Welcome to John’s Blog. Answers to frequently asked questions are periodically posted here. The objective is to share information about PVC pipe with readers as well as with utilities, design engineers and pipe installers. The blog provides the latest information on PVC pipe design, installation, and application for water and wastewater infrastructure projects.
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John Houle: Senior Technical Consultant, PVC Pipe Industry
John Houle holds a Master’s Degree in Civil Engineering from the University of Missouri and an MBA from the University of Oregon. He has more than 25 years of experience in the plastic pipe industry in applications engineering, market development, forensic analysis, technical writing, and standards development.
Question – one question that I hear quite often about testing of installed PVC pressure pipe is: “What is the maximum test pressure I can use?” Answer – since every component of a pressure pipeline has a pressure rating, the simple reply is: Do not exceed the pressure rating of any of the pipeline components.
AWWA first included cyclic design for PVC pipe in the 2007 edition of the C900 standard. The same method was later incorporated into the C905-2010 and the C900-16 standards.
“Conservative” design is taught continually to all engineers during college and throughout their employment. I think we can all agree that this is a good idea – we don’t want engineers to cut corners and cause potential problems.
Questions sometimes arise about which way the bell should be positioned in a PVC pipeline. Typically there are two concerns: 1. Does bell direction make a difference in pipeline hydraulics? 2. Does it make a difference during installation?
Occasionally I hear a report about safety issues with air-testing of sewer pipes. The story usually starts with “An end-plug let go.” There was a sudden whoosh of air out of the manhole that had potential consequences for nearby personnel.
Engineers who are unfamiliar with PVC pressure pipe sometimes have a list of questions about the product. These questions, which often arise from misinformation propagated by competitive materials, usually have logical answers based on engineering principles.
The PVC Pipe Association has re-issued its “Tapping Guide.” The new guide includes additional diagrams and photos, as well as expanded text — all in a more logical, readable format.
Installation of PVC pipe into mechanical joint (MJ) appurtenances is a very common occurrence in North American municipal pressure pipelines. Problems with MJ connections can be minimized if proper installation techniques are used.
There are many different outside diameter (OD) types used for PVC pipe for various pressure and non-pressure applications. Not only are there several OD types, there are also associated abbreviations to add to the mix.
Uni-Bell has recently published a new document titled, Design and Installation Guide – PVC Fittings and Laterals for Solid-Wall PVC Sewer Pipe. The guide provides information on appropriate system design and proper installation of PVC fittings products where solid-wall PVC pipe is used in non-pressure applications.
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