Technical Blog

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.

If you are interested in having the response to your question considered for posting,
e-mail John at techblog@uni-bell.org

We encourage you to connect to John’s Blog by bookmarking this page or by connecting our Technical Blog to your RSS feed program.

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.

External Load Design Calculator for PVC Pipe

Posted By John Houle on May 11, 2020

Modified Iowa EquationThe PVC Pipe Association has released a new online version of its external load design program for calculating earth and live loads for PVC pipe. It follows the latest edition of the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation’s Manual M25 "Method for Prediction of Flexible Pipe Deflection."

Users can input project conditions such as pipe size, pipe stiffness, depth of burial and live load type. Then the designer can choose from soils-related options such as unit weight of soil, E’ for embedment soil and E’ for native soil. Based on input variables, the calculator will provide theoretical loads (in psi) and pipe deflection expressed as a percentage of diameter.

Designers of buried PVC pipe will find that this calculator streamlines the design process and provides the ability to quickly determine a pipe’s deflection and/or to perform a sensitivity analysis for various installation conditions.

Click here for calculator.