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Does anyone have any PVC pipe horror stories?

Discussion in 'The Lounge' started by divorced, Jul 5, 2005.

  1. divorced

    divorced 3/4 ton status

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    Not like this "One time I had a couple of suspicious looking pieces of PVC pipe stalking me, and it was really kind of freaky..."

    But any horror stories of it exploding when used as air line? I recently plumbed in some PVC air line and a regulator and everything has been fine ever since... then I come across a post from another forum that ranks PVC pipe near Satan. Now I'm paranoid about exploding PVC pipe in my shop. Should I yank it out and switch to steel or copper?





    :wink1:
     
  2. justhorsinaround

    justhorsinaround 3/4 ton status

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    Never heard any stories about exploding PVC. I guess though if it gets dry rotted or sun faded or brittle in any way it could let go. Course rusty steel could do the same thing.

    Copper would be the best of course but as long as the PVC is in good shape I wouldn't worry about it. As a matter fact I'm giving some consideration to doing the very same thing here in the not to distant future out of the Poly Vinyl Chloride stuff.
     
  3. divorced

    divorced 3/4 ton status

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  4. Thunder

    Thunder 3/4 ton status

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    As Long as you use the White SCH40 PVC Or grey SCH80 you should be fine. I would not use the thin wall stuff for an air line, or water line for that matter. It is junk.
    FYI
    PVC pipe is designed for liqiuds. It is not recomended for use with compressed air or gasses by most PVC mamufactures. It is also againstOSHA regs,(But what isn't? LOL) to use PVC for an air line.
    But I have used SCH40 many times to plumb airlines in a shop/garage with no problem. It is best if you keep line pressure under 100 lbs just to be safe and run your lines where they cant be damaged or broken.
    If you are worried about it busting. Then yes yank it out and replace it with metal pipe. Just for your piece of mind.
     
  5. CyberSniper

    CyberSniper 1/2 ton status Premium Member

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    I've watched PVC pipe shatter. It's kind of neat how it sticks in drywall. It's amazing what happens when cold PVC pipe under 150psi does when a piece of metal falls against it.

    I plumbed my Dad's garage with copper. It cost about $80 for all the copper and another $100 for all the Milton couplers.

    I wouldn't use PVC. It has a finite lifespan, doesn't take well to heat, sunlight, or chemicals, and is rather dangerous under pressure. Copper doesn't rust just like PVC, doesn't give a rip about heat until the solder melts, doesn't acknowledge sunlight, and only splits under pressure.

    If you were to use the proper kind of plastic tube for air that'd be alright. I think they're all PE which just distorts and splits like metal.
     
  6. newyorkin

    newyorkin 1 ton status

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    I experimented with 4 inch PVC when building an on-board air system in my old K5. I don't remember what I did, but at one point, I pressurized the little "tank" I made, and after like 5 minutes, and end cap or something shot off like a grenade. I don't remember exactly what happened, but I remember being glad it wasn't pointed at my head...

    My dad plumbed his garage with PVC about a year ago, and it's been fine. He's actually only got 2 or three lines of it.

    After reading the comments here, though, I'm thinking maybe I'll replace it with copper for him, or file down a couple places so it bursts there when it ages instead of shattering... His is all run along beams, and I'd say fairly safe from being hit by anything.
     
  7. Corey 78K5

    Corey 78K5 1 ton status

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    I plumbed My Dads shop with SC40 PVC 4 years ago and have had zero problems. The air tank is regulated at 120 psi. I would have used steel or copper if We lived in a cold part of the country, it does get brittle in freezing weather.
     
  8. ntsqd

    ntsqd 1/2 ton status

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    I'd use copper. I've seen the aftermath of a brittle PVC failure. It happened right here in So. CA on the coast. It went during the night when no one was at the body shop a friend used to own. Convinced me not to use PVC.

    One thing that isn't mentioned often is how you route the system. Always pull a spur line off the top of the trunk (main) line. That way most of the condensation stays in the trunk line. The trunk line should have a slight slope to it with the far end of it coming down the wall to a point below any coupler. At the bottom of tube put in a drain. If the trunk line is a long run, the high point should be at the middle of the run with drains at both ends. Every spur line should extend below the coupler and have a drain. If you have a really long run consider putting in a second tank at the far end of the run. That will keep the pressure more uniform during high volume demand times.
     
  9. divorced

    divorced 3/4 ton status

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    Thanks everyone for the replies. It does get real cold here and my line is were it can be damaged easily. I have a valve at my compressor that I turn off when I'm not using the air, so the line is only pressurized when I need air for something. I guess I can add another project to my "things to do" list - change from PVC to copper/steel :crazy:
     
  10. Emmettology 101

    Emmettology 101 3/4 ton status

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    A friend of mine and I plumbed his garage with white PVC over the winter. Some of it was 300psi and the other stuff was 600psi... Only one problem when we did it. We both missed glueing a joint by the regulator. It held up to about 120psi and then blew apart taking some of the nearby line with it. Once we fixed that area, he has had no problems.
     
  11. MTMike

    MTMike 1/2 ton status

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    When I was a kid, my dad and I trenched 3" PVC underground as an irrigation system from the ditch above their house (about 500' worth) with many smaller diameter (from 2" to 1/2") branches & joints to distribute water all throughout the property.

    This was about 12-13 years ago. In that time, we've had to replace about a half-dozen sections, mainly of the smaller diameter stuff (never the 3") due to geysers. Some have been joints that gave out, some have been sections of pipe that gave, all were a hassle to repair.

    For indoor plumbing, I'd never use PVC for source lines or any pressurized lines.
     
  12. gone huntin

    gone huntin 1/2 ton status Premium Member

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    Our shop is plumbed with pvc which sees 150 psi everyday. Our shop is 100'x50' and it has 6 drops throughout the shop.
     
  13. R72K5

    R72K5 Banned

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    my stepdad plumbed his garage with white pvc, so far so good

    although i dont go there anymore now, at all.,

    im too paranoid about it

    i like to remove excess risk from my life, i risk it enough as it is, mostly in the past though, i consider myself real damned lucky to have never been seriously injured or maimed


    an exploding pvc pipe would do it though,.
     
  14. newyorkin

    newyorkin 1 ton status

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    Dude, I'm cracking up at that. I'm picturing like a Bill Murray character walking into a shop and turning around and walking out like, "There's PVC in there! You didn't tell me there was PVC!"
    :rotfl: :rotfl:
     

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