• Tips to Help With Choosing the Right Valve for Your Project



    Valves are useful pieces of equipment that help control, limit, and shut off flow in a system. In a garden irrigation system, you could use valves to control when different plants get watered. While it is universally agreed that valves are helpful, choosing the right valve can be frustrating. We hear many customers make statements like these: "So many types exist! Some of them do similar things! I don't know what types of valves to use!"

    No worries! Here at PVC Fittings Online, we carry all the major valve variations. In this blog post, we will outline what makes each unique. For basic users, the most important thing to remember is that a valve does one of two things: shut off or regulate. Some valves can do either/both, but this is a simple way to think of what you need a valve to do. It could help you in picking the right valve. We will now cover each of the major valve categories.

    Ball Valves

    pvc ball valve choosing the right valve grayBall valves are a good example of a shut off valve. They use a spherical seating to stop or allow flow. The ball has a hole through the center, so fluid can pass through when the handle is turned to the "on" position. When the handle is turned 90 degrees to the "off" position, fluid hits the solid side of the ball and is stopped.

    The PVC ball valve pictured has been taken apart so you can see its inner workings. This one uses rubber O-rings to ensure a tight seal. Ball valves are shut off valves because they are not typically designed to be opened partially. They are meant to be completely open or completely closed. Depending on the type of ball valve you purchase, they may commit a bit of pressure drop. This is because the hole in the valve's ball typically has a smaller diameter than the pipeline itself.

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  • Fiberglass vs. Polycarbonate Electrical Enclosures - What's the Difference?



    plastic vs fiberglass electrical enclosures gray lift off screw coverElectrical enclosures are a very common piece of hardware with a wide range of uses. They are available in many shapes and sizes, acting as a case or cabinet for electrical equipment. This equipment includes things such as switches, knobs, and displays. Electrical enclosures keep these pieces of equipment out of the elements. However, electrical enclosures also protect users. They can be used to house high-voltage electrical elements that could injure someone if they are not careful. The utility of electrical enclosures is undeniable, but there is one war that experts continue to fight: plastic vs fiberglass electrical enclosures.

    The term "plastic" is a blanket term that typically covers many different materials, including polycarbonates which often compose electrical enclosures. A great deal of these enclosures are made with fiberglass as well, which is not a polycarbonate. Therefore, many professionals and experts would debate on "polycarbonate vs fiberglass enclosures." As we will read below, each material has its own strengths and weaknesses. Which material to use will depend on what you need it for. Continue reading for the pros and cons of each of these great materials.

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  • PVC Shovel / Rake Holder - DIY Guide



    Any homeowner will tell you that garage storage is difficult. Things are always ending up in the wrong place, and finding a spot for all your stuff can be nearly impossible. The most common culprits of not being where they belong are tools, such as rakes and shovels. They lie on the ground or propped up against the wall, where they can easily fall right back down to the ground. Many pre-made tool-holding solutions are available, but they can be expensive and may not exactly suit your needs. Make your own custom DIY rake holder instead!

    Creative people all over the world have developed their own version of the DIY rake holder, many of which are made of PVC pipe. PVC is a great material that is strong and inexpensive. It is also the perfect shape for holding rakes and shovels! This post highlights some of our favorite designs from across the internet. Materials are listed under each, as well as links to full instructions for each project. Each project only requires a few materials, so building these will not cost much out of pocket, especially if you already have screws around.

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  • PVC Pipe Towel Rack



    It feels like the year has just started, but summer is right around the corner! This means it’s time to start thinking about that pool in the backyard. "Is it clean? Do we still have pool toys? Should we get more towels?" The preparation is endless, and it's easy to sink a lot of money into getting ready for summer. A simple DIY towel rack is extremely useful and will not break the bank. In this blog post, we will show how you can create your own PVC pipe towel rack with inexpensive, durable materials.

