Hot Tap

What is Hot Tapping?

Hot Tap

A Hot Tap is defined as using a drilling machine to cut a hole into an in-service, under-pressure piping system. This is done without service interruption or product leakage. Typical applications of a Hot Tap include making a branch connection, initiating a bypass and allowing performance of a Line Stop. Components required to perform a Hot Tap normally include a fitting designed to contain system pressure, a valve used to control the new connection and a drilling or tapping machine.

Hot/Wet/Cold Tap and Line Stopping/Plugging services allow our client to modify, maintain and repair pressurized systems with no interruption of production. As a recognized leader in the Hot/Wet/Cold Tapping and Line Stopping/Plugging services business, EA Services strives to provide the highest level of customer satisfaction to the water and waste water, commercial building, industrial piping, process facilities, mining, power generation, paper, pulp, refining, petrochemical, liquid and gas transmission pipelines and offshore markets. Our equipment and service technicians are prepared to meet any challenge 24/7/365 whether it be emergency, planned or routine maintenance activities of our clients.

Hot Tap Capabilities

  • Available in size ranges 1/2 inch through 60 inch diameter cut sizes and a boring bar stroke (reach) of over 120 inches.
  • Available off the shelf for up to 1480 psig maximum operating pressure and temperatures as high as 700° F. Custom designs and packers offered for higher system requirements.
  • Power driven with pneumatic or hydraulic drives featuring a new level of sophistication and dependability.
  • Complete dimensional compatibility with industry standards of consumables and equipment. This means that most other major brands of cutters, pilot drills, holders, adapters, etc. will also fit onto our new generation of equipment.
  • Install pig sigs and thermowells.

Hot tapping is a process of cutting holes into pipe, tanks, or any pressurized vessel without interrupting system function and with no release or loss of product. Hot taps permit new tie-ins to existing systems, the insertion of devices into the flow stream, permanent or temporary bypasses, and are the preparatory stage for line plugging.

Angle hot tapping: This procedure refers to any hot tap where the centerline of the tapping nozzle is not perpendicular to the surface being tapped. Before welding, contact EA Services to discuss degree of angulation and the possible need for a centering device to stabilize the pilot drill. We are currently equipped to perform angle taps in sizes 1" through 24", as much as 45° off perpendicular, and into the heel of short or long radius ells.

Tapping blind flanges and heavy-wall vessels: Hot tapping heavy-wall vessels and blind flanges is not a problem, provided special issues are addressed in the design of the branch connection. Please consult EA Services prior to welding to discuss these considerations.

Tapping materials other than carbon steel: In addition to carbon steel, we commonly tap cement lined pipe, transite, cast iron, stainless steel and other alloys, plastic and fiberglass. Although we tap these materials frequently, additional information such as the thickness and composition of linings, hardness of alloys, or type of fitting and valve through which we will be operating may be needed to insure that proper equipment is provided for your job.

Tapping materials that can not be welded: If it is necessary to tap or plug a line that cannot be welded, such as cast iron, transite, or even carbon steel in an area where welding is not permitted, a bolt-on tapping or plugging fitting can be provided. EA Services offers mechanical fittings by several quality manufacturers, giving us the latitude to provide the right fitting at the right price and delivery for your job. If a standard product does not suit your application, one can be custom fabricated that will meet your needs.

Hot Tap Photos

(click images to enlarge)

Line Stop in Manufacturing Plant

Hot Tap in Manufacturing Plant


24" Hot Tap in Industrial Manufacturing Plant

Performing 48 inch Hot Tap

Performing 48" Hot Tap

48 inch line Stop Cutter

48" Hot Tap

Angle Tap

Angle Tap

Hot Tap