When you’re responsible for installing all of the heating, ventilation, air conditioning and plumbing in a 40-story apartment building, ensuring that all pipes that penetrate floors are completely water tight is vitally important. But on a recent construction project in downtown Seattle, mechanical contractor MacDonald Miller ran into problems. As the tower was being built, the steel sleeving system they had installed began to leak around the pipe penetrations. With water leaking through the sleeves down to the finished floors below, the company needed a solution that didn’t require the addition of silicone caulk, etc.

The Hydroflame™ Sleeving System Offered Some Vital Advantages

After meeting with their HOLDRITE representative, MacDonald Miller decided to give the HOLDRITE®  HydroFlame™ sleeving system a try.The HOLDRITE HydroFlame patented cast-in-place technology is unrivaled in the protection of lives, property and investment. The sleeve’s internal and external water seals offer double protection against water intrusion. Its mid-body seal also allows for contraction and expansion of piping systems and the surrounding concrete floor slab, while still protecting against the spread of water, smoke and poisonous gas in the event of a fire. The product line meets and exceeds building code requirements.

“There were three things that sold us on HydroFlame,” explains Piping Operations Manager Randy Borman. “Number one, HydroFlame sleeves have an excellent water seal. Number two, HOLDRITE would be able to fabricate all of the sleeves to our height specifications. And finally, HydroFlame would also solve some issues we’ve had with our tub boxes.”

“The tub boxes we used in the past were not deep enough to house the bathtub drain with tubs that sat flat on the deck,” adds Plumbing Superintendent Mike Kunkel. “We had improvised with various fillers, but HOLDRITE was able to offer a four-inch-deep Styrofoam insert that alleviated that problem.”
“We’ve had problems with other company’s sleeves because their caps are not safe to walk on after the sleeve is poured into place, and their sleeves can be very difficult to water seal. The HydroFlame sleeves were ordered one-quarter-inch lower than the finished concrete slab. After the concrete pour the rated safety caps were safe to walk on.”

Of course, one of the big concerns for any sleeve is preventing water from traveling from floor to floor, and the HydroFlame sleeves worked very well in this regard. The system proved to be water-tight as promised, which solved the water leakage problem they experienced with other sleeves. It also ensured that if any water event should occur during the life of the building, the problem will be isolated to that floor and will not penetrate to the floors below. This was a major HydroFlame selling point for Sellen Construction Company, the project’s general contractor.

Plus, HOLDRITE was able to deliver the pre-fabricated sleeves and tub boxes packaged into floor-specific crates – a much-appreciated convenience for MacDonald-Miller.

“The whole process was much easier than we thought it would be,” states Borman. “We were impressed that HOLDRITE was able to meet our order and delivery requirements for the job. Other manufacturers also offer pre-fabrication options, but HOLDRITE actually did it right. With other companies we’ve had two to three floors of products delivered incorrectly, then we had to sit and argue about who was responsible! None of that happened with HOLDRITE.”


New TESTRITE® DWV Testing System proved to be a labor saver as well

After meeting with their HOLDRITE representative, Borman and Kunkel also decided to install the new TESTRITE® DWV Testing System on this project. Unlike traditional clean-out tees, where the tees and the test devices are made by a variety of manufacturers and may not work well together, TESTRITE provides all-in-one convenience with tees and test devices that work ideally together.

“We’ve found that with other testing methods typically the tee and the test device don’t work well together,” Borman notes. “You try to pull the test device out and you get water all over the place! With the HOLDRITE TESTRITE tee you can fill it up, test it, let water pass through the tee, put the cap back in and you’re done. It eliminates the ‘water everywhere’ problem, and also provides an extremely water tight seal to test against. This is a very solid testing system, and water does not leak past the tee. Just like the HydroFlame sleeve, these proved to be a labor saver and water tight.”


All sleeving and DWV Testing Systems are not equal. The right products can mean the difference between a successful construction project and a water-soaked disaster.

For more information about MacDonald-Miller, visit http://macmiller.com.