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PVC in the cold / Winter storage of Pipe

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PVC in the cold / Winter storage of Pipe

Unread postAuthor: williamfeldmann » Fri Oct 12, 2007 9:11 am

Unfortunately, the warmth of summer passes for all of us, and here in Iowa that usually means three months of freezing temperatures and snow and whatnot.

Over the year due to a couple of home improvement and furniture making projects, I have accumulated a decent selection of pipe ranging in sizes that I do not want to waste, but have no time to use this year for cannons.

My only viable choices for storing the pipe through the winter are my outdoor woodshed which is not insulated or heated and will be basically ambient temperatures (say 0-10 F) for three or more months, or my wood shop which is warm and humid (averages around 90 with 90+% humidity due to boilers next door) but filled with terrible fumes all winter due to my refinishing and furniture business (and no good way to vent air because its farking cold outside).

I know that the fumes from the varnishes, stripper agents, as well as paint thinner and stuff are not good for plastic, but getting the chemicals on it would be worse. Really load noises from the 5 hp tools are probably not that good for it either.

Ultimately, stored in either place the pipe will not be used (handled, dropped, cut, pressurized, glued, etc.) until next spring when it is warmed up to decent livable temperatures again.

Can the pipe be stored in either place? Will the pipe suffer structurally from being stored cold for that long even though it has no defects now? Or do I need to store the stuff in warm temperatures and find some way to protect it from the fumes?

On a side note, does anyone know if vibrations or loud sounds will affect pipe, standing vertically in a shop, on concrete floor for this period of time (the tools run quite a bit)?
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Unread postAuthor: LikimysCrotchus5 » Fri Oct 12, 2007 9:32 am

Good question, i live in Ohio and im starting to feel the fall settle in. In this week, it went from 90 to 60 so i would also be interested in seeing were i can put my pvc so that no damages comes. I currently have all of my pvc in my garage but i think the basement should keep it good. I just dont have room in my basement. So maybe that wil work?
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Unread postAuthor: homedepotpro » Fri Oct 12, 2007 10:32 am

why not get some of that industrial plastic wrap and wrap the pipe in it so its air tight then put it in the shop.
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Unread postAuthor: williamfeldmann » Fri Oct 12, 2007 11:13 am

That is basically what I would do. The problem is that if the chem fumes are going to eat PVC, they are going to devour cling wrap (I assume that is what you are talking about).

I know that my can of laquer says not to store in plastic containers. And the stripper has eaten through cling wrap before when I tried to cover a container with it.
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Unread postAuthor: Dornep » Fri Oct 12, 2007 11:24 am

As long as the "Chemicals" are not in very close proximity to the PVC I doubt it would harm it.. Also I don't think that because the PVC is subjected to below freezing temperatures that it will be unsafe to use once spring comes..

I was under the impression that cold weather only makes PVC more brittle then it already is. I am by no means an expert on the use and storage of PVC, so I can't give you a concrete answer but I would say your pipe would be fine in the garage or shed.. Maybe a second opinion from a more experienced user would be able to help your with your situation..
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Unread postAuthor: williamfeldmann » Fri Oct 12, 2007 1:44 pm

No, I keep my chems, stains and whatnot in a cabinet at the opposite end of the shop, the problem is that during the winter months I can't vent the shop very well because the windows are all under snow (walk in basement).

I am leary of leaving them out in the cold all winter cause I have some valuable 6 in sch 80 and golf ball barrel pipe that I would really like to protect.
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Unread postAuthor: Dornep » Fri Oct 12, 2007 2:40 pm

I were you, I would leave them in the woodshed. The cold shouldn't bother them, and that way they are not out in direct sunlight. I think the only two things that would harm your pipe would be UV rays and harsh chemicals.. If your desperate, put the chemicals that would harm the PVC out in the wood shed and leave the PVC in the basement. I would much rather buy some acetone and thinner next spring then replace all of my PVC pipe.

