice, a pipe pig might be. Sometimes called a "poly pig", a pipe pig is an inline device used to scrub the walls of the pipes. Pipe pigs come in a variety of diameters from several inches, to man sized or bigger. The surface of the pig that does the actual scrubbing may vary depending on the material of the pipe and the debris that needs to be removed. A smart pig may also be used to verify the location of lost pipes and valves, where reality and blueprints don't actually match.


Professional Piping Services Inc. is headed by Roger M Cimbora Sr., General Manager. Mr Cimbora is a trusted expert when it comes to industrial pipe maintenance & flow restoration. He's been In the industry since the 1950's! His knowledge & experience are invaluable to academia and his peers.