ABS vs. PVC- marine application- building a shark cage

Discussion in 'Plumbing Forum, Professional & DIY Advice, Tips & ' started by fishinwithagun, Oct 21, 2009.

  1. fishinwithagun

    fishinwithagun New Member

    Messages:
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    Location:
    California
    Hi all, well I don't think this is an "everyday plumbing question", but I am desiring a pretty specific application for pipe and need to know what you all think.

    I am building a shark diving cage, and want it to be inexpensive. This rules out aluminum or other metals; you know, things that sane people would use. Anyway, I am looking to construct it out of either PVC or ABS, but I'm not sure what would be best for this application. The cage will be held together at the corners with fittings- tee connecting to street elbow- the structure will be a 7x5x5 ft rectangle. Every 14 inches up the vertical frame will be a tee connecting horizontally to the opposite side of the cage. Probably going to go with 2" pipe.

    The question is: Given the fact the piping will be used in the water(but not kept there permanently), have some sun exposure, and possibly be bitten/rammed by a shark, is it better to go with PVC or ABS? I basically require durability.

    Thanks!

    Ryan

    PS. This is not a joke. Can I please get some serious replies?

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    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 22, 2009
  2. Winslow

    Winslow Plumber

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    450
    Location:
    Hawaii
    In doesn'tmatter which is more durable, you are going to be the sharks lunch in either case.

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    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 22, 2009
  3. nhmaster

    nhmaster Master Plumber

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    How big are the sharks ? :D
  4. johnjh2o1

    johnjh2o1 Plumbing Contractor for 49 years

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    First I would at least use SCH 80 pipe and you do realize that if you leave no way for water to fill the pipe it will float.

    John
  5. Cass

    Cass Plumber

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    Your nuts.....
  6. hj

    hj Moderator & Master Plumber Staff Member

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    Location:
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    cage

    Your heirs will be happy to know that by saving money on the cage you were able to leave them a little larger inheritance. Sharks bend metal cages, your PVC one will only slow them down, regardless of how you "reinforce" it. A 7' section of 2" pipe with 14" spacing will allow the shark to go right through it with just a little acceleration run. Please get a competency hearing before proceeding with your plans.
    Last edited: Oct 22, 2009
  7. Redwood

    Redwood Master Plumber

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    Can you post a video of you using it?:rolleyes:
  8. jimbo

    jimbo Plumber

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    Well, I certainly agree that you are about to be shark bait.

    But specifically on your question: Pressure rated PVC, shc. 40 or preferably sch. 80, is solid plastic. Many DWV pipes, both ABS and PVC, are cellular foam core. Not as much structural strength there.

    Water is not a problem, but PVC turns brittle after sun exposure. This would be over a year or more, and we don't expect you will last long enough to worry about it.

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    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 22, 2009
  9. Runs with bison

    Runs with bison Member

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    Location:
    Midwest
    Being in the water with a few sharks is no big deal. I'm usually swimming toward them rather than away--the sharks are the ones who are skittish. Being in the water with a lot of big sharks, chumming and such is not on my activity list though.

    This thread reminds me of a Far Side cartoon about "Don's discount shark cages." I wouldn't trust plastic pipe for something like this. I've never seen PVC pipe hold up well as a structural member for a framework. Cheap soccer goals are often put together this way and it seems like they are always broken.
  10. Gary Swart

    Gary Swart In the Trades

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    This question reminds me of the old movie clips showing early attempts a flying. The contraptions that had flapping wings, guys with wings jumping from cliffs, and on and on. Although these guys risked breaking their necks, they weren't going to be eaten by sharks. I really suspect you are jerking our collective chains with this idiotic question, but if you are serious, are you older than eight or nine and does your mommy allow you to go in the deep end of the pool? If you are for real, make your PVC/ABS cage and hang a bag of fish guts inside. Then lower the cage into shark infested water and see how long it will take for the sharks to smash into it.:eek:
  11. Lakee911

    Lakee911 I&C Engineer (mostly WWTP)

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    I'd have someone weld me one out of rebar for dirt cheap before making one from plastic pipe.
  12. hj

    hj Moderator & Master Plumber Staff Member

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    cage

    Preferably #4 rebar minimum, and preferably #6 if the boat has a big enough crane.
  13. Ian Gills

    Ian Gills Senior Robin Hood Guy

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    I have green, yellow, red and brown nuts...you know...down stairs.
  14. fishinwithagun

    fishinwithagun New Member

    Messages:
    3
    Location:
    California
    Thanks for the feedback and the laughs guys... I like the pictures! In hindsight, PVC is a no brainer... went to HD today and got some SCH 40. The reason why I wasn't sure on PVC vs. ABS was my friend said "get the black PVC(ABS), it's stronger." It sure didn't feel that way, he obviously didn't know what he was talking about- but you guys do!

    I'm still working on a few things, one being how to get the cage to sink. I don't really want to drill holes through the PVC as that could weaken it; perhaps I can find a 4 way fitting so that as the cage goes in the water the pipes fill up. Also, the spacing between each horizontal bar; HJ brings up a good point, 14 in. is probably too big. Bad things happen when a shark gets his head caught in the cage!

    However, the sharks I would be diving with would not be that big. Off southern California we have blue sharks, makos, threshers and great whites. I don't think I would dive with a shark bigger than 8'. I know a spot where some smaller great whites have been hanging out <8' that I am excited to dive with; better hope mom doesn't show up though <15ft! :eek:

    Again, thanks for the opinions. I won't let you guys down... pictures of the finished product as well as in the water with sharks are on the way; give me a few weeks. :)
  15. Doherty Plumbing

    Doherty Plumbing Journeyman & Gas Fitter

    Messages:
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    Location:
    Penticton, BC
    You have to be kidding right? I mean seriously. You're worried about drilling holes in the pvc because it will weaken it...... This doesn't make sense to me because if you were worried about strength you'd be going with something much more durable then sched 40 PVC.

    If I were you I would of ATLEAST gone with a 3" sched 80 main frame and 2" sched 80 for re-enforcing bars.

    But then again if I were you I wouldn't be stupid enough to swim with great whites (of any size) in a PVC shark cage...

    Oh and you should try and paint that cage to keep the UV light off it. PVC likes to shatter once it's been exposed to the sun for a bit instead of bending.

    Good luck to you though!:cool:
  16. Cookie

    Cookie .

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    My head hurts from laughing.
  17. ChuckS

    ChuckS New Member

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    Is that a pre-existing condition?

    I hope his health care doesn't deny his coverage.
  18. Cookie

    Cookie .

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  19. Redwood

    Redwood Master Plumber

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    I nominate this thread for this weeks Darwin Was Right Award...:eek:

    [​IMG]
  20. nhmaster

    nhmaster Master Plumber

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    3,189
    Location:
    S. Maine
    I second that motion and call for the vote ;)
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