PVC Basics

  • DIY PVC Laundry Hamper / Dirty Laundry Bin



    A great way to get organized while also completing a fun, DIY project is to build a PVC clothes basket. A DIY PVC clothes basket is an interesting way to make sure that your bedroom floor never fills up with dirty clothes again! This project also gives you an affordable alternative to sometimes overpriced clothes baskets that are sold in stores. By following the steps below, you will be able to turn everyday PVC pipe into a helpful addition to your daily life. After you make your first DIY PVC clothes basket, you’ll want to make one for every member of your family! Time to build!

    Step One: Gather Materials and Tools

    This project requires just a few materials and tools. Once you have gathered them together, move on to step two!

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  • When to Use A Gear Operated Valve vs Lever Operated Valve



    gear operated valve

    Valves, which are devices that regulate flow in a pipeline, are staples of plumbing projects everywhere. Each valve needs a way that it can be opened (or actuated). There are many different types of opening methods available, but the most common actuating device for valves 14" and under are gears and levers. These manual operating devices are fairly inexpensive and easy to implement. Additionally, they don't require any extra planning or effort beyond simple installation (this article goes into more detail about the specifics of gear operation). This blog post gives a basic rundown of both gear operated valves and lever operated valves.

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  • Ordering the Right Size Cam Coupling



     

    Camlock couplings (also known as cam couplings, camlock fittings or cam and groove couplings) are handy tools that allow the user to connect and disconnect joints in a pipe line quickly and efficiently. The use of camlock couplings is essential in order for hoses and pipes to function properly. But ordering the right size cam coupling can be difficult.

    When using camlock couplings, it is important to know how to order a camlock coupling of the appropriate size for your project. When choosing a coupling, is important to understand the distinctions between the sizes and understand how to measure a camlock fitting.

    For the female part of the coupling, (also known as the coupler) the size is obtained by measuring the diameter of the open end, or inside diameter (ID). For the male part of the coupling (adapter), the size is obtained by measuring the diameter of the adapter end or outside diameter (OD).

    How to Measure a Camlock Fitting

    Always ensure that the inside diameter and outside diameter of your coupler and adapter match. Also, ensure that you have the correct size couplings for the size of your pipe. The tables below (which were built using info from this helpful site) detail the proper sizes to use for your projects.

    Our selection of camlock couplings includes polypropylene, nylon, and stainless steel couplings. Besides the correct size of camlock couplings, it is also important to choose the best material for the project at hand. Each material provides a unique range of benefits.

    Polypropylene and nylon couplings are both inexpensive, leakproof and light weight. Polypropylene, however is of lower density and is anti-acid. Nylon has higher density and provides heat resistance. The agricultural industry benefits greatly from their ability to transmit liquids.ordering the right size cam coupling

    While slightly more expensive, Stainless Steel cam couplings provide immense durability and anti-corrosion advantages, as well as high strength and temperature resistance. They are recommended for highly corrosive areas.

    How to Order a Camlock Coupling

    Whichever you choose, ordering the right size camlock coupling can make or break the success of a project. Before shopping, make sure that you know:

    1. The material that best suits your project. (Where will you be using the material and for what purpose? What is your budget?)
    2. How to measure your camlock fitting or pipe size. Ensure you know the necessary Threaded inside or outside diameter for the fitting.
    3. That you know how to order a camlock coupling. Find a reputable distributor, such as PVC Fittings Online that carries the size and material that you will need!

     

    To browse our catalog and order premium camlock couplings and caps at wholesale prices, check them out on our website!



  • When to Use Metal Valves - Common Metal Valve Applications



    stainless steel gate valveBefore discussing metal valve uses and the various jobs they do well, we should acknowledge the fact that many types of metals exist. Just like the category of "plastic" covers PVC, CPVC, ABS, polypropylene (PP), etc., "metal" includes cast & ductile iron, brass, bronze, carbon & stainless steel, and more! Knowing exactly when to use metal valves requires knowledge of the metal and the medium.

    This blog post discusses different metal valve applications that, for one reason or another, plastic valves cannot handle. Countless specific jobs exist for metal valves, but we will focus on a broader view of applications. Diving into every single job would take far too long. But let's dig deeper into the different materials used and when to use metal valves!

