Lining In The Winter Cold

“I’ve held up my lining jobs until warmer weather but I am getting too many jobs to get them all done in the spring. What’s the rule on winter lining? Can I do it?”

I understand why you are trying to put off till spring any lining jobs, but the reasons revolve around your comfort – not the lining materials. With that out of the way, there are other obstacles to lining pipe in the winter. If your access needs to be from outdoors and your pipe is buried 6’ deep with 3’ of frost to dig through to get down to the pipe, this drives up your costs and time. These types of jobs may be best kept till spring unless you are concerned that you will lose the job to competitors before you get to it.

Here’s a couple of things to consider:

  • First, can you find a clean-out to line through thus avoiding any excavation? We’ve had customers successfully line 4” and 6” liner through 4” cleanouts provided the clean-out allows a long sweep heading out of the building. If your clean-out was installed by adding a tee in place of a regular clean-out you may have trouble.
  • A second option would be to consider whether or not you have a basement or a place inside the building to line from. This may involve an inside clean-out or opening up a basement floor to gain access.
  • A third consideration would be to thaw the ground with head to defrost the area where you can easily dig out the soil to access the pipe. The urgency may dictate which option you would choose: saw cutting a floor and replacing the concrete with mixing up concrete in bags in place, or defrosting the ground or excavating with frost cutting teeth on an excavator or trencher.

A couple of cautions to winter installations that can easily be addressed but should be added to the checklist you use. If using a heater, the heat loss to the weather will be greater which may slow down the ability to heat the liner. Upon completion of the heating process, if water was used you need to drain your equipment of water. Unlike cooling the resin during hot summer installations you may need to raise the resin temperature in order to keep the resin more viscous. Resin thickens the colder it gets so you may need to raise or keep the temperature of the resin at or above 50F.

While it’s tempting to work in the sun, the UV light from the sun can prematurely cure the resin before you are ready. You can stand in the sun but keep your resin and resin-impregnated tube out of the sun.

While you may want to avoid lining in the winter, there are many contractors continuing daily operations lining pipe. A few considerations and modifications to your normal routine will allow you to continue your revenue stream 12 months of the year as opposed to 6 months.

For more information, contact us at Pipe Lining Supply at +1-888-354-6464 or email us at

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