Wet Tapping

Wet Tapping and Hot Tapping are synonymous terms describing the cutting of a hole in an existing pressure main. A Tapping Sleeve and Valve are used to facilitate the cutting of the hole in the main while under pressure, providing a permanent branch connection. This can be performed on all types of pipe and under many flow and pressure conditions without interruption to the system.

Rangeline provides our Wet/Hot Tapping Services from 1/2 inch to 48 inch Tapped holes. Wet/Hot Tapping can be performed on all types of pipe materials and products. Here are some examples of the types of pipes, products and applications Wet/Hot Tapping can be used.




  • Cast Iron
  • Ductile Iron
  • P.V.C. and H.D.P.E.
  • Asbestos Cement / Transite
  • Pre-Stressed Concrete Cylinder
  • Non-Cylinder Concrete
  • Stainless Steel
  • Steel and Copper


  • Water
  • Glycol
  • Sewer
  • Chilled Water
  • Re-Use Water
  • Steam
  • Gasoline / Jet Fuel
  • Natural Gas


  • New Construction tie-ins
  • By-Pass piping installation
  • Pipe Inspection
  • New pipeline construction
  • Sample points of quality control
  • Flow Meter installation
  • Thermowell insertion
  • Custom Engineering

The Wet Tapping process allows professionals to deliver supplementary tie-ins or modifications to an existing system that is either pressurized or in service without any interruption to that system. This essentially saves the customers large amounts of money that are involved in both the shutdown of the system as well as cutting into a mechanical tee.

The experts at Rangeline cut a hole into an existing main. The size of the hole depends on the services required. Our Wet Tapping Service uses different types of pipe tapping and drilling machines in order to install new connections for additional branches. This occurs within existing pipelines that are operating under various pressures up to 500 PSI and products. The Rangeline experts complete this process without leaking any product or any interruption to the system.

The Wet Tapping process generally uses a custom-designed fitting that contains system pressure, a valve that controls the new connection(s) and a drilling machine that cuts the pipe. Rangeline can perform taps on all pipe types including Cast Iron, Ductile Iron, Steel, Copper, Transite, Asbestos Cement, Concrete (PCCP) or PVC. Additional special applications are available upon request. Ultimately, by having your wet tapping process completed by our professional team of experts, you save not only time, but also money. Rangeline prevents shutdowns, repairs valves, installs sampling ports, fire lines or sensors, insolates pressure vessels and decommissions piping. These are just some of the many services that the Rangeline experts can perform for your system.

Installation Process

During a typical wet tapping installation, the mounting of a tapping sleeve or saddle is performed to the systems’ main. The type used will depend on the person overseeing the system as well as the system’s requirements itself. After this mounting occurs, a permanent valve is installed and our expert team will then pressure test the system this newly installed material. This makes sure the integrity of the system is not compromised.

After the test is verified, our staff attaches our tapping machine to the valve itself. Based on the application chosen for the job, a hole or tap is made into the main, a tank or a pressurized vessel. The tapping machine used advances through both the tapping valve and sleeve. The bit cutter chosen is attached to this shaft and then makes the cut through the wall of the pipe itself. The bit pilot drill chosen helps to retains the cut pipe or coupon section when it is retracted. Ultimately, tap sizes can be from ½ inch to 48-inch holes. The piece that is removed, the coupon, is retracted from the main through the permanent valve we just installed with the same pressure required for the system. After this retraction, the valve is closed and the tapping machine disconnected.

Also known as corporation taps, wet taps usually occur within sewer or water mains. This typically occurs with commercial or residential services. The wet tap process allows for a new connection to be made without disruption to the service or flow of your product.

Difference Between Hot Tap Vs. Wet Tap

Essentially these two Rangeline services are the same and both provide additional connections to a piping system. However the difference between the two is the material from which the systems are made from. Hot taps are performed on products which are something other than water and sewage and usually on pipes like copper, brass, stainless steel, carbon or galvanized steel, just to name a few. These types of materials require a more welded application then that of a wet tap that involves materials that cannot be welded. Typically hot taps are performed in more industrial settings such as hospitals, high rise buildings, chemical plants or refineries.

What Rangeline Promises You

Rangeline’s extensive history in tapping services lends them nearly 20 years of experience in saving their customers money. We offer Wet Tapping or Hot Tapping services as well as Line Stopping and Valve Inserts processes. We at Rangeline believe in finding safe and cost-effective ways to repair or modify pipeline systems without shutting them down. We believe in saving our customers money and providing a service that is trusted for years to come. Rangeline operates and maintains the largest selection of waterworks tapping and line stopping equipment in the United States. Our services are backed by our expert team of seasoned professionals who are ready and willing to work on your project today.

