By Stan Pachorek, Mueller
Queen Creek, Arizona, is a town of approximately 26,000 located 40 miles southwest of Phoenix. Brian Quill is Queen Creek’s utilities supervisor, water production and compliance, with more than thirty-five years’ experience within water utilities. Queen Creek had a range of solid steel piping that was connected on one side of a booster pump for water suction and on the other side for water discharge.
After twenty years of use, the piping needed to be replaced as it was rusting. The problem was that each of these connecting pipes were custom-made and varied in length. To replace each pipe, a new customized pipe would need to be constructed on site with high associated costs in terms of money, time and effort. The utility was looking for a more cost-effective solution to replace the rusted sections without using tailored pipes for each repair.
NOT JUST A PRODUCT, A SOLUTION
Queen Creek Utility had used Hymax® products before to repair their pipes and approached Mueller to find a solution to the problem. Avi Chiproot, Hymax’s vice president of engineering and R&D, consulted his engineering team to see what they could design and manufacture to solve the problem.
“We were looking to not just provide Queen Creek with a product, but rather a solution that addressed Brian’s specific pain points,” says Chiproot. “Making customized pipe repair products takes up a lot of time, and we were looking to create a telescopic product with the flexibility to make the repair, regardless of the distance between the connections.”
After considering the project’s specifications, Chiproot’s team developed a unique eccentric dismantling joint with flange connectors on either end that could be telescoped to be anywhere between 10 to 14 inches in length. Instead of fabricating each connection on site, a costly and manpower intensive process, the product could be adjusted exactly to match the length between the booster pumps and the discharge piping and installed by just one person in about thirty minutes.
FROM PLAN TO PROTOTYPE TO PROBLEM SOLVED
The two ends of the coupling could also be rotated independently of each other so that the holes of the joint’s flange could match up with the holes of the connecting pipes flanges. Once the design was completed, Chiproot sent the plans over to Quill to review who gave the thumbs up. Within a few weeks, a prototype was shipped to Queen Creek and the team was immediately able to install the easily adjusted product for a perfect fit and ensure a strong and solid connection.
An added benefit of the new dismantling joint was that water flow increased approximately 40 to 60 gallons per minute with the new installation. “We found that the design featured better hydraulic flow as the old pipe was very rough on the inside due to rusting,” says Quill. “With better water flow, less energy is required to ensure proper water movement.” With the successful prototype, Quill ordered finalized versions of the product so that future repairs could be made immediately as the need arose.
CUSTOM-MADE, READY TO GO
Most Hymax products are standardized solutions but sometimes custom-made solutions are required. This is made possible by an in-house R&D department that has developed numerous unique and patented technologies, including a progressive pressure-assisted hydraulic gasket that allows dynamic deflection to absorb pressure caused by ground shifts, and a gripping system with universal teeth, to easily restrain connections without thrust blocks or rodding. All products have a lightweight yet durable construction featuring a simple design to enable easy and safe installations by one or two people in order to minimize time in the ditch.
“Avi and his team helped us enormously,” says Quill. “They took a very hands-on approach to solving the problem, and the results were great. Now we have a ready-made solution to replace these pipes anytime we need to.”
FOR MORE INFORMATION
Stan Pachorek is Hymax territory sales manager for Mueller. Mueller Water Products is a leading manufacturer and marketer of products and services used in the transmission, distribution, and measurement of water in North America. The company’s broad product and service portfolio includes engineered valves, fire hydrants, metering products and systems, leak detection, and pipe condition assessment. It helps municipalities increase operational efficiencies, improve customer service, and prioritize capital spending, demonstrating why Mueller Water Products is “Where Intelligence Meets Infrastructure.” For more information, visit www.muellerwaterproducts.com.
MODERN PUMPING TODAY, April 2021
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