BTW You can send the 6" SCH80 to me, I will take very good care of it down here in Florida... :D
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Unread postAuthor: Gepard » Fri Oct 12, 2007 2:41 pm

What's wrong with leaving it outside with the snow?
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Unread postAuthor: MrCrowley » Fri Oct 12, 2007 3:36 pm

Wait, are you serious?

PVC becomes brittle and tends to like to shrapnel even more when cold, because the pipe would ever so slightly shrink the structural integrity becomes weaker, then in the summer it would expand, not doing it any good either. ABS is fine in cold because it is a lot more flexible then PVC.
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Unread postAuthor: miskaman » Fri Oct 12, 2007 3:47 pm

I'm probably thinking the cold wouldn't do something to it. I keep my PVC in my basement all the time, except for last winter I kept my first combustion in my unheated garage. It worked fine when I used it the following spring. I don't know what chemicals will do to PVC, so try and do a test.

Keep a piece of throwaway PVC in the shop for the next couple weeks. See what happens.

As for vibrations, it really depends on the frequency of the vibrations. Chances of hitting the right frequency to destroy, melt, warp, or damage your PVC is slim to none.
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Unread postAuthor: Gepard » Fri Oct 12, 2007 4:07 pm

MrCrowley wrote:Wait, are you serious?

PVC becomes brittle and tends to like to shrapnel even more when cold, because the pipe would ever so slightly shrink the structural integrity becomes weaker, then in the summer it would expand, not doing it any good either. ABS is fine in cold because it is a lot more flexible then PVC.


No I thought I'd post it there for your enjoyment actually - I trust you found it amusing?

If PVC is so brittle and you can't store it outside in an unpressurised state, why is it that all new builds over here are having guttering, downpipes, and all other exterior plumbing made out of PVC? Why is it that you can't leave it outside in Winter where the change in temperature is over months yet you can use it in a SG where the temperature can drop dramtically when the gas expands in a few mS?

I'm not talking about firing it - just storing it.
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Unread postAuthor: sandman » Fri Oct 12, 2007 5:20 pm

yea as long as he does not use the PVC till its summer i see no problem, storing it outside and long as it is covered
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Unread postAuthor: MrCrowley » Fri Oct 12, 2007 5:41 pm

Gepard wrote:
MrCrowley wrote:Wait, are you serious?

PVC becomes brittle and tends to like to shrapnel even more when cold, because the pipe would ever so slightly shrink the structural integrity becomes weaker, then in the summer it would expand, not doing it any good either. ABS is fine in cold because it is a lot more flexible then PVC.


No I thought I'd post it there for your enjoyment actually - I trust you found it amusing?

If PVC is so brittle and you can't store it outside in an unpressurised state, why is it that all new builds over here are having guttering, downpipes, and all other exterior plumbing made out of PVC? Why is it that you can't leave it outside in Winter where the change in temperature is over months yet you can use it in a SG where the temperature can drop dramtically when the gas expands in a few mS?

I'm not talking about firing it - just storing it.


Well first of all, you don't pressurize down pipe and it's under little to no stress and shock.

As long as you don't fire it during the Winter when it has been stored outside you should be fine, but PVC does get damaged when exposed to the elements.

Like I said before, when it's cold, it's brittle and slightly weaker because it has shrunken, if you freeze a piece of PVC and hit it with a hammer it will shatter, if you hit a normal piece of PVC with a hammer chances are it will bounce off. As long as the PVC is not in its cold state it should be fine, so you can still shoot SG's in Winter if you store the pipe correctly.

SG's can take the dramatic temperature change because it lasts only a few milliseconds and since the pipe is in its more durable form(not frozen) it can expand with the heat and is more flexible, but when it is frozen, all its flexibility has gone out the window and it cannot cope with the shock and wont expand with the heat, instead it will blow up.
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Unread postAuthor: sandman » Fri Oct 12, 2007 5:45 pm

so to sum up everything wrap up the PVC so nothing gets on it and dont use it till its warm again, and you will be fine
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Unread postAuthor: SpudBlaster15 » Sat Oct 13, 2007 11:53 am

Cold temperatures will not effect PVC, so long as the pipe is not used while it is cold (and thus brittle).
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