On 20 December, PLCS Limited arrived at the excavated site on one of the busiest and well known thoroughfares in the country where a 36″ gas main had developed an escape from the welded flanged joints either side of the Donkin valve.

PLCS was tasked to design, fabricate, and install a permanent repair system whilst retaining the operational capability of the valve. The major challenge presented to our team of engineers and designers was how to create a pressure tight seal around the irregular shape of the valve body as well as the time constraints to have the project completed speedily so as not to jeopardise the smooth running of the forthcoming celebrations.

During the initial visit to site PLCS’s Mark Bailey and Trevor Williams took precise measurements and prepared templates returning details to the technical office where an engineering drawing was produced and immediately passed to our fabrication unit.

Technically-demanding repair

Just three days later, a team of six colleagues returned with the specially-fabricated repair shell and seven hours later left, having completed the technically-demanding repair using a fully approved sealant to GIS/LC8 1 the world’s leading engineering standard for the permanent repair of gas escapes on ferrous mains.

Following inspection by Network Engineers the following morning the backfill team immediately set to work on the reinstatement work ensuring open excavation time was kept to an absolute minimum.

PLCS’s Director Darren Billington said:

We thrive on challenge but this was a particularly satisfying result given the nature of the repair, its location and the pressure our team were under to meet the demanding time constraints to complete the job

The client was equally positive:

Thank you for all the effort and fantastic display of team work demonstrated by all your staff over the last few days. Every member of your team has been extremely helpful and supporting, in the interest of completing this work. I really appreciate everything that you and your team have done to help us complete this very challenging gas escape.

PLCS continue to develop technologies

Following on from the success of the installation of this repair, PLCS has continued to develop the technologies used to solve the problem of sealing onto irregular shaped mains and fittings. This innovative approach has seen the Company be able to expand on its site repair services to the Gas Networks and on many occasions, we are able to offer the option of a localized repair rather than a full encapsulation.

The use of this system has resulted in significant savings for our customers in both materials, excavation and reinstatement costs as well as improved response times reducing open excavation times and avoiding local authority fines.