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Old 08-31-2011, 08:59 AM
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Do as you will folks, but here is an OSHA directive advising against using PVC along with a couple of cases in point:

http://www.osha.gov/dts/hib/hib_data/hib19880520.html

PVC is cheap and easy to use to build an air system, but as I learned, dangerous. Just because it hasn't failed doesn't mean it wont. Many failure modes appear to be vibration and the heat/cool cycling

There are some plastic piping materials that are safe and recommended, but probably more expensive then copper or steel.


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Old 08-31-2011, 09:06 AM
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I have PVC running through my shop... And tested it up to 175psi.... I want to say the PVC is good for 600psi as far as I remember....

That said..I think the problem come's in, when you have some dumb A** pulling the 50ft hose 100ft, Yes you will cause the pipe to break.... I have been around a few shops with PVC ran through the shop... I have never seen a problem yet.... Can it happen ??? Yes.. anything can happen..
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Old 08-31-2011, 09:11 AM
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I guess its like wearing seat belts. You are OK as long as nothing happens.
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Old 08-31-2011, 09:24 AM
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Fellows that pressure rating don't mean squat when it comes to compressed gas. With fluid, and these pipes do sometimes spring leaks when used for plumbing, you get a leak but with any gas including air you get an explosion due to the expanding gas. It's the same as hydro testing a tank, if it bursts with water or oil it's no big deal but if it bursts with air it's a disaster! All the examples anyone can come up with of systems that have been in use for years are meaningless, it's the ones that didn't last that matter. Obviously every system using this stuff is not going to self-destruct in a matter of days just as that pistol won't fire every time when playing Russian Roulette, the question is how smart is it to take a chance? And no it is not just from bad installation, these pipes deteriorate for several different reasons, oil or other contaminates in the air, heat, age and exposure to sunlight which will degrade it in a hurry. Any plastic will degrade over time and PVC used in a shop will usually have an accelerated rate of decomposition because of exposure to elements it is not designed for-especially oil contamination. PVC is dangerous for air line use, that is a proven fact and to argue otherwise is just ignoring the dangers.
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Old 08-31-2011, 09:28 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chevymon
I guess its like wearing seat belts. You are OK as long as nothing happens.


Yea !!! Some people die wearing them, And some people die not wearing them...So what's best...
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Old 08-31-2011, 09:33 AM
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These are from OSHA not just something someone posted on a forum,

"PVC pipe not to be used in compressed air systems

-- The Department of Labor and Industries warned today that plastic polyvinyl chloride (PVC) pipe cannot be used in compressed air piping systems without the risk of explosion.

When PVC piping explodes, plastic shrapnel pieces are thrown in all directions.

"We're seeing more incidents of explosive failure, and we're citing more employers for using PVC air system piping," said Paul Merrill, senior safety inspector in L&I's Spokane office.


" Last year, a section of PVC pipe being used for compressed air exploded 27 feet above a warehouse floor. A fragment of the pipe flew 60 feet and embedded itself in a roll of paper. Fortunately, nobody was in the area at the time.

A PVC pipe explosion in a new plant in Selah broke an employee's nose and cut his face.

PVC piping buried 3 feet underground at a Yakima manufacturing plant exploded, opening up a crater approximately 4 feet deep by 3 feet across."



These are only a few of the examples I have seen of accident reports over the years going back to the mid 80's, I wish I could find some of those reports because they were real "eye openers" about what can, did and will happen because of using PVC for air line.


Fellows just don't do it because it is dangerous and don't let anyone tell you it is not!
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Old 08-31-2011, 09:47 AM
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i aint buying that 90 lbs of air pressure will create a crater 3x4 foot wide 3 ft deep.
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Old 08-31-2011, 10:06 AM
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If the crater was only 1 foot deep, would that make it safe enough?
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Old 08-31-2011, 10:12 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by shine
i aint buying that 90 lbs of air pressure will create a crater 3x4 foot wide 3 ft deep.


What's missing there is the size of the pipe and if that was, for example, a 2" inch pipe then it very well could have done that.

