How Does Plumbing and Process Piping Work?

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In nearly all buildings, we have plumbing which serves two basic purposes, delivering fresh cold water into the building (which may then be filtered or heated to serve our comfort) and conveying wastewater away from the building. Plumbing materials must be installed according to building codes which vary from place to place, and inspected by the local government to insure compliance to the applicable codes. The delivery portion of the plumbing works because it receives water under pressure from the supply. Different materials are used in the wastewater portion of the plumbing. Wastewater plumbing is installed with a slope which uses gravity to propel the wastewater and its content out of the building. Wastewater plumbing also requires venting to avoid vacuum in the system and traps to prevent gases from wastewater from entering the building.

How Process Piping Works

Process Piping is industrial infrastructure. Its purpose is to convey liquids and gases from place to place within an industrial process such as refining or manufacturing. The conveyed materials may be corrosive or toxic. They may also be under extreme temperatures or pressures. Failures of Process Piping may be hazardous to plant employees and the surrounding environment. It is also used to control, mix and distribute various combinations of liquids and gases. The Piping that provides heating or cooling for industrial processes is not generally considered Process Piping. Process Piping is not used in electrical power generation plants. Process Piping is not subject to building codes, but there are many technical considerations to consider when specifying and installing it. Some Process Piping requires quite exotic materials and complex and exacting installation techniques.

Some of the Many Types of Process Piping Components:

  • Pipes
  • Valves
  • Strainers
  • Separators

There are specialist companies sometimes referred to as “Process Equipment Manufactures” who are experts in the engineering and design of Process Piping. There are also specialized contractors who do the actual work of maintenance and installation of Process Piping. Such contractors may or may not employ engineers who specialize in design and specification of Process Piping.

Issues arise surrounding Process Piping repairs or installation which are beyond the comfort levels of the people who handle your normal maintenance. We are happy to help with any questions or concerns you may have, call OC McDonald at 408-295-2182.

Hiring a mechanical engineer for building retrofits, rebuilds, additions, or enhancements is the quickest and surest way to obtain the ideal facilities for supporting your operations. Are you ready to make your workplace more modern, efficient, or compliant? If so, we can help.

Call us today at 408-295-2182.


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