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  • Common Uses for Butterfly Valves



     

    CPVC butterfly valve lug styleUsing PVC valves to control water in a system is not difficult and can be extremely rewarding when done correctly. These valves are especially useful in home irrigation & gardening systems, homemade fish tanking piping, and other such home applications. Today we will be looking at a few different butterfly valve applications and why these pieces of equipment are so useful.

    Many valves are made from PVC or CPVC including butterfly valves, ball valves, check valves, and more. Each type has it's own strengths and weaknesses, but butterfly valves are unique in their body style and the way they regulate flow. With a quarter-turn disc that sits amid liquid flow even while open, nothing else is quite like a butterfly valve. Further down we will discuss "wafer butterfly valves vs. lug butterfly valves," but first let's look at some uses for butterfly valves!

    Common Butterfly Valve Applications

    Butterfly valves are a quarter-turn valve that has a plastic or metal disc in the middle that rotates on a metal rod or "stem." If the stem is the body of the butterfly, then the disc is the "wings." Because the disc always sits in the middle of the pipeline, the fluid is slowed slightly as it rushes through an open valve. The following examples are a few jobs -- some specific and some general -- that butterfly valves are perfect for!

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  • Bronze vs. Brass Valves: What's the Difference?



    Bronze and brass are easy to get confused. They look similar, have similar-sounding names, and are used for many similar applications. These materials, while sharing many positive qualities, are not identical. There is more than one difference between bronze and brass valves, but not everybody knows about them. While both materials are alloys that incorporate a generous amount of copper, they differ in price and properties.

    What is Bronze?

    bronze vs. brass valvesBronze is one of the original metal alloys. Using copper and tin, metal workers developed a material that was both strong and malleable, meaning it would not crack as easily as something like iron. Bronze has not changed very much, aside from the reduced amounts of lead and the occasional addition of manganese, aluminum, or nickel. Parts made of this material can only be manufactured by casting the material into a mold or by machining a pre-cast bronze ingot.

    Bronze has a rough, porous exterior with small cavities in the surface. This is due to the casting process. However, bronze alloys with select additives can hold a polish and are not as abrasive. Bronze has many benefits, including high ductility (resists cracking), corrosion resistance, and low cost. There are tons of uses for bronze valves, including safety relief, flow direction control, shutting off flow, and more! Lead free bronze valves for potable water are available, but they must meet or exceed Clean Water Act lead restrictions.

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  • Block Valve: What It Is & How It's Used



    If you've ever read our blog, you may know a thing or two about valves. We've posted an overview of butterfly valves, guides to cleaning and fixing ball valves, and even a semi-comprehensive list of the most common types of valves. Until now, however, we have not mentioned block valves. But the term "block valve" describes many of the valves we've talked about.

    The strictest definition of "block valve" (or shutoff valve) refers to it as "any valve that has the capacity to block movement in one or more directions." Usually, however, people use the term when referencing a valve that can totally prevent or allow motion. This means that a block valve should A) be able to completely stop flow when closed and B) allow fluid motion to happen unrestricted when open. Flow is either completely allowed or completely denied when a block valve is in action.

    In this post we will cover the most common types of valves that fall under the "block valve" umbrella. This could help you when choosing block valves for your next project!

    Types of Block Valves

    An important detail about block valves is that their name is not an official classification of a specific type of valve. Rather, it is a broad description of several types of valves that are designed to block flow.

    Several valves immediately disqualify themselves from being block valves due to their design. Globe valves are a type of control valve that, because of their design, limit flow regardless of how far open they are. The same is true of butterfly valves, which have discs right in the middle of the pipeline. The following are a few types of valves that have block valve characteristics.

    Ball Valves

    PVC ball valve with red handleBall valves are probably the most common type of valve there is, especially in the PVC applications we tend to see.These valves are usually used to totally turn on/off flow in a system using a spherical seating with a hole in it. This hole allows liquid to flow through when the valve is in the "on" position.

