Lining Existing Orangeburg Pipe Concrete Encased Ductbanks

Location
Oklahoma
Occupation
Professional Engineer
I am faced with several collapsed Orangeburg conduits, installed in Concrete encased duct banks. I am investigating the possibility of reaming these out and installing an HDPE thin wall liner, to alleviate street closures, concrete removal and installation of all new ductbanks. The work is necessary for new 12.47 kV underground feeder circuits to be pulled in. Plumbers have successfully done this but plumbers do not want to consider doing this in this area. They seem reticent to do so in medium voltage manholes (12.47 kV).
Does anyone have knowledge of a successful implementation of this approach?
 

gadfly56

Senior Member
Location
New Jersey
Occupation
Professional Engineer, Fire & Life Safety
I believe Orangeburg is an asbestos containing product and that may limit your options.
It was a fibrous composite, but I don't believe it ever contained asbestos. It was never fire proof. From Wiki:

Orangeburg pipe was made of wood pulp sealed with liquified coal tar pitch in inside diameters from 2 inches to 18 inches, with a perforated version for leach fields. Joints were made of the same material, and, because of the residual stickiness of the coal tar, were sealed without adhesives. Orangeburg was inexpensive, lightweight, albeit brittle, and soft enough to be cut with a handsaw.

Orangeburg was a low cost alternative to metal for sewer lines in particular. Lack of strength causes pipes made of Orangeburg to fail more frequently than pipes made with other materials. The useful life for an Orangeburg pipe is about 50 years under ideal conditions, but has been known to fail in as little as 10 years. It has been taken off the list of acceptable materials by most building codes.
 

Dell3c

Member
Location
WA
Occupation
Electrician
It was a fibrous composite, but I don't believe it ever contained asbestos. It was never fire proof. From Wiki:

Orangeburg pipe was made of wood pulp sealed with liquified coal tar pitch in inside diameters from 2 inches to 18 inches, with a perforated version for leach fields. Joints were made of the same material, and, because of the residual stickiness of the coal tar, were sealed without adhesives. Orangeburg was inexpensive, lightweight, albeit brittle, and soft enough to be cut with a handsaw.

Orangeburg was a low cost alternative to metal for sewer lines in particular. Lack of strength causes pipes made of Orangeburg to fail more frequently than pipes made with other materials. The useful life for an Orangeburg pipe is about 50 years under ideal conditions, but has been known to fail in as little as 10 years. It has been taken off the list of acceptable materials by most building codes.
I remember installing this product as young man in electrical trade, in duct bank(s) @ new Powerhouse facility site in N. Carolina. This was about same time "Shaw of Iran" was being overthrown in his country. As I remembering looking conduit up in reference, being called "fiberduct" and so referenced American Electrician Handbook (Authors of Croft & Carr & Watt).. Back then, text being "one of three" books owned earlier yrs in trade.

This product baffled me as kid early years of craft and remember discussing product with my site Foreman, who having just returned from Brown & Root project in Iran, while exiting country w/ his life.

The product was "lite" working with & handling, 10ft long & the shorter section(s) cut, you tapered conduit ends manually w/ tool having rubber stopper insert, mounted on tool which inserted into end of pipe, manually turning handle w/ bladed tool, cutting bevel onto conduit ends for mating w/ coupling(s). No glue involved, or tighten of coupling, just bang it together w/ piece of wood product.

* I'd be personally interested if the original poster would return, and informing form members further into outcome, involving installation fix method as proposed in this thread.
 

hillbilly1

Senior Member
Location
Atlanta,Ga
Occupation
Field coordinator/ technical support
I have a lot of that buried in a field below my house as part of a drain field. Just replaced part of it, as it has collapsed, and the springs are bubbling up in the field again. It has been there probably close to 40 years.
 

steve66

Senior Member
Location
Illinois
Occupation
Engineer
They are installed in concrete, but they have collapsed? I'd say your odds of getting a reamer through is slim.

More important maybe why they collapsed, and will it just happen again in the same place, or in another place?

I thought the pipe liners were for stopping leaks, not for repairing collapsed pipes.
 
Location
Oklahoma
Occupation
Professional Engineer
These are concrete encased duct banks between manholes. Schedule 40 PVC conduit, EB schedule conduit and Orangeburg conduits have all been used. The Orangeburg conduit has collapsed internal to the duct bank encasement due to deterioration of the the Orangeburg itself. This renders that section of duct bank unusable for pulling new cable through. The Concrete encasement is not deteriorated. Basically, the Orangeburg was used as a leave in place form.
As relates to the liner, there are some ASTM listed HDPE conduits that might be pulled into the existing void after the Orangeburg is removed.
As you have surmised, reaming out the existing Orangeburg without destroying the concrete encasement integrity is the issue.
 

don_resqcapt19

Moderator
Staff member
Location
Illinois
Occupation
retired electrician
It was a fibrous composite, but I don't believe it ever contained asbestos. It was never fire proof. From Wiki:

Orangeburg pipe was made of wood pulp sealed with liquified coal tar pitch in inside diameters from 2 inches to 18 inches, with a perforated version for leach fields. Joints were made of the same material, and, because of the residual stickiness of the coal tar, were sealed without adhesives. Orangeburg was inexpensive, lightweight, albeit brittle, and soft enough to be cut with a handsaw.

Orangeburg was a low cost alternative to metal for sewer lines in particular. Lack of strength causes pipes made of Orangeburg to fail more frequently than pipes made with other materials. The useful life for an Orangeburg pipe is about 50 years under ideal conditions, but has been known to fail in as little as 10 years. It has been taken off the list of acceptable materials by most building codes.
Other sources say:
"Technically, the term 'Orangeburg' is the brand name of a sewer pipe made by the Orangeburg Manufacturing Co., Inc. of Orangeburg, New York. The generic name for this type of pipe is 'bituminous fiber pipe.' The pipe is made of a combination of cellulose and asbestos fibers impregnated with a bituminous (coal tar) compound.
 

Todd0x1

Senior Member
Location
CA
This would probably make quite a mess, but I wonder if a sewer jetter would be able to break up the orangeburg.
 

Dell3c

Member
Location
WA
Occupation
Electrician
These are concrete encased duct banks between manholes. Schedule 40 PVC conduit, EB schedule conduit and Orangeburg conduits have all been used. The Orangeburg conduit has collapsed internal to the duct bank encasement due to deterioration of the the Orangeburg itself. This renders that section of duct bank unusable for pulling new cable through. The Concrete encasement is not deteriorated. Basically, the Orangeburg was used as a leave in place form.
As relates to the liner, there are some ASTM listed HDPE conduits that might be pulled into the existing void after the Orangeburg is removed.
As you have surmised, reaming out the existing Orangeburg without destroying the concrete encasement integrity is the issue.
For it's worth.. The way my foreman explained it to me in the early yrs. The concrete was poured into the duct bank, the method employing use of "dog box" in filtering the concrete & keeping that product and falling directly on the conduit in the duct bank. As explained by foreman yrs ago, eventually conduit would erode, leaving hollow cellular "round space" in duct bank, as being much similar to "cellular concrete raceway".. I personally haven't run across another installation of this product anywhere, in my latter years of the trade. This being why I'm personally interested in outcome of your thread..
 

steve66

Senior Member
Location
Illinois
Occupation
Engineer
These are concrete encased duct banks between manholes. Schedule 40 PVC conduit, EB schedule conduit and Orangeburg conduits have all been used. The Orangeburg conduit has collapsed internal to the duct bank encasement due to deterioration of the the Orangeburg itself. This renders that section of duct bank unusable for pulling new cable through. The Concrete encasement is not deteriorated. Basically, the Orangeburg was used as a leave in place form.
As relates to the liner, there are some ASTM listed HDPE conduits that might be pulled into the existing void after the Orangeburg is removed.
As you have surmised, reaming out the existing Orangeburg without destroying the concrete encasement integrity is the issue.
Now I've got it. I was wondering why the conduit would fail if the concrete is still intact. Orangeburg would typically fail from water pressure forces, or tree roots, or something similar. None of these should be present for an electrical duct in concrete.

But I guess its possible that the higher operating tempeerature of the MV cable could have caused the conduit to sag and collapse from its own weight.
 

gadfly56

Senior Member
Location
New Jersey
Occupation
Professional Engineer, Fire & Life Safety
Other sources say:
"Technically, the term 'Orangeburg' is the brand name of a sewer pipe made by the Orangeburg Manufacturing Co., Inc. of Orangeburg, New York. The generic name for this type of pipe is 'bituminous fiber pipe.' The pipe is made of a combination of cellulose and asbestos fibers impregnated with a bituminous (coal tar) compound.
Interesting. I couldn't find any data sheets on the product from any manufacturer.
 

don_resqcapt19

Moderator
Staff member
Location
Illinois
Occupation
retired electrician
Interesting. I couldn't find any data sheets on the product from any manufacturer.
As far as data sheets I think the product predates when we started getting concerned about that type of information.

I recall being told in the past that it has asbestos in it.

There are sewer contractors that do reline that product, but they would not have training to be able to work in a manhole with any energized conductors. Not sure what the actual ID would be when they are finished, if you could get one to do the work.
 

norcal

Senior Member
They stopped making Orangeburg pipe in 1973, good riddance had that garbage run into the crawlspace about 4-5 feet under the house, between the tree roots & it collapsing internally made live miserable until it was replaced. It was done in 1957 before inspections, so they ran the black iron pipe on the ground, neither met any code.
 

gadfly56

Senior Member
Location
New Jersey
Occupation
Professional Engineer, Fire & Life Safety
My dad ran some perforated Orangeburg in the front lawn to get the downspouts away from the house. I'm sure by now that it's flattened into a single tarry mass. We're going to let sleeping dogs lie on that one.
 
Location
Oklahoma
Occupation
Professional Engineer
All,
I appreciate your input. I will keep monitoring this and update it as I find out more and possible solutions.
Thanks again.
Richard A Geisler, P.E, LEED®° AP
BE SAFE TODAY
 

Cow

Senior Member
Location
Eastern Oregon
There are sewer contractors that do reline that product, but they would not have training to be able to work in a manhole with any energized conductors. Not sure what the actual ID would be when they are finished, if you could get one to do the work.
I agree, a sewer contractor would be where I would start.

Once you have the orangeburg reamed out, maybe this process would help you capture as much of the internal OD back as possible:

 

hillbilly1

Senior Member
Location
Atlanta,Ga
Occupation
Field coordinator/ technical support
I agree, a sewer contractor would be where I would start.

Once you have the orangeburg reamed out, maybe this process would help you capture as much of the internal OD back as possible:

I wonder how sticky that liner would be pulling conductors back in? Might take a whole lot of Yellow77 LOL!
 
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