What kind of pipe to use in barn

I ran about 40 feet of 1" PCV pipe across the ceiling in my barn. It goes from the hydrant (spigot) in the "water room" to the opposite side of the barn. The object is to get the water over to that side of the divided barn to water the animals on that side. The pipe has a short hose on the end by the hydrant. The PVC goes up the wall, and angles downward across the ceiling so that the water can escape on both ends when the hoses are disconnected.
This works fine, even in our severe northern cold winters, as long as the hoses are removed from both ends as soon as I complete filling the water tanks for the animals. I must also always leave the valve open on the low end where the water exits. As long as the valve is left open and hoses removed, all the water drains out both ends.
The problem is that I occasionally have hired help. I can tell these guys a million times to OPEN that valve and remove the hoses, but they seem to often forget to do this, particularly open the valve. Once the weather gets cold, this PVC pipe freezes and literally breaks apart in pieces. It seems that every year this happens at least once, and it just happened again.
I think I need a different type of pipe that will handle freezing better. While freezing will cause problems (since I cant use this pipeline), at least I wont have to keep replacing parts of it. I know that both copper and steel pipe will break when frozen, although not as badly as this PVC which just self destructs.
From what I have found, the only thing that will handle freezing is PEX. But I dont see how I can prevent sags in PEX, and sags will hold water and freeze. About the only way would be to put boards up there, or maybe something like rebar, and attach hangers every 8" or so. That seems like a lot of work and a big hassle. Besides that, do they even make 1" PEX? Plus, what about the brass fittings. Maybe the PEX wont break from freezing, but what about those fittings, wont they break? If all of this is not enough reason NOT to use PEX, I dont have the tools to install the crimps, and I can just imagine what this tool would cost for 1" PEX, just to make about 6 joints.
The thought has arisen to premake the whole thing, and take it to a plumber to install the crimps.
Then too, I know abotu those Sharkbite connectors, but I bet they would fail immediately if the pipes froze. I also wonder if plain hose clamps would work, and I suspect they would. Yet, I will still have the sagging problems and can not see a simple way to eliminate that since the pipe is literally suspended in the air. I fastened the PVC using hanger straps from the rafters, but they work fine spaced about 8 feet apart.
The other thought I have is that black poly pipe that is normally used underground. That stuff is cheap and may or may not hold up to freezing (I dont know?). But that stuff will likely tend to sag too, maybe not as bad, but it still will.
(No, not a garden hose, I actually used that first and hoses can freeze and do not break, but with the hose I had the sagging problem, and all the dips would freeze, which I why I went to a solid pipe.
What else is there? Any ideas?
Thanks
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Better supervision?
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Larry Wasserman - Baltimore Maryland - lwasserm(a)sdf. lonestar.org
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You can't trust the hired help, so you'll just have to check it yourself. Problem solved!
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We had something a bit like your problem. Installed a twist timer that allowed electrical control of solenoids. Water could only flow while activated. Once power was removed, opened another solenoid that let all water out. Simple and effective.
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DanG
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On Sat, 27 Nov 2010 06:36:35 -0600, snipped-for-privacy@unlisted.com wrote Re What kind of pipe to use in barn:

I believe that black-poly pipe (comes in rolls) will not break if it freezes with water. It's a lot cheaper than PEX. I don't know about the fittings. I would guess that as water froze in the fittings it would expand into the pipe as the pipe expands slightly to accommodate the expanding ice.
You might have to do an experiment to test the concept. Get 1' of 1" black-poly pipe. Put some fittings on the ends. Use double clamping to secure the fittings. Fill with water and then freeze to see how it holds up.
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On 11/27/2010 6:36 AM, snipped-for-privacy@unlisted.com wrote:

1/2 inch pex inside it. You don't need that big one inch pipe for what you're doing anyway.
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Steve Barker
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Do you need a valve on the outlet end? I have a similar system and don't bother with an outlet valve. To drain the system I have only to open the secondary valve at the Y installed at the inlet end. I can turn on the water then rather casually walk from there to the outlet before the water starts flowing out that end.
You might also install an anti-siphon device at the inlet end or at the high point of the system.
Another common trick is to install the water line on top of the roof so it gets sun and thaws almost daily, if you are located in a climate with plenty of sunlight in winter.
You might like rec.equestrian .
    Una
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On 11/27/2010 7:36 AM, snipped-for-privacy@unlisted.com wrote:

Without it in front of me it's a little tough. On the spigot end, assuming you sometimes want water from that point, plumb a 3 way valve directly to the hydrant in such a way that if the hydrant is on, it is either splashing at your feet, or going toward the water room. Toward the water room, run the pipe with a large sort of U trap with an automatic drain valve at the bottom. (drains when there is less than 10 pounds of pressure. You may need a little restriction to make the auto drain valve close properly. I'm not sure how this would work, but at the high point of the pipe, install an automatic vent like on drain lines. It should work ok since there will never be much water pressure and when the water is turned off it will allow air in so the pipes can drain by gravity. OK, maybe add a check valve between the 3 way valve and the auto drain valve so the whole pipe full of water doesn't want to drain down the hydrant since the auto drain valve may be a little slow.
Google 3 way valves and auto drain valves and auto vents and you will figure it out. Draw a picture of it, that will make it easy to understand.
Or you could put a big ass florescent orange note reminding others to open both valves.
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snipped-for-privacy@unlisted.com wrote: ...

Heat tape or bury the line permanently come to mind...
Assuming this isn't a temporary thing (which I gather it isn't if you've had the problem for years and have enough that you actually hire help), there's nothing like doing it right, once...
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