Fix Leak in pyrotenax water line

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  #1  
Old 07-20-19, 11:50 AM
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Fix Leak in pyrotenax water line

At my cottage, we draw water from the lake through a polyethylene pipe with a pyrotenax heating element in it.
The PE pipe passes under the shallow foundation on its way to the lake, and has developed a leak right under the foundation.

I hope I can simply remove 2 feet or so from the top end of the pipe, where it passes under the foundation and replace it. The problem of course is the heating element in the pipe.

Top photo shows the arrangement inside the crawlspace, where the heating element enters the PE pipe. Does anyone recognize this arrangement? There is a copper hex shaped nut threaded onto the teflon or plastic beige-coloured Tee (close-up in bottom photo). I wonder if undoing this nut will let me disconnect the heating element inside the PE pipe from the copper tube outside of it (at bottom of photo). Then pull the heating element down from the bottom of the PE pipe in the lake, to get it out of the top 2', replace the top of the pipe, push the heating element back up and re-connect it at the copper nut. .... ??

Many thanks to anyone who can help!

Dave
 
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Old 07-23-19, 10:40 AM
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I've never seen a setup like that before - but didn't want you to not receive any help! I'm assuming that heating element extends into the pipe a number of feet. Sort of like the heat tape that's installed outside the pipe, but this one sticks inside. I wouldn't be surprised if it runs a ways into the pipe (25'/50' +). So I assume you just unscrew it and pull it all out. When you're done, it gets re-inserted.

Interesting concept. I found this pic online, it looks like a similar connection setup.

 
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Old 07-23-19, 01:29 PM
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Thanks, Zorfdt, for your response! You're right about the heating element extending down the pipe. It goes some 50 feet to the lake, and then another 20 feet or so into the lake. I should have indicated so in my post. I know it goes that far because some years ago, a leak developed way down the PE pipe - in the lake. The solution then was to cut the pipe, pull the bottom piece down off the heating element, then slide a new piece up over the element, and connect it to the upper pipe.

It might not be much fun pulling 70+ ' of element up and out of the pipe, but maybe that's the simple answer...

Thanks!
Dave
 
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Old 07-24-19, 11:00 AM
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I think that's gotta be your plan. I don't see any other way to do the repair.

My only concern is pushing the 70' of heating cable into the pipe. I don't know if it's traditionally pulled - but what I know about pulling electrical wire through conduit is anything over about 10' and anything with bends quickly becomes difficult to push. I'm sure the heating cable is less bendable, but still, pushing 70' might be difficult/impossible. I would come up with a backup plan just in case.
 
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Old 07-24-19, 08:47 PM
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I had in mind tying a string to the bottom of the heating element while it was still down the pipe - then maybe the string could be used to help persuade the heating element back down again. The string is completely possible - the lake is only a few feet deep at the end of the pipe. And if the element doesn't reach the bottom of the pipe, there is always the join at the old repair, where I can separate the pipe if I have to. The heating cable certainly goes that far. Thanks for your comments!
 
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