Making A Pipe Dream Come True
From left, Pacific Pipe Restoration
lead technician Romeo Penafiel
and owner John Nakamura show
homeowner Chris Jay how they
cycle airflow during the
John Nakamura’s business, Pacific Pipe Restoration, cleans pipes that corrode, rust and leak - without tearing up the house.
These pipes are the ones that carry water to drink, brush your teeth and shower.
Nakamura and his four employees can correct the pipe problem without jackhammering concrete or ripping out walls to replace pipes.
“This technology is new to Hawaii, but it’s not new to the United States,” says Nakamura, who brought it to the 50th state last year.
The 1977 Leilehua grad has taken care of single-family homes, condos, townhouses and schools on Oahu from Waialae-Iki to Ewa Beach.
“One of the first signs of rusting is a yellow-brownish color that comes out,” the Kaimuki resident explains. “
Then it’s low water pressure. You know, when someone flushes the toilet while someone else is taking a shower, then the water temperature changes.”
He says in homes 30 to 40 years old, corrosion and rust hit pipes. The other problem is
leaky copper pipes in newer homes.
It takes about two and a half days to complete the restoration process.
“We do provide a temporary water bypass hose to provide cold water to a toilet and sink in a bathroom so you don’t have to go to a family member’s home to (use the bathroom),” he says.
For rusty pipes, they sand the inside of the pipes with hot air and garnet to blast out the corrosion. A liquid epoxy coating is then used to create a new lining in the pipe so the water can flow freely, and to seal any leaks.
On the final day of the project, the water valves are lined with new material, and water is tested before the company leaves the job site.
“It’s very pleasing to see they have the water pressure back, and it looks like we didn’t even show up,” he notes about the cleanliness of the work.
“And we save the customer 30-50 percent with our in-place restoration method.”
As president of the company, Nakamura handles the project management and is on the job site with the crew.
His wife Wendy serves as vice president of the company and handles the office work and human resources.
Nakamura had been doing pipe restoration since 1990 with American Pipelining in California until he returned home to open his company in Hawaii last year.
He’s been spreading the word about his work through a booth at trade shows, passing out brochures and some advertising.
Nakamura notes that one of the challenges he faces is explaining to his customers the step-by-step process.
To solve that problem, he uses easy-to-understand analogies to which everyone can relate. When he’s done explaining parts of the procedure to his clients, sometimes Nakamura validates them with “You’re an expert now.”
Pacific Pipe Restoration is located at 923-A Hikina Lane. For more
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