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Water Pipe

There are different types of water pipe material that enable drinking water, fire prevention water and landscape-only water to be available as needed throughout our communities. Pipe that carries potable water, fireline water and recycled water is basically composed of two material types: metal or plastic. These water pipe types must operate under various water pressure conditions to ensure water flows to the appropriate designations.

The type of water pipe materials depends on the nature of the construction project and is usually determined by the designing civil engineer according to specifications required for the city or county where water pipe is to be installed. Water pipeline is commonly installed underground. Depending on the corrosivity of soil conditions, plastic pipe may be more suitable over metal pipe. Then again, metal pipe may also be installed using a protective plastic cover

Metallic pipe is pipe typically made of ductile iron, steel or copper material. Ductile iron pipe (DIP) is commonly installed in public, right-of-way areas such as large, municipally-owned streets. These pipes vary in size from four inches and larger. The visual characteristics of this type of water pipe are that it is black in color and very heavy. Ductile iron is manufactured in 18-20 foot lengths, which may make it somewhat more convenient for pipeline contractors to install this type of water pipe. Lifting this pipe usually requires the use of operated machinery such as a backhoe or excavator. Fittings to connect these bodies of pipe usually consist of the same ductile iron pipe material.

Another type of metallic water pipe is cement mortar-lined and coated steel pipe (CML&C). Copper pipe can be classified into many different types of pipes, and are typically used for the installation of water services, providing water from water main pipelines to businesses and households.

Plastic pipe is typically made of a polyvinyl chloride (a.k.a. PVC) resin composition. PVC pipe is special in that it is a non-conductor and is not affected by electrolysis or susceptible to acid or alkaline soil conditions. There are several different types of PVC Pipes, such as PVC Schedule 40, PVC Schedule 80. Pipe "schedule" refers to pipe thickness.

PVC "C900" pipe is known as a high pressure water pipe and therefore suitable in use as a pressure conduit. PVC water pipe typically comes in standard lengths of 20 foot joints. The typical colors of PVC pipe are light green, light blue and white.

To ensure safety and good workmanship, water pipe materials are periodically tested by their manufacturers to maintain listings from Factory Mutual System (FM) and Underwriters Laboratories (UL). This enables water pipe to be used confidently by pipeline construction companies.

As one can see, water pipe is created with many different uses in mind. Whether using plastic or metal pipe, precious water resources can be installed and delivered safely as needed for communities to thrive.

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Published on January 16, 2012 | Comments: 0

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