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Safety First: Assessing the CPVC Workspace

By: Antonino Cantone on December 14th, 2020

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Safety First: Assessing the CPVC Workspace

CPVC FlowGuard

How can you be sure you are operating in the safest way possible? What we do is a physically demanding job, sometimes installing thousands of pipes and fittings in the most challenging structures.

But it isn’t just challenging. Installing pipes and fittings for water distribution is much more sensitive than generic construction; what you do doesn’t just affect the overall performance of a building; it affects the health of your customers.

 

So how does a typical FlowGuard® CPVC installation handle safety, over the PPR installation process? Let's assess the safety considerations during preparation, installation and performance.

 

Preparation

FlowGuard CPVC

PPR

  • Safety gloves required

  • Cut pipe, deburr and remove dirt or moisture
  • Gloves, plus additional safety attire required

  • Wait for welding device to warm up


  • Melt pipe and fittings by hand on welding device (force is required, and it’s very exhausting with large sizes)

 

The Result - FlowGuard CPVC installation is quick, straightforward and non hazardous for the installer and those around them, if the steps to a thorough installation are followed properly. PPR installation is an unavoidably hazardous process, requiring sensitive, cumbersome and dangerous heating tools to be operated by hand at close proximity.

 

Installation

FlowGuard CPVC

PPR

  • Apply solvent cement to pipe exterior and fitting interior

  • Attach pipe and fitting

  • Allow cure time before testing
  • Mask recommended to avoid PPR fumes

  • Attach PPR pipe and fitting as squarely as possible

  • Allow time to set before testing

 

The Result - FlowGuard CPVC’s simple cut, solvent cement and join process not only takes very little time, it greatly reduces the risk of toxic fume inhalation. PPR installation can often take hours at a time, once again creating simply unavoidable hazards, this time of a very toxic nature. 

 

Performance

FlowGuard CPVC

PPR

  • Smoothness throughout interior, creating difficulty for biofilm formation

  • Immune to chlorine corrosion

  • Repairs if needed can be solvent cemented in minutes

  • Maximum allowable operating temperature = 93°C
  • Interior melt produces uneven surface, allowing biofilm to grow in crevices

  • Hypochlorous acid breaks through pipes’s interior surface over time

  • Repairs if needed require complete removal and reinstallation of sections

  • Maximum allowable operating temperature = 70°C

 

The Result - FlowGuard CPVC is engineered for a long service life in hot and cold water flow applications. It has a higher operating temperature limit than PPR and its chlorinated surface creates a natural immunity to the corrosive effects of chlorine and hypochlorous acid. Its smoothness is what protects the pipe walls from rapid development of biofilm, a slimy sticky substance that breeds potentially dangerous pathogens.

 

PPR does not have the same resilience against the natural threat of biological and chemical contamination that occurs in all potable water distribution. Its very molecular structure is susceptible to degradation from chlorine, multiplying the threat of biofilm and chemical leaching over time.

 

A Closer Look Inside

How many of the safety threats listed above were relevant to your latest installation project? Keeping these workplace hazards and long term threats to water quality minimised will protect your teams, your customers and the future of our industry. All it takes is the right approach, with the right tools. 

 

To find out more about installing FlowGuard CPVC, download our installation guide.

 

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