24/7 Service

We are at your service 24 hours a day 7 days a week and 365 days a year.

We stock fittings for most applications and have equipment, material and service technician’s standing by. We can be ready to mobilize within an hour. Please call our toll free “Emergency” Hot line number at 1-800-346-5971 for immediate assistance.

Contact Us

Wet tapping is the process of connecting new pipe to an existing pipe installation without having to interrupt the service at any point. The process is different depending upon a number of different factors. In most installations, a tapping sleeve is used to cover the existing pipe that is about to be tapped and have new pipe added on to it. The tapping valve will then be connected to the sleeve. Following the installation of the tapping valve, a tapping machine is connected that begins the tapping process.
The tapping machine is the heart and soul of successful wet tap operations. With most tapping machines, they include a shaft that is able to extend, giving access to the tapping valve through the sleeve. A drill or shell cutter is used to cut through the side of the pipe, and larger taps are able to retain the portion of the pipe that is cut out, which is called the coupon.

The coupon measurements are important in order to ensure future pipe fittings can be appropriately applied to the installation. Then, the tapping valve is closed, assuming that the effort has gone correctly and there are no issues with the wet tap, but keep in mind that issues may arise.

Often times there are numerous things that lead to a wet tap not going as successfully as it could. Some of the more common issues that lead to the wet tap not going successfully include:

– Inexperienced personnel

As with any industry, having the right individuals there that know the business can help you to ensure that the job is done well. Because we are working with intricate details, it can be very easy to make a mistake when you do not have a lot of experience conducting wet tapping operations. Inexperienced personnel can quickly derail a wet tapping attempt, which is why we here at Rangeline have gone the extra mile in our employee training process to ensure that we are bringing experienced and proven individuals to each and every job.

– Wrong Materials

Not all pipes are meant to be tapped. Sometimes, further problems can arise if the tapping goes wrong, such as additional leaks. It is important that you are able to identify whether or not a certain pipe is even able to be wet tapped before beginning the process, and if so, make sure to contemplate workarounds.

– Incompatibility

You also need to make sure that all of your pipes, tools, and other materials are going to be compatible with one another. One of the biggest reasons why wet tapping jobs run into issues is due to using equipment and piping that are incompatible with one another. Make sure to inspect all equipment for compatibility before beginning the wet tapping process, as this is an issue that you do not want to deal with at a later time. This is especially true for larger diameter sizes. An easy way to ensure compatibility is to attempt to find materials from the same manufacturer. If there is a compatibility issue, we do offer custom fabricated fittings, which can help to fix a derailed wet tapping project that has been running into issues.

There are typically three different standards that are used when wet tapping. They are standards that were put together in order to ensure that certain performance and design standards are met in all operations when testing the tapping sleeves. In the Manufacturers Standardization Society Standards, pipes sized four inches through forty-eight inches are covered.

The MSS-Standard Practice III was originally created in 1992. The set of standards covers a wide range of topics, but mostly focuses on the design and performance for most tapping sleeves. The standard covers a wide range of dimensions, encompassing most jobs. The MSS-Standard includes and covers two dimensions. The first and most important is the inside diameter in the tapping sleeves branch. The total size has to be at least a quarter inch larger than the overall pipe size for easier access. This allows for shell clearance. The second consideration is the distance from the centerline to the flange on the tapping sleeve. The MSS-Standard relays maximum distances for each size, which cannot be surpassed for any reason. This ensures that the tapping machine will have enough travel to get deep into the pipe wall and successfully cut out a section of the pipe.

Other standards include the MSS-Standard Practice 60 and the MSS-Standard Practice 113. The Practice 60 Standard refers to the connecting joint that can be found between the tapping valve and the machine. This standard was created after the MSS-Standard Practice III in order to ensure that the two flanges are in alignment with one another, increasing the probability of a successful tap.

The MSS-Standard Practice 113 focuses on the joints that connect the tapping valve and tapping machine. This standard was created to limit interference issues with a number of different models of machines and valves.

There are many things that need to be taken into consideration in order to ensure that you are able to get the best possible results from your wet tap. You need to make sure that standards are followed to ensure that best chance of a successful outcome, and also have experience on your side. Here at Rangeline, we offer the highest quality of wet tapping services with our team of highly experienced and trained professionals, limiting issues and providing 24/7 emergency services to businesses in need.