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?