How to Prepare for Installation in Hot Temperatures
In many regions around the world, a constant and present threat to piping systems is the climate itself. In countries where high temperatures are common and exposure to harsh sunlight is prolonged, installation can prove more tricky, while the completed system can, over time, degrade and fail to perform adequately. Even a perfectly installed piping system made from industry leading materials must account for thermal expansion in high temperatures.
Plastic Piping and UV Exposure
One of the most common reasons for failure in hot climates is UV. UV creates free radicals, highly reactive and damaging reactions which cause material to degrade; plastic piping is particularly susceptible to this. For example, PPR is known to cause this free radical reaction, not only on the pipe walls but from within the pipe material itself. This damages the molecular structure of the material, eventually leading to complete system replacement.
Proper specification of materials and special measures when handling, storing and installing piping can limit, or even eliminate the threat of UV and high outdoor temperatures. FlowGuard® CPVC makes this even easier.
FlowGuard CPVC’s UV resistance is inherent, in that the material that makes FlowGuard Pipe and Fittings is engineered using a high intensity UV reaction. In other words, without UV, FlowGuard CPVC would not exist. UV blockers such as carbon black and titanium dioxide help to prevent the effects of UV before installation takes place.
There are superficial visual effects on FlowGuard CPVC under sunlight. Gloss loss and slight discoloration is common, however these cosmetic changes have no bearing on system performance and longevity. It is recommended to store FlowGuard CPVC pipe and fittings indoors, under non-transparent material in order to limit this discoloration from happening before installation.
What Installers Need to Know
FlowGuard CPVC is used in water distribution systems around the world, including some of the hottest regions including Africa, South and Central America, India and the Middle East. In fact, hot temperatures help speed up the solvent cement welding process, making installation a quicker task.
Here are a few best practices employed by experts in these regions, to preserve optimum plumbing system performance in hot climates.
- Aim to join seams in cooler areas, or in the shade for safer, accurate and efficient installation
- Ensure pipe and fittings are joined while solvent cement is wet. Solvent cement dries faster in these climates, so ensure your installation process can progress without delay
- If solvent cement dries before the join is made, either cut the section where the solvent cement was applied or gently remove residual solvent with sandpaper and start the process again
- Remember to account for thermal expansion
- Store FlowGuard CPVC material indoors, under a non-transparent material to prevent exterior discoloration
- Solvent cement can differ in color from region to region; always follow the storage instructions on the solvent cement label.
For more tips and advice on installing in hot climates, accounting for thermal expansion and to see these installation techniques in action, please see our installation video series.