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Installation & Maintenance (Metallic Expansion Joints)

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Pipe Expansion Joints: Do’s and Don’ts: From the “Standards of the Expansion Joint Manufacturers Association, Inc”



  • Inspect for damage during shipment, i.e., dents, broken hardware, watermarks on the carton, etc.
  • Store in a clean dry area where it will not be exposed to heavy traffic or damaging environment.
  • Use only designated lifting lugs.
  • Make the piping systems fit the expansion joint. By stretching, compressing, or offsetting the joint to fit the piping, the joint may be overstressed when the system is in service.
  • It is good practice to leave one flange loose until the expansion joint has been fitted into position. Make necessary adjustment of loose flange before welding.
  • Install joint with an arrow pointing in the direction of flow.
  • Install single Van stone liners, pointing in the direction of flow. Be sure to install a gasket between the mating flange and liner.
  • With telescoping Van stone liners, install the smallest I.D. liner pointing in the direction of flow.
  • Remove all shipping devices after the installation is complete and before any pressure test of the fully installed system.
  • Remove any foreign material that may have become lodged between the convolutions.
  • Refer to EJMA Standards for proper guide spacing and anchor recommendations.
  • Do not drop or strike carton.
  • Do not remove shipping bars until installation is complete.
  • Do not remove any moisture-absorbing desiccant bags or protective coatings until ready for installation.
  • Do not use hanger lugs as lifting lugs without the approval of the manufacturer.
  • Do not use chains or any lifting device directly on the bellows or bellows cover.
  • Do not allow weld splatter to hit unprotected bellows. Protect with wet chloride-free insulation.
  • Do not use cleaning agents that contain chlorides.
  • Do not use steel wool or wire brushes on bellows.
  • Do not force-rotate one end of an expansion joint for alignment of bolt holes. Ordinary bellows are not capable of absorbing torque.
  • Do not hydrostatic pressure test or evacuate the system before installation of all guides and anchors. Pipe hangers are not adequate guides.
  • Do not exceed a pressure test 1-½ times the rated working pressure of the expansion joint.
  • Do not use shipping bars to retain thrust if tested prior to installation.
  • Pipe hangers are not adequate guides.

Refer to EJMA Standard for proper guide spacing and anchor recommendations.
NOTE: The manufacturer’s warranty may be void if improper installation procedures have been used.