A gas company bore into the ground in a residential area in Dundee, Fla. The boring went right through a 10-in. asbestos cement (AC) pipe, completely shattering it. The company called in the break to the municipality, as approximately 4,000 residents were cut off from water supply.
When municipal foreman James Coker and his team arrived, they started by contracting out the excavation of the pipe, which was 3 ft deep. The break was significant enough that the damaged pipe had to be cut out and replaced with PVC pipe joined to the AC pipe with couplings at each end.
The challenge was to repair the pipe quickly, restore water supply to thousands of residents and minimize damage to surrounding streets and properties.
Coker used two HYMAX couplings to connect the PVC pipe on each end to the AC pipe.
The couplings presented three fundamental advantages for this repair: Ease of installation, as a result of a two-bolt top-facing design that is easy to secure and eliminates the need for under-pipe digging; a wide outside diameter range, allowing for a tight seal in spite of the differing pipe materials used; and durability, allowing for each connecting pipe end to flex four degrees, enabling continuous dynamic angular deflection.
Once the damaged AC pipe was removed, a piece of PVC pipe was measured and cut to size. Coker’s crew loosened the couplings’ two-bolt enclosures and slid them onto each end of the pipe. Once the couplings were attached, the pipe was lowered into the ground, where the repair