SFA: What's the Answer?

PVC Use in a Shop

mark@gc Premium Member

Just ran into an interesting situation with an inspector as we are finishing up our addition to our facility. We have been using Schedule 40 PVC in our shops for 20 years with no issues. I also have been doing all the plumbing in our shops the entire time.

Just wondering what other people are running into in this situation and if you have found a workaround. The inspector agrees with me that PVC is fine and can’t do anything about our recycle-water system as it doesn’t connect to the city water system, but his boss said no to connecting PVC to city water. Love to hear your thoughts and experience with this. Mark Darnell

Joe Durfee Premium Member

We've not had an issue with PVC for water at all, and the East Hartford building inspector is a real ballbuster. Using it for air is a big no-no, but what could possibly be the problem with water? Maybe the inspector’s boss is really a shill for Big Copper .... Joe Durfee American Floor Covering East Hartford, Conn.

BReynolds Premium Member

We ran Schedule 80 in our shop, 2" main with 1 1/4" drops to machines. I think the big thing to worry about is water-hammer. We recently replaced a filter housing and had to drain the lines to do so. The guys accidently turned on the water pump with the main valve wide open; it blew the first 1 1/4" elbow clean off, broke the pipe not the joint, and hit the ceiling! But, other than that, we have never had an issue. Brandon Reynolds Legacy Marble & Granite Findlay, Ohio

ssfabrication Premium Member

Mark, did your inspector say exactly what his boss was saying no about connecting PVC to the city water? I remember reading somewhere that some places do not allow it because of the potential for "contaminate, thus making it non-potable. Other times it is not allowed because standard PVC Schedule 40 is not rated for hot water since the heat breaks down the piping over time, thus some places just say NO PVC at all to avoid the issue. If his boss is being a real pain about it, see if you have an NSF marking on your piping that indicates it’s safe for drinking water. Rick Graff GSS Fabrication Inc. Richland, Wash. estimating@gssfabrication.com 509-375-1960

mark@gc Premium Member

The actual plumbing inspector said it’s fine, and from what I have learned putting no- potable water stickers every three feet would appease him, but the building inspector will not pass it. Mind you we have a back -flow prevention valve to keep any contamination from happening. I think I am running up against a hard nosed building inspector. I asked the plumbing inspector if he had ever set foot in a granite fab shop; his answer was obviously no. Clearly there needs to be some amendments to plumbing codes in our state pertaining to manufacturing facilities. I understand for residential and multi-family dwellings that are multi-level, but for our industry PVC is more than appropriate. The plumbing inspector told me that I can make a manifold out of galvanized and run rubber hose to all my equipment, as it is temporary and not requiring a permit. I flat out asked him if he thinks that is a better option than PVC; he said no.

GuyboR Administrator

Do you have a water recycling system? If so, it seems that would be a "buffer" between city water and your internal water. If you don't have a water recycling system, are you going to run into an issue dumping the water back into the city sewer? Something else I noticed...on your overhead crane...do you have more than onebridge on it? If not, I would highly recommend adding a second NOW instead of later. We now have three on ours so that no one is waiting on another employee to finish with it before they use it. Guy Robertson Robertson Manufacturing Inc. Davenport, Iowa

mark@gc Premium Member

We have two recycling systems; one for the old shop and a Hydro Pro for the new, but we run fresh for spindles and waterjet. I contacted Park and they didn’t recommend using the Hydro Pro water on spindles, but I could get away with it with a large capacity pre-filter with a 10-micron filter. We don’t have to dump into the city system; we have an on-site collection pond that we purge into, as well as collecting all the runoff water for the property

Most definitely have two bridges; they will service the Fusion and two Titans. I am getting excited to complete this. Second titan shows up this Friday and then we have to move the Fusion and Titan 2800. No more zigzag pattern in this shop.

GuyboR Administrator

Nice setup. So could you just "re-plumb" the city water that is going to the spindles and waterjet with what the inspector is “requiring.” Not the most-effective price-wise, but it shows him/her that you are listening and want to work with them ... which may get you some additional leeway if anything else comes up.

mark@gc Premium Member

I won’t have to take anything out or redo anything. I just can’t hook up to the city in the new shop. The old section is already hooked up and is running city water, so once he is out of my hair I will just hook up . This is what the builder and the actual plumbing inspector is telling me to do. I mainly wanted to see if anyone else has ran into a similar situation and found a workaround or exemption. There won’t be any other problems. Everything is 100% on the up-and-up so I’m not too worried about appeasing this one guy; just a funny rule that even the plumbing inspector doesn’t agree with.

Ready for another topic?