Jul 07, 2017

From All Angles

Swivel joint aids planned upgrade in Myrtle Beach, S.C.

From All Angles

The city of Myrtle Beach, S.C., has a population of approximately 27,000 and is growing. Because Myrtle Beach is a beach resort, this number swells in the summer months. Dean Roughton has 15 years of experience working for the city’s public works department and currently serves as the crew supervisor responsible for performing all water pipe repairs.

Problem & Solution

The city was installing a 12-by-6 in. tapping sleeve with a new valve and replacing a section of 6-in. asbestos-cement pipe with new 6-in. C-900 PVC. The 12-in. main was buried at a different height and angle to the new 6-in. pipe, creating a connection issue.

Determining how to reduce service interruption time to the impacted customers was the challenge. Up until this point, using multiple fittings to connect the pipes was the primary option, or Roughton would need to find a better solution.

Roughton chose to use the Hymax Grip swivel joint, a fitting that connects and restrains any two pipes at any angle from 0 to 90 degrees. The user can adjust the fitting to suit the angle at hand and then tighten it into the desired position with an integral bolted connection. The swivel joint connects and restrains piping materials including PVC, ductile iron and cast iron. Its hydraulic pressure-assisted gasket allows dynamic deflection of up to 4 degrees per end.

The joint can connect and restrain any two pipes at any angle from 0 to 90 degrees.

Flexible Installation

It took the Myrtle Beach service crew less than an hour to install the swivel joint and return water service to customers. This flexible fitting was attached to the new section of PVC pipe coming out of the newly installed tee and valve on one side and allowed proper swivel positioning to connect new PVC on the other side. Instead of using multiple fittings to accommodate varying angles, Roughton was able to use one swivel joint to complete the job in a timely fashion while minimizing labor costs and water service downtime. The cost of the swivel joint was less than the cost of the multiple fittings that would alternatively have been used.

A water main failure can be unpredictable. Dynamic deflection should be a consideration when looking at the integrity of a repair. A swivel joint can reduce the likelihood of a break at the repair point due to the restraint coupling’s, hydraulically assisted gasket. This design offers dynamic deflection of up to 4 degrees per side, allowing for pipe movement caused by potential ground shift.

The product was easy to install, allowing the repair to be completed quickly with minimal downtime for customers, resulting in fewer calls to customer care and minimized labor costs. The angle flexibility offered by the swivel meant that fewer fittings had to be installed, and the product’s dynamic deflection ensured a long-term repair. Finally, a faster repair meant less time in the trench addressing safety concerns. 

About the author

Ed Nunes is product manager for Krausz USA. Nunes can be reached at [email protected].