A pipe does not have to be big to cause serious damage however and one incident I personally saw is proof of that. While the rupture in this case can not be attributed to normal circumstances the results are still very telling. In this case a very comical incident involving a guy shooting at a rat with a 54 cal muzzleloader caused the rupture but the resulting shrapnel was anything but comical and it does not take a bullet to cause a rupture! The bullet struck an elbow right at the hose reel and of course serious damage would be expected but had this been metal line they would have had a serious leak. As it was about 30 to 35 feet of the line shattered and pieces of the pipe were thrown over the entire shop, two of the shards went through a vehicle window and embedded themselves in the seat with one going deep enough to make a bulge on the back side. Now before someone starts crowing about this being from a gun shot it must be considered that what caused the rupture is not the point, it's what happened after that matters and the rupture could just as easily have happened from a more likely source of impact with the same results.


This particular incident was a very comical situation that could have been a very serious incident but when the guy started to fire the gun everyone in the shop ran for cover and no one was hurt. Had that pipe ruptured because someone had, for instance, knocked over something that struck it then it's very likely that people would have been injured. The inside of that shop was testament to the damage a ruptured 3/4" PVC pipe can do and the fact it was caused by an idiot shooting at a rat is entirely beside the point.
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Old 08-31-2011, 10:22 AM
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i run 1/2 in sch40. not 2 in. i still want to know what pressure was in these lines . like i have said there is no reason to run all that pressure . i guess that is why i never had a failure.
and even 2 in buried 3 ft in the ground is not going to make a crater that size . just my opinion.

chevymon, i have no idea what you are getting at.
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Old 08-31-2011, 10:29 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by shine
i run 1/2 in sch40. not 2 in. i still want to know what pressure was in these lines . like i have said there is no reason to run all that pressure . i guess that is why i never had a failure.
and even 2 in buried 3 ft in the ground is not going to make a crater that size . just my opinion.

chevymon, i have no idea what you are getting at.


Give up shine.... You can't win with oldred...
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Old 08-31-2011, 10:33 AM
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aw come on now. old red's a sweetheart . we just like arguing with each other
true pvc can be dangerous. but like papa said " caint fix stupid "
i run low pressure and have no doubt that 200 would be asking for it.
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Old 08-31-2011, 10:45 AM
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1/2" is plenty big enough to get someone hurt, it does not have to be 2" and I was only guessing at that size anyway because I agree that it would take a lot more volume than carried by a normal shop sized pipe to blow a hole in the ground that big. The point is that these pipes can and do rupture from any number of causes and when they do it can be catastrophic, 90 PSI in a 1/2" line is more than enough to cause serious injury. One incident I read about back in the 80's involved an eye injury when a guy bumped a PVC line with with a welding tank cart and another was when someone hit one with a fork lift. Arguing these accidents should not have happened in the first place and the lines should not have been in those locations is pointless because unless a PVC line is inside a shielding conduit (considered safe to do it that way BTW) then any number of unforeseen circumstances can occur. It's a fact that even a blow light enough to only dent copper line and not even scratch iron pipe could easily cause a situation like that ridiculous gunshot incident. The welding cart would have been an unnoticed non-incident and the forklift might have been a leak but neither would have been the injury causing accidents they were because of the PVC. Also PVC does not need a blow from a sharp (or even blunt) object to rupture and often the rupture is not at first apparent, age or deterioration from any of several common contaminants (or sunlight) can cause a PVC pipe to rupture without warning. Pointing to an old PVC setup as proof of safety is no different than pointing at a ninety year old smoker as proof that cigarettes are harmless, beating the odds is not proof something is safe.
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Old 08-31-2011, 10:54 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NEW INTERIORS
Give up shine.... You can't win with oldred...


You keep picking at me and trying to start something for whatever reason but I worked with air lines for many years and I know what can happen whether you are smart enough to see it or not. If someone wants to disagree with the PVC safety issue and discuss it then fine but if you have a personal vendetta against me for some reason you are perfectly welcome to take it to a PM but leave your childish attitude out of what could be a serious safety issue!
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Old 08-31-2011, 10:56 AM
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A packing shed I used to do inspections at had 4 or 5 failures, air pressure was about 20 lbs., pipe was about 12 years old. When the pipe blew, about 20 feet above everything, it whipped like a snake until the air was shut off at a valve. There was some problems arise when shards ended up in the boxes of peaches and no one noticed, an investigation ans a recall ensued. The fumigation chambers (new at the time)at the same place blew the pipe at every 90* , shards everywhere, thankfully no one was around. Air pressure was around 100 lbs., it was used to seal the doors. I had to threaten to call OSHA to get them to change over to steel, the contractor wasn't happy but after I pointed out it was illegal he shut up. I would use it where no one would be working but hesitate to use it anywhere else.
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