    Some ball valves are available in "full-bore" configurations, which means the hole in the ball is the same diameter as the pipeline. Full-bore ball valves are perfect examples of block valves, as they are not ideal for slowing down or limiting flow, but excel at completely stopping it and letting it pass uninterrupted. Ball check valves are not block valves, as they typically limit flow even when being pushed open by liquid.

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  • What are the Different Types of Butterfly Valves? - Valve Buying Guide



     

    lug butterfly valves and wafer butterfly valvesButterfly valves, as you may already know, are a type of quarter-turn valve with disc-shaped seatings. The disc sits perpendicular to flow of when the valve is closed and parallel to flow when the valve is open. These valves are handle-operated, gear-operated, or mechanically/pneumatically actuated. While the operation of butterfly valves is straightforward, most people do not know about the different types of butterfly valves that exist.

    With butterfly valve options such as different body types, materials, and operation methods, many types of butterfly valves are available. First, let's examine the different body types, then move on to materials and operation methods. These factors tell you what the valve is capable of. Choosing butterfly valves for your application can be difficult, so we will attempt to make it easier with this blog post!

    Butterfly Valve Body Types

    Butterfly valves are popular because of their low-profile designs. They are thin, usually taking up much less space in a pipeline than ball valves. The difference in the two main variations of butterfly valves is how they attach to the pipeline. These body styles are lug and wafer style. What's the difference between lug and wafer style butterfly valves? Keep reading to find out.

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  • Common Methods of Cleaning Out a PVC Ball Valve - DIY Guide



    cleaning out a pvc ball valve

    Working with liquid in a piping system can be satisfying yet challenging. Problems can occur that make the job harder, such as leaks, freezing, contamination, and clogging. Unplugging a PVC ball valve can be difficult if the valve is cemented into the middle of a pipeline. If you use unions or even a true union PVC ball valve, cleaning out a PVC ball valve is as easy as cleaning the dishes!

    If you need a clean, uncontaminated system for potable water or brewing systems, you will need to clean out any valves regularly. These valves can collect debris over time, so keep an eye on them! Plugged valves are extremely detrimental to any piping system. In this blog post we will cover how to clean out a plastic ball valve, from unclogging to disinfecting.

    Types of Ball Valves

    First, we will take a look at a few different types of ball valves. Some are easier to clean than others, with a variety of body types available.

    One-Piece PVC Ball Valve

    This is the most common type of PVC ball valve, with a one-piece body and a quarter-turn handle. These valves can be either threaded or socket. Threaded ball valves can be attached using pipe dope or teflon tape, which can be unscrewed. This makes maintenance straightforward, but make sure you shut off water flow before removing your valve. Ball valves with socket ends are more difficult, as they cannot be removed from the system.

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  • PEX Piping vs Flexible PVC



    pex piping vs flexible pvc

    In this day and age, there are many interesting and creative piping methods. One of the most popular materials for home plumbing right now is PEX (cross-linked polyethylene), an intuitive system of tubing and fittings that is flexible enough to move around obstacles in floors and walls while also being tough enough to withstand corrosion and hot water. PEX piping connects to plastic or metal fittings at hubs in the system with crimps instead of glue or welding. When it comes to PEX piping vs flexible PVC, which is the better option?

    Flexible PVC is exactly what it sounds like. It is a type of flexible tubing with the same sizing as regular PVC and that can be attached to PVC fittings with flexible PVC cement. Flexible PVC is usually much thicker than PEX tubing, as it has schedule 40 dimensions and wall thickness. Keep reading to find out whether PEX tubing or flexible PVC is better for your application!

    Material Composition

    These two materials may seem similar due to their flexible nature, but their composition, application, and installation, are totally different. We will start by looking at the materials. PEX stands for cross-linked polyethylene. It is made from high-density polyethylene that has cross-linked bonds in the polymer structure. This sounds complicated, but it just means that this material is flexible and can handle high pressures (up to  180F for plumbing applications).

    Flexible PVC is made from the same basic materials as regular PVC: polyvinyl chloride. However, plasticisers are added to to the compound, making it flexible. Flexible PVC can withstand temperatures from -10F to 125F, so it is unfit for hot water. Despite this, it is still extremely useful in several applications, which we will cover in the next section.

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