Some pics from work

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Thought maybe you guys would like to see what industrial/commercial plumbing looks like. This first one is from a tenant improvement that involved hundreds of feet of trenching, as much as seven feet deep. This is the shallow end, but it's not completely dug out in this picture. This is from a hotel I recently worked on. Since I'm a foreman, I spent several months on this one without touching a tool. Then suddenly I was in charge of getting the boiler room done, as for some reason the guy who had been working on it was transferred to another job. So this is where we started hanging pipe. This is 6" Sch. 10 stainless, which is what the main is made out of. Most of the branch piping is CPVC. There are 3 1.3 million BTUH boilers, and on the bottom of this piping, you can see 3 3" butterfly valves. Next is some work I did myself. Normally, I'm content to stand around barking orders, but as the end of the job approaches, and manpower is diverted to other jobs, the foreman often has to do whatever remains. This is condenser water from some cooling towers that you can't see to the right, going to heat exchangers for some monster freeze-driers (lyophilizers). On the right is 2" copper going up, and there is 1-1/4" copper going down to the heat exchangers. The reason that the piping goes way up in the air and back down instead of following a more direct path is that they wanted to be able to walk between the cooling towers and the lyophilizers. Next one is also me. I didn't do most of this system, but I did get another guy to take pics on the parts I worked on. Here I am silver-brazing a 2"x1" copper tee for a compressed air system. We must have run a thousand feet of brazed 2" copper in this building. There's more than 600' in just this room where I'm working. Incidentally, this is an A-32 air-acetylene tip, for those who care. Hope you like them.
 

CT8

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My dad was a local 38 plumber and he love the work on the huge buildings.
 

Stelth

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Originally Posted By: KGMtech
You keep the silver locked up when not in use?
Yes, but we often use 5% silver unless 15% is specified. Not quite as expensive, but still not cheap. The lyophilizer guys were using something like 65% silver, which I imagine costs plenty.
 
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Thanks for sharing the photos! That is some nice looking work. I'll bet it's good for the workmen to see that the foreman can do good work too! Hope they see what their able leader can do...
 

Stelth

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Originally Posted By: Linctex
That copper is glowing - isn't that way too hot, even for silver solder?
Plumbers generally use BCuP alloys, which require more than 1150 degrees F. So actually, I would expect the copper to be glowing brighter than that when it's ready to braze. Usually it's cherry red when it's hot enough.
 

Stelth

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Originally Posted By: Mr Nice
Nice photos. How does someone get into this line of work ? Education, training ?
A lot depends on where you live, and whether the unions are strong. If you have a strong plumbers union in your area, I'd go down and talk to them. Alternatively, you can just go to a local plumbing company and see if they're hiring helpers, and if they participate in an apprenticeship program.
 
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Lyophilizers and boilers? I assume this is a pharmaceutical/biotech facility that's using those to package up injectables for end use or is it a food facility? As for CPVC, what's the difference between that and regular PVC besides the obvious chemical difference(extra Cl molecule) and how does it compare to PEX? I know Lubrizol who has an interest in CPVC is trying to push it as an alternative to PEX.
 

Stelth

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Originally Posted By: nthach
Lyophilizers and boilers? I assume this is a pharmaceutical/biotech facility that's using those to package up injectables for end use or is it a food facility? As for CPVC, what's the difference between that and regular PVC besides the obvious chemical difference(extra Cl molecule) and how does it compare to PEX? I know Lubrizol who has an interest in CPVC is trying to push it as an alternative to PEX.
The lyophilizers were at a biotech facility. The boilers (hot water boilers in this case) were at a large hotel. Flowguard Gold CPVC is rated for 110 psig at 180 degrees F. PVC doesn't come anywhere near that. I think Corzan (a brand name and spec) Sch. 80 CPVC is considerably stronger than Flowguard Gold. Flowguard Gold is available up to 2", and is made in copper tube size, i.e., same OD as copper tubing. Corzan is IPS, i.e., the same OD as iron pipe. A transition bushing is used to connect the two. Corzan can be had in up to 18", I think (don't quote me). Corzan can be used in grooved systems, Flowguard Gold cannot. So we made the transition from the stainless mains to CPVC by using a grooved Corzan nipple. Probably more info than you wanted.
 
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