When Your Liner Won’t Cure – What’s Next?

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Un-cured Liner

“My crew installed a liner last week that wouldn’t cure. We started using your Vinyl ester resin, which was new to us, and thought we’d mixed it properly. We wetted out the liner and installed it, then waited for it to ambient cure. Expecting it to “kick” in a couple of hours, we became concerned after 5 hours and the material was still soft. Even the residue in the bucket was not hardening and we left that in the sun. We left it overnight and went back the next morning, but the liner still had not hardened. In reading what the catalyst/resin mix called for and what we added, we found our error in the mix. One of the guys decided to twist up the uncured liner and then hook it to the back of the pickup and pull it out.  That didn’t work, so we decided to dig up the line and put in a new pipe. We’re there any other options we could have tried before resorting to the excavator?”

Heat To Cure

Yes, there were many options before resorting to the excavator. The first option would be to use heat to cure the liner. You may have mixed it with too lean a mixture of catalyst. This would have required you to let the original calibration tube lay down in the bottom of the tube, prepare a new calibration tube with a heat circulation hose inside and shooting it down the line between the first calibration tube laying on the bottom of the liner and the liner itself. You would hook it up to heat and run the temperature up to 180F in an attempt to activate the lean catalyst mix. You may need to cook it for a couple of hours to get it to “kick”.

Hook Retriever

If that failed, the next action would be to run a hook retriever down the line and try to reinvent back to the opening in the reverse of how it went in. Assuming the liner is still soft this would be a pretty straight forward removal process. Once the liner and cal tube are out, you could then install another liner with the proper mix of catalyst and resin to replace what you just removed.

After several attempts with the hook retriever without success, the next option would be to let the original calibration tube rest on the bottom of the liner. You would then prepare a new liner with the proper catalyst mix, and invert it down the inside of the liner with the calibration tube laying on the bottom. You would then invert you calibration tube and cure the liner. The “soft” liner will be held in place by the new liner and while it offers nothing to the structural integrity of  the pipe, it won’t hurt being there riding along.

Excavator Removal Tool

The actions are listed in the order you should attempt before resorting to the excavator, which will get the liner and old pipe out, but will be more costly. And for those of you who find yourselves in a bind and want advice, you can call us anytime. Most of us leave our cell phones on to help with these problems as they crop up. Drop me a note and I’ll provide you with the contact closest to you to assist you with field issues.

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