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PVC Pipe—Design

and Installation

AWWA MANUAL M23

Second Edition

Science and Technology

AWWA unites the drinking water community by developing and distributing authoritative scientific and technological
knowledge. Through its members, AWWA develops industry standards for products and processes that advance public
health and safety. AWWA also provides quality improvement programs for water and wastewater utilities.

Copyright © 2002 American Water Works Association, All Rights Reserved


MANUAL OF WATER SUPPLY PRACTICES—M23, Second Edition
PVC Pipe—Design and Installation

Copyright © 2002 American Water Works Association

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AWWA MANUAL M23

Chapter 3
Hydraulics

Many empirical formulas and equations have been developed to provide a solution to
the problem of flow in pipes and are used daily by water utility engineers. Relatively
few specific problems in pipe hydraulics, such as laminar flow, can be solved entirely
by rational mathematical means. Solutions to the majority of flow problems depend
on experimentally determined coefficients and relationships. Commonly used flow
formulas have been developed through research by Darcy, Chezy, Kutter, Scobey,
Manning, Weisbach, Hazen, and Williams.

FLOW FORMULAS______________________________________________________________________
Hydraulic flow research and analysis have established that the Hazen–Williams equa-
tion can be used for PVC pressure piping system design. Flow conditions may also be
analyzed more precisely and with more detail using the Darcy–Weisbach equation.

Darcy–Weisbach Equation
The Darcy–Weisbach equation provides the hydraulic design of PVC pressure water
pipe. Relative pipe roughness (ε/D) and Reynolds Number (Re = VD/ν) are also
defined. The commonly used form of the Darcy–Weisbach formula is shown in Eq 3-1.
2
LV f
h f = f ------------- (3-1)
D 2g
Where:
hf = head loss, ft of H2O
ƒ = friction factor
L = pipe length, ft
D = pipe inside diameter, ft
Vf = mean flow velocity, ft/sec
g = acceleration of gravity, 32.2 ft/sec2

13

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14 PVC PIPE—DESIGN AND INSTALLATION

Investigation and analysis by Neale and Price have established that the friction
factor ƒ for hydraulically smooth flow in PVC pipe may be defined by the following
equation:
1- = 2 log ( R f ) – 0.8
------ (3-2)
10 e
f
Where:
ƒ = friction factor
Re = Reynolds Number
The calculations for the friction factor (f) may be tedious. In common practice,
the factor is established by using the Moody diagram shown in Figure 3-1. Relative
roughness (ε/D) is related to friction factor (ƒ ) as shown in Eq 3-3. Figure 3-2 provides
values for relative roughness (ε/D) for various pipe products.

1  ε 9.35 
------- = 1.14 – 2 log 10  ---- + ------------- (3-3)
f  D R e f
Where:
f = friction factor
ε = 0.000005 ft, PVC pipe
D = pipe inside diameter, ft
Re = Reynolds Number