    There are countless different ways of making towel racks out of PVC. It is a very straightforward item: all you need are bars to hang towels on. However, some are better-looking or more creative than others, so we will highlight a few projects that we found most interesting. These PVC towel racks vary in size and and carrying capacity, so be sure to pick one that will fit your needs.

    PVC Towel and Toy Rack

    pvc pipe towel rack pool toys backyard

    This PVC pipe towel rack can hold plenty of towels (4-8) and has an extremely strong design. It is also large enough to balance pool noodles and other pool toys against, so it can function as a go-to pool storage area. Also, the unique triangular shape looks great! What's not to love? For the full guide on how to build this PVC towel rack, click the picture or this link.

    Materials:

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  • DIY PVC Garage Organization / Storage Ideas



    I heard something unbelievable the other day: some people park their cars in their garage! Crazy, right? For the chosen few who have been gifted with organizational expertise, keeping a garage clean enough to house vehicles in is easy. But for the rest of us, it is a real challenge. There is just too much stuff cluttering up our homes, so we put it in the garage to figure out later. Even the items that are supposed to be in the garage (rakes, tools, etc.) find themselves lying in a pile on the floor or on the work bench.

    Here at PVC Fittings Online, we understand the struggle of keeping your garage organized, so we have compiled this list of some great DIY PVC garage storage ideas. PVC is the perfect material to use for garage organization as it is lightweight, easy to find, strong, and inexpensive. To view more detailed instructions for any of these DIY garage organization projects, click each image.

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  • Viton vs. EPDM Seals - What's the Difference?



    true union ball check valve with viton seals o-ring

    Despite seeming like a small detail, a valve's O-ring material is very important. The material can dictate the temperature tolerance of a seal. It can also give the seal certain chemical resistances, with some types of rubber being compatible with difference fluids. Two common materials for true union ball valves are Viton and EPDM.

    Viton (shown in image on the right) is a synthetic rubber with a high chemical and temperature resistance. EPDM, which stands for ethylene propylene diene monomer, has its own set of properties that make it an extremely popular O-ring material. When comparing Viton vs. EPDM, several factors must be considered: temperature tolerance, chemical compatibility, and cost. Continue reading for the full comparison.

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  • Building a Dust Collection System with PVC Piping



    pile of sawdust in shopIf you do any sort of carpentry or woodwork, you know how annoying sawdust can be. It gets in every nook and cranny and is an enormous hassle to clean up. For this reason, many shop owners set up a central dust collection system that is built into their shop. The idea is to prevent sawdust from making a mess by collecting it as soon as it's created. Building a dust collection system is easier said than done, however. To effectively collect dust, your central system must be hooked up to each piece of equipment.

    Because so many different saws and shop appliances exist, dust collection adapters do not exist for every single one. In this case you may need to create your own dust collection piping. Doing this is not too difficult or expensive if you use the right parts. The least expensive piping you can get is PVC. Using PVC pipe for dust collection is cost-effective and easy if you follow a few guidelines. This post is based on a design by WoodMagazine.com. For more info on carpentry projects, check out their website!

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  • Can You Use PVC Piping for Compressed Air?



    broken pvc pipe compressed air accidentPVC piping is inexpensive, versatile, and strong, considering how much it costs. It can transport liquids of all kinds, as it is highly corrosion-resistant. Despite how much it can do, there are certain jobs that PVC pipe just can't handle. One of those jobs is compressed air.

    When using PVC pipe with compressed air, you run serious risks. The most dangerous of these is that of explosion. If put under stress that it cannot handle, PVC pipe can explode, sending plastic shrapnel flying. There have been numerous cases of this happening in compressed air applications, so OSHA does not allow the transportation of compressed gases in above-ground applications.

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  • How to Operate and Actuate a Butterfly Valve



     

    butterfly valve with blue handle and packingButterfly valves are one of the most useful valves a piping system can have. They give an operator the ability to start, stop, or restrict flow in a system. This can be especially useful if repairs, cleanings, or alterations need to be made to a system and you want to ensure no fluid comes through the pipes.

