pull through pigs

Are you trying to get your J-tube pipe network cleaned and clear? Pull through pigs might just be what you’re looking for.

J-tubes may seem like they are impossible to clean, but that is not the case. Whether you are dealing with offshore pipelines or open-ended inland pipe networks, pull-through technology is designed to help get even the most built-up debris clear from the most complex of pipes.

But what are pull-through pigs, how do they work, and why might they be just what you need for J-tubes?


What are Pull Through Pigs and How Do They Work?

Pull-through pigs, also known as J-tube pigs, are commonly used to clean complex pipes that have no flow available – these are pipes that are off-shore and open-ended in the main.


Since there is no flow for pigs to travel down naturally, they have to be pulled through with force – hence the name. These pigs are pulled through J-tubes via wire that has to be led through before the cleaning implements are deployed. The pig is then winched through the pipeline, along the wire.

Pull through pigs usually contain polyurethane discs

Pull through pigs usually contain polyurethane discs, steel scrapers, brushes and magnets – all so that dirt, debris and ferrous deposits can be removed safely from the interior.

Pull through pig cleaning is much the same as you’d expect from a standard cleaning pig deployment. However, the crucial difference lies in the way they are deployed. These pigs are, for want of another phrase, ‘manual’ – you’re going to have to do much of the hard work yourself.


Why Do J-Tubes and Pipelines Need Cleaning Before They are Used?

This is usually the case for offshore pipelines – e.g., J-tubes. Due to the time that it takes to install them, these pipes can easily fill with natural nasties such as algae, rust and – believe it or not – even some marine life can find its way in. Crucially, while the pipeline may technically be ‘new’ when it’s put together, it has had time to develop problems on its own before it’s been officially deployed.

If this kind of debris and detritus takes hold inside the J-tubes, any product that may travel down the pipes is at risk of getting contaminated. Grime, debris and literal life forms could easily compromise the quality of the product flowing through, and therefore, it’s essential to thoroughly clean and prepare the network ahead of time.

Sludge blocking a complex pipeline

What’s more, enough dirt, debris and sludge blocking a complex pipeline – while not necessarily in use right away – will cause product and flow to block up and slow down to a massive extent. That, ultimately, is only going to lead to loss of business, time and money.

On top of all of this, the presence of certain types of growth or rust could also lead to the pipeline breaking, or being severely damaged while it is in use. Obviously, this can have terrible knock-on effects and lead to disasters.

Therefore, before the pipeline is put into full-time use, it is always best to have pull-through pigs do their job beforehand. Trust us – providing your J-tube or pipeline is fully inspected and cleaned ahead of time, it will always be ready to go.



Why Do New Pipelines and J-Tubes Need Gauging?

It is certainly wise to gauge any pipeline before it is put into use – J-tube or otherwise. In order to do this, pull-through pigs will be fitted with thin gauging plates. If these plates come into contact with debris or other problems along the line, the plates will bend or deform.

This will help you to better determine whether there is something that will need addressing in the pipeline before it is put into use.


Need help with Pull Through Pigs for your business

Pigtek are world leaders in pipeline pigging, specialising in a host of bespoke solutions for automatic and pull-through cleaning alike.

Regardless of the type of piping you’re running, or the cleaning demands you may have stacking up, do not hesitate to contact us on +44 (0)1246 850220, or email us at sales@pigtek.com.

We’ll be on hand to help set you up with a consultation as soon as possible. Don’t let your pipelines fall into hardship – no matter how complex or awkward they might be!


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