Rubber Expansion Joint Installation
Following the proper procedure for rubber expansion joint installation can help ensure that the installation is successful and that you will not have to worry about any problems arising in the near future. At Flextech Industries, we understand how important it is to ensure that expansion joints are installed properly the first time around. That is why we offer a range of onsite field services, including overseeing and inspecting expansion joint installations.
Rubber Expansion Joint Installation Preparation
Before installing a rubber expansion joint, it is important to properly prepare and inspect all of the materials involved to ensure a smooth and successful installation process. Some of the steps that you should take to properly prepare for installing a new rubber expansion joint include:
- Check the application criteria—Make sure to double check that the expansion joint is able to handle the anticipated operating conditions. Rubber expansion joints should never be subjected to operating conditions beyond their specified temperature, pressure, and vacuum service recommendations.
- Inspect the location—In most cases, rubber expansion joints should be installed close to the main anchor point in order to better absorb the expansion and contraction of the pipe.
- Inspect the rubber expansion joint—Make sure to check the interior, exterior, and flange faces for any damage or cracks before installing the expansion joint.
- Check the pipe’s alignment—If the piping is offset by more than +/- 1/8″ and cannot be corrected, a special joint my need to be designed to be used rather than the rubber expansion joint.
- Check the pipe’s support—Piping must be properly supported by hangers or anchors, so that the weight is properly dispersed.
- Check the existing flanges—Double check that the flanges that are to be mated with the expansion joint flanges are clean and undamaged.
Installing a Rubber Expansion Joint
Once the area has been properly prepared, you can begin the installation process by:
- Applying lubricant to the rubber expansion joint—Rubber expansion joints can be painted with a solution of graphite in water or glycerin to prevent any adhesion of the joint to the pipe flanges.
- Insert the expansion joint into position—Carefully push the rubber expansion joint into the breech between the mating flanges without rolling the leading edge of the joint out of the flange groove.
- Insert the bolts—Do not insert any bolts on the arch side, as they may interfere with the arch during periods of compression.
- Tighten the bolts—It is important to tighten all of the bolts gradually and equally by alternating around the flange in a diagonal manner to meet the recommended torque. If a water tight seal is not achieved after the first round of tightening, continue to slightly tighten the bolts until any leaks are sealed.
If you would like to learn more about rubber expansion joint installation, or if you are interested in one of our services or products (expansion joints, industrial dampers, flexible hoses, or piping accessories), please contact Flextech Industries at the location nearest you or by filling out a form on our website.