    Despite its name, a butterfly valve doesn't really look much like a butterfly. Butterfly valves are quarter-turn valves, meaning they go from completely open to completely closed in 90 degrees. The "butterfly" name comes from the fact that the disc, or "wings," moves around a central axis, which acts like the body of a butterfly. But there is much more to butterfly valves than the central disc.

     

     

    Butterfly Valve Components

    Butterfly valves are, at their most basic level, made up of a disc, seat, body, and actuator. Most have more parts than those, but they are the necessary components of a butterfly valve. The illustration below shows where each of those parts are located.

    different components of butterfly valve orange handle

    Actuator: This part is also called a handle or operator. It controls how far opened or closed the butterfly valve is. It is often a handle that moves 90 degrees, but can also be a spigot-like turning handle. On the valve above, you would squeeze the handle to operate the actuator.

    Seat: The seat of a butterfly valve is usually made of some kind of rubber. It ensures that there will be a tight and secure seal when the valve is in the closed position. If a butterfly valve stops operating correctly, there is a good chance the seat has been damaged in some way.

    Disc: The disc is what gives a butterfly valve its name. When the disc turns, the valve opens, giving the disc a butterfly-like appearance. The disc is moved by the actuator, and can be fully closed, fully opened, or anything in-between.

    BodyThe body of a butterfly valve is what enables it to be connected to pipes and fittings. It is everything around the seat of the valve and makes up a good deal of the valve's structure.

    What is Actuation and Why is it Important?

    pvc butterfly valve with metal turning handleActuate literally means, "to put into action." Therefore, when you actuate a butterfly valve, you are putting it into action. The default state for a butterfly valve is closed; this allows no fluid to pass through. If you want fluid to flow through with hardly any reduction in flow pressure, you turn the handle 90 degrees to fully actuate the butterfly valve.

    When people usually talk about actuation in butterfly valves, they are actually talking about automation. When a butterfly valve has to be opened to a very specific degree, you may choose to get an electrically actuated butterfly valve. These can also be helpful if your butterfly valve needs to be opened and closed frequently.

    What makes these valves so valuable and different from others is that they have more than two positions. The can be opened anywhere from 0 to 90 degrees. The further they are opened, the more fluid they will let through. While some piping systems have no need for partial flow, many others do.

    Gas: When regulating flow of compressed air or other gases, controlling how much gas flows through is often extremely important. Butterfly valves work just as well with gases as they do with liquids. When properly used, these valves can act as dampers to control flow so that only the specified amount passes through.

    Liquid: The obvious application for butterfly valves is liquid transfer. In agriculture and manufacturing, regulating the flow of water and other liquids is vital. If you allow too much water through an irrigation system, you could over-water produce, destroying your crops. Butterfly valves allow you to choose how much or how little liquid you want to pass through a system.


    In conclusion, butterfly valves have a huge amount of utility and are easy to use, even in industrial applications where specific butterfly valves made of CPVC are required. With a quarter-turn of the handle, they completely shut on or off. They also allow for partial opening, which means the operator has complete control of how much fluid passes through a system! Find this valve and many more online at PVCFittingsOnline.com



  • DIY Complete Photo Booth Using PVC



     

    It's almost Christmas, and the excitement in the air is palpable! For many people, however, 'tis the season for wedding planning! The warm months of June-October are the most popular times to get married, so those getting married in the middle of next year are deep in preparation for the big day. If you have gone to a wedding anytime recently, you have probably seen or even used a photo booth.

    When you conjure up the image of a photo booth in your mind, you might think of the dark, cramped photo booth that used to be in your mall. This isn't the most glamorous thought, but never fear! This article will give you all the knowledge you need to make a spacious, bright, and fun photo booth that will capture all the memories from your special day! Renting a photo booth can be expensive, costing several hundred dollars for one day. This one can cost under $50 and can be reused! That's a great value if I've ever seen one.

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