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Schaible's Mechanical Blog

Why You Should Leave Process Piping to Experts


Process piping carries liquid and gaseous chemicals for manufacturing and processing. While it may appear similar to typical plumbing found in commercial and industrial buildings, it serves a distinct purpose. 

Process piping refers to a network of interconnected pipes including tubing, pipes, valves, hoses, and various fittings. These components are assembled to facilitate the movement, mixing, separation, distribution, or regulation of fluid flow. Process piping finds extensive application in industries such as semiconductor, chemical, paper processing, petroleum refining, pharmaceuticals, and textiles.

While residential and commercial plumbing handles water and waste and links to municipal systems, process piping connects to machinery in commercial and industrial settings such as chemical plants, pharmaceutical, food processing, and breweries. In essence, process pipes facilitate the operational functions of manufacturing plants and similar facilities.

Unlike standard plumbing, process piping necessitates specific materials, sizes, and engineering due to its diverse transport requirements where various materials require mixing and separation.

A critical disparity between process piping and plumbing lies in building codes. While plumbing adheres to plumbing codes, process piping must comply with engineering standards and OHSA standards set for its specific use, with each pipe subject to individual codes dictated by state laws and the particular materials necessary for different processes.

The design and installation for process piping are vastly different compared to standard piping. This specialized service requires highly trained specialists with experience beyond work with conventional water, sewer, and gas piping. That’s where we come in!

If you need process piping installation, maintenance, or repair, rely on our team of experts. We submit bids that fully match specifications in a timely manner, and we are prequalified and bonded in the State of New Jersey for all mechanical and industrial plumbing—from public to private projects.

Key characteristics of process piping underscore its specialized nature and the need for trained professionals like the ones on our team to handle it:

  • Material compatibility: Process pipes must withstand the fluids they carry and the facility’s environmental conditions, with options ranging from metals like copper and carbon steel to plastics like PVC.
  • Pressure and Temperature: Unlike standard plumbing, process piping must endure varying pressure and temperature conditions, dictating the choice of material and thickness.
  • Valves and Fittings: Valves regulate flow rate, direction, and pressure, while fittings connect pipe sections.
  • Compliance with safety and regulations: Process piping must adhere to safety and regulatory standards to safeguard employees, the environment, and the community.
  • Layout and Routing: Careful planning of process piping layout and routing is crucial for efficiency, avoiding issues like pressure drops and cross-contamination.
  • Support and Anchoring: Proper support and anchoring prevent structural failure in process piping, requiring the installation of stable structures.

In sum, process piping is integral to industrial operations and demands specialized expertise for installation and maintenance. Simply calling a commercial plumbing contractor may not suffice due to the distinct requirements of process piping.

Schedule a consultation to learn more about process piping services in Bridgewater Township, NJ with the pros at Schaible’s Mechanical.

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