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January 2022

Water Main Renewal With PLASSON Hot Tapping System


icon The Project

PLASSON was asked to present a solution for a reliable live tap on a residential water main that was:

  • Easy to install
  • Install on pressurized pipe
  • Cost-effective
  • A long-life and leak-free connection

icon The Solution

  • PLASSON Large Bore Saddle for main pipe 500-630mm and 250mm offtake
  • PLASSON Hot Tapping Tool
  • PLASSON Clamping Tool
  • Plasson Core Citter

The products

  • PLASSON Large Bore Saddle for
    main pipe 500-630mm and
    250mm_ offtake
  • PLASSON Hot Tapping Tool
  • PLASSON Clamping Tool
  • PLASSON Core Cutter


The project was an installation of a new section of a water main underneath a railway line. To ensure continued supply of water while the existing main line was replaced, a temporary 250mm PE bypass to the existing main was also required.

Using a PLASSON Large Bore Saddle and hot tapping tool, the hot tap was performed on the existing 500mm PN16 PE pipe while still under pressure.

PLASSON is the only supplier that offers a complete system which includes the Saddle, Hot Tapping Tool, Clamping Tool and Core Cutter.

This hot tap allowed the main to remain running, and water supply to the town was ensured during installation.

The installation into the existing main was underneath the water table, so continuous pumping was needed to conduct the weld and perform the hot tap. The PLASSON Large Bore Saddle 500-630mm x 250mm was installed in place with minimal digging and required only lightweight equipment.

A Weld Integrity Test port is incorporated into the PLASSON Large Bore Saddle to enable a pressure test before cutting into the pipe.

The Clamping Tool also leaves a mark on the saddle to show if the correct clamp has been used at the correct tension. A Tension Force Indicator (TFI) is built into the strap mechanism – larger saddle sizes
are tightened with a torque wrench.

The unique design of the PLASSON Large Bore Saddle means the weld extends into the area of highest stress in the saddle. This reinforces this area of potential weakness, increasing the strength of the weld and ensuring a long life span.

The job was completed in 1.5 days. On day one, the saddle was installed on the pipe and pressure tested. On day two, the live
tapping was performed.


Why Kenkar Recommend
The PLASSON Hot Tapping System

Nathan Van Den Borne – Director, KenKar Plastics

Pressure Test Before Drilling
“With PLASSON, you can pressure test the saddle before you drill a hole in the pipe. This means valuable options if the bond isn’t good. We’ve been doing this for over 10 years. With EF, you need time, pressure and heat but with pipe that’s not in great condition, there’s definitely an art to it. Being able to pressure test before drilling is hugely helpful.”

Retrieving The Coupon After Drilling
“If you can’t recover the coupon, it is floating around in the main. That seems crazy. It is just a matter of time until that blocks something. With the core cutter being able to remove the coupon, PLASSON really delivers here.”


PLASSON Hot Tapping System Offers Peace-Of-Mind
This wasn’t an easy task considering the difficult site conditions. PLASSON was able to present a reliable solution that gave us the confidence to perform a live tap that works. On top of it, we highly valued the ease of installation of products as well as the time-saving and cost-effective element that comes with it.
Damien Heffernan Project Engineer, KenKar Plastics
The hardest thing with this type of hot tapping is getting a good bond with the saddle.
With jobs like this, the pipe won't be in perfect condition. There will be nicks and gouging - it could have been buried for years.
One thing we do like about PLASSON Large Bore Saddles is the ability to pressure test before drilling the coupon. That's big!
It saves huge time and hassles if the saddle hasn't bonded fully.
Nathan Van Den Borne Director, KenKar Plastics

Why PLASSON Won The Job

Joshua Kirton – PLASSON Australia CEO

“One of the key benefits of PLASSON’s Large Bore Saddle is its ease of installation compared to the alternatives. If they didn’t have a reliable saddle and hot tap solution, the line would have to be shut down interrupting water supply.
They would have had to use a large reducing tee requiring a much larger access hole, heavy lifting equipment, cumbersome butt welding machine access and much longer installation times.
All not possible for this project, given the need to maintain water supply and the tight access due to the railway line.”