Pros: how do you work with huge (12”+) PVC?

Discussion in 'Plumbing Forum, Professional & DIY Advice' started by Pat G., Jan 14, 2018.

  1. Pat G.

    Pat G. New Member

    Joined:
    Nov 6, 2015
    Location:
    Fort Mill, South Carolina
    I was at Great Wolf Lodge this weekend with my kids (chain of indoor water parks for the unfamiliar) and was marveling at the water supply plumbing for the water slides. It looked like plain old PVC with the various elbows and markings, etc, just on a massive scale, looking like 12-18” OD to my eyes.

    I have no intention of ever working on this stuff, but was curious as to how the pros handle stuff this massive and presumably heavy. Do you use us standard primer and cement? How do you cut it? Etc?

    It looked like some crazy stuff to plan and install, especially as some of the runs were 3-5 stories tall and putting massive volumes of water into the slides.
     
  2. dj2

    dj2 In the Trades

    Joined:
    Aug 13, 2013
    Location:
    California
    Pipes 6" to 12" are joined slightly differently than small pipes. Same solvents are used and in addition, there is a coupling and an O ring built in the receptor pipe.
    So how do you push them together?
    For 6" pipes you attach rings with nuts and bolts. You tighten the bolts and the two pipes join together. For 12" pipes you use a heavy machine like a backhoe to do the pushing, lifting and moving the pipe sections. On a PVC pipe line construction, 3 guys spend about 3 minutes to connect a joint (trench digging not included). For less than full pieces, you use sledge hammer and plywood or 2x4 to join them.
    Cutting large pipe is fun. You can use a hand ring cutter, or you can use a Makita 6101 gas-powered 14" blade cutter. It works almost like a chainsaw, but you have to be experienced to get straight cuts.
     
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  4. Pat G.

    Pat G. New Member

    Joined:
    Nov 6, 2015
    Location:
    Fort Mill, South Carolina
    That sounds amazing, thanks! It was cool to see this stuff out in the open since I would imagine most of the big PVC is buried.

     
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