A hot tap is a process that involves opening a live pipe or vessel without interrupting the service. The pipe is then tapped into and a valve or fitting is attached to the open end for subsequent use. This allows you to add, drain, or change the flow of fluid in the line without shutting down the entire system. This should only be attempted by experienced technicians or the process done under the supervision of an engineer. This is usually accomplished by cutting into a live pipeline, but can also be done with minimal disruption to a piping system by welding at the hottest point in the system where all valves are closed.
Water hot tap machines should not be used on a pipe that is carrying flammable or combustible fluids. Additionally, the pipe must be of the same or compatible material. Once you have identified that the hot tap can be performed safely, the next step is to determine the best location to make the cut. This can be done by using a tracer wire or dye to identify the path of the pipe.
Once the tap is complete, you will need to thoroughly clean the area around the cut pipe to remove any traces of fluid or metal particles. This method can be a safe and efficient way to work on a live piping system, but it is important to take the necessary precautions to avoid any potential hazards. With a little planning and preparation, you can safely tap into a live pipe and get the job done.
If you are still unsure about how to use a hot tap machines, it is always best to consult with an experienced technician or engineer. Hot tapping can be a dangerous process if not performed correctly, so it is important to know what you are doing before attempting it. With a little knowledge and practice, you can safely tap into a live pipe and get the job done.
There are two main methods of, blind and open. Blind taps are used when you want to add a valve or fitting to an existing line without interrupting the flow of fluid. This is usually accomplished by cutting into a live pipeline, but can also be done with minimal disruption to a piping system by welding at the hottest point in the system where all valves are closed. Hot taps using a welding neck flange require a few additional steps because you need to cut the piping, install an adapter, then cut the other piece of pipe and install another adapter. The first step is to clean and prepare the area around the pipe for cutting.
These taps can be done manually or with a machine that is specifically designed for this process. Once the pipe is cut, you will need to install an adapter directly into the line above or below where it was cut. Open taps are used when you want to cut into a line and add or remove fluid. When using welding neck flanges it is required that you cut the piping, install an adapter, then cut another piece of pipe and install another adapter.
How to Use a Reed Mechanical Hot Tapping Machine.
With Flanged Valve
✅ Step 1: Bolt the saddle fitting onto the mainline and ensure a secure fit.
✅ Step 2: Choose the hole saw size you will need to make the cut
✅ Step 3: Install the shoulder nipple on the fitting.
✅ Step 4: Install branch valve on threadolet or fitting
Choose the shaft for the hole saw. 5/8” – 1-1/8” use an 18” shaft (without arbor)
1-3/8” – 3-1/4” use a 24” shaft (with arbor)
✅ Step 5: Put the bleed-off and nipple to the body.
✅ Step 6: Attach hole saw to shaft and install the retaining drill bit.
✅ Step 7: Attach the boring assembly and gate valve together.
✅ Step 8: Install the Bleed-Off Valve
✅ Step 9: Put the shaft into the drill and commence drilling. Keep drilling until the main line is opened and tight then gland nut. Once the hole saw cuts through the main you may stop.
✅ Step 10: Make sure to not put too much pressure on the drill.
✅ Step 11: Pull up the drill and shut the branch valve.
✅ Step 12: Disconnect the boring assembly from the branch valve.
Which One Do You Need?
For an above ground tap it’s best to go with something like the Reed DM3MECH or DM3MECHB.
For drilling below ground and threading directly into the pipe, the Reed TM1100 is ideal for that scenario
For drilling a hole into the pipe through a valve or corporation stop you must first figure out what size hole you are drilling and whether it is PVC or DI/CI. Since you are drilling a hole in the pipe and not using a pvc pipe cutter to cut a section of the pipe off, it is essential to choose a compatible for that specification. The DMPVC works for PVC and the DM2100 is often used for DI/CI. It’s better to ask an expert prior to starting the cut so that you are using the right machine for the project. When deciding on which tool is right for the job you may want to look for a hot tap machine rental before making a decision. By trying it out first before buying one for sale can same time and aggravation in the future.