Frequently Asked Questions
The CuraFlo FAQ and references section is here to help you understand more about repipe projects and about CuraFlo repipe services. We address repiping questions like whether or not CuraFlo can engineer and certify a repipe project to what to do with pets in a residential suite – and everything in between. In addition to the most common repiping questions, we will be updating this section with helpful references and resources.
CuraFlo invests significant time up front to understand the structure of each customer’s building in order to design a system that fits the particular structure, and meets an owner’s expectations and all local code requirements. Throughout our two decades of repiping work, we have followed this strategy faithfully and as a result, we have never found it necessary to adjust our contracted price.
That said, some building owners have chosen to broaden the original project scope to include additional system features and functionality. Therefore, you may want to consider building in a small contingency fund of +-5%.
Crews arrive early to begin work at 8:00 a.m. They finish work by 5:00 p.m.
Residents should leave their pets in their units and secure them in a bedroom or other area that is not affected by this work. If a pet is excitable, we recommend posting a note on the front door warning us of the presence of the pet.
Water service interruptions are kept to an absolute minimum in terms of the number of units affected. With water service being restored by 5 p.m., you are never left without water overnight
Our goal at CuraFlo is to restore buildings and suites as closely as possible to the original construction finish. Buildings in which a lateral or horizontal system is requested may require the construction of boxed headers in order to hide the new pipes. On request, we paint back to match original finishes using computerized colour matching. Older tiles and wallpaper are restored based on the best possible match.
Which areas of a resident’s suite will be affected and what should residents do to prepare their suites for this project?
Areas affected by this work are dependent on building/system design, with most of the work occurring in bathrooms, kitchens and laundry areas. All surfaces are protected with tarps while work is in progress. The CuraFlo team will carefully move items such as appliances (e.g., laundry machines) using an air sled. Should items such as bookshelves need to be temporally relocated, we will ask owners to unload them first. CuraFlo also asks owners to remove small items stored under kitchen sinks and bathroom counter/basins for the days that they are working in their units. We also request that owners tuck any delicate items located in the entrance area of their suites safely away for a few days while work is in progress.
CuraFlo crews always wear identity badges and matching shirts with the CuraFlo logo clearly visible. The CuraFlo team never permits strangers to enter work sites, so many of our past customers mentioned that they felt security was actually enhanced while we worked in their building. Many actually said that it was like having security guards everywhere.
All equipment is safely put away at the end of each working day, and during the hours of operation, every effort is made to keep tools and materials out of the way of tenants and residents. Special consideration is given to residents with mobility issues (e.g., walkers and wheelchairs)
Will you need to do work in every suite and if so, how much time is typically spent in building suites?
CuraFlo maintains hours of operation from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., and access to work areas will be required during those hours. Yes, it is likely that we will need to enter every unit in order to carry out our repipe work, and time spent working in individual units varies from seven to 10 days for one-bathroom units to 14-15 days for larger and/or multi-bathroom units.
A project’s duration is usually dependent on the size of the building being repiped. It can range from under a month for a small walk-up building to several months for a tower or a complex of buildings
An owner’s manual including detailed valves schedules, product information and engineered drawings is provided with a CuraFlo in-house design. With tendered jobs, documentation would be as stipulated in the contract
Should customers hire an outside engineer to design and certify a repipe project, or can CuraFlo engineer and certify the project?
Copper is an approved plumbing material, and CuraFlo can offer quotations based on a new copper system. Yet it is unusual for us to receive such requests these days, since copper manufacturers do not offer a warranty on their products and the only warranty offered with copper is CuraFlo’s two-year warranty. Most repipe designs, therefore, center around the use of Uponor PEX pipe with its 25-year warranty. Due to fire code restrictions, pipes larger than a two-inch diameter are usually constructed of ductile iron, copper, AquaRise or Aquatherm.
Ball type valves will be used on pipes less than two inches in diameter, and washer-less ¼-turn ball valves and braided flexible connectors are used at all fixture stops to ensure reliability.
The scope of repipe designs is to some degree limited and influenced by the design of the building. For example, a repipe designed for a high-rise structure is very different than the design used in a low-rise structure. Generally, two designs are commonly used:
- Vertical piping system
- Horizontal or lateral piping system
While the latter can easily offer unit-by-unit isolation valves, it tends to cost a bit more and often involves construction of boxed headers to hide pipes. The more commonly used vertical system is the norm in new construction. A vertical system usually offers riser-by-riser isolation, but it can offer unit-by-unit isolation as well.
CuraFlo can design a customized piping system to meet each customer’s unique needs. Through our years of experience, we have found that strategically matching plumbing materials often yields a well-engineered system that lasts for many years, even with Greater Vancouver’s aggressive water running through it.
In every case, CuraFlo works closely with building owners and managers up front to educate them on our recommended material and design strategies. Our goal is to deliver a system that meets an owner’s expectations, matches code requirements and serves owners, managers and residents well into the future.
The three most common ways of proceeding are:
- Contact a local engineering firm that specializes in repipe design. Hire them to design the new system based on your specific needs, and in accordance with best engineering practises and local codes. Then, send the project out for tender to three qualified local contractors.
- Contact three local repipe* companies, spell out your needs and ideas, and ask for suggestions and quotations. The chosen contractor will design the new system to local codes, pull permits, call for municipal inspections, manage the project and perform all work from beginning to end.
- A combination of the two recommendations above: Collect suggestions and/or quotations from contractors, hire an engineer to help implement the project and supervise the site, and have that contractor report back to the owner or owners on the contract details, the quality of work, and the project’s progress.
* Make sure you contact a repipe company and not a general/repair plumber. A qualified repipe contractor takes care of all the details of a repipe project, manages the project from beginning to end, and has the experience necessary to do the job correctly, and to current code requirements.
Yes! In fact, epoxy pipe lining has been used to rehabilitate water pipes for more than 40 years:
- Japan and the UK pioneered epoxy pipe lining for restoring drinking water pipes in the 1970s.
- In 1991, the US Army published a Public Works Technical Bulletin stating that epoxy lining of metal pipes was an effective method for enhancing corrosion protection.
- In 1997, the US Navy published a report based on their successful experimentation with the development and use of epoxy linings to restore water pipe systems on aircraft carriers between 1983 and 1993.
- The American Water Works Association Research Foundation (AWWARF) conducted studies that confirmed epoxy pipe lining is effective in the rehabilitation of water mains.
CuraFlo is recognized by the International Code Council’s ICC with a listing of PMG #1057. This listing states that the CuraFlo Engineered Flow Lining System and its patent-pending epoxies meet the requirements of the country’s leading plumbing and mechanical codes and applicable standards. Additionally, the ICC-ES PMG listing recognizes the CuraFlo Engineered Flow Lining System’s compliance with the following standards:
- LC1008, Listing Criteria for Internal Epoxy Barrier Pipe Coating Material for Water Supply System
- IAPMO IGC 189, Internal Pipe Epoxy Barrier Coating Material for Application in Pressurized (Closed) Water Piping System
- ASTM D 4541, Standard Test Method for Pull-off Strength of Coatings Using Portable Adhesion Testers
- NSF 61, Section 5, Drinking Water System Components – Health Effects
- AWWA C210, Liquid-Epoxy Coating System for the Interior and Exterior of Steel Water Pipe Lines.
For more information on CuraFlo’s process and product certifications, click here.
No. Our CuraPoxy epoxies are different than the polycarbonate plastics used in water bottles. Under the right conditions, polycarbonate plastics can degrade to produce BPA, CuraPoxy epoxies cannot.
Click here to read or download a technical bulletin on BPA (.pdf, 111 KB) written by Dr. David J. Dunn, CuraFlo’s Vice President of Research and Development.
Yes. CuraFlo meets stringent safety standards and has a long history of safe and effective use. CuraFlo’s epoxy, CuraPoxy, has been certified to meet the Federal government standard for safe drinking water, ANSI/NSF Standard 61, and is approved for use in pipes where the water temperature can reach up to 180° F.
The epoxy coating minimally reduces the pipe’s interior volume, but this reduction is negligible and will not negatively impact your water flow. In fact, the coating creates a smooth, glass-like surface that reduces friction and enhances water flow.
CuraFlo’s Engineered Flow Lining System process uses a closed end air loop system that prevents the epoxy coating from “slumping.” After the lining process is completed in a piping segment, air pressure is maintained to keep the epoxy coating uniform while it cures. After curing is complete, our technicians then perform water flow tests to confirm water pressure has been completely restored.
The CuraFlo Engineered Flow Lining System® uses a proven and certified process for promoting the flow of liquid epoxy through pipe segments. Epoxy is applied via compressed air which creates a vortex that draws epoxy from the entrance to exit point ensuring that the pipe interior is uniformly coated with our proprietary epoxy. The CuraFlo Spincast System™ uses a computer controlled dispenser to apply epoxy to the interior of large diameter pipes. After the epoxy has been applied via the Spincast application, our technicians inspect the pipe interior using a closed circuit television.
Epoxy pipe lining has a design life of 40-60 years. Since epoxy lining prevents the number one cause of pipe failure – corrosion – epoxy lined pipes can be expected to outlast metal plumbing systems.
CuraFlo manufactures its own epoxy which has been certified for use in hot water pipes with temperatures up to 180° F.
Typically we are able to remove very severe corrosion from the interior of galvanized pipes. However there may be cases in which we need to remove severely corroded sections and install new piping prior to epoxy lining.
No, drain and wastewater pipes have properties that make them unsuitable for the epoxy lining process.
Epoxy can be used on any metal pipe from ½” – 36” and concrete pipe from 3” – 36”. Typically, these are domestic supply pipes, fire suppression systems or water mains that feed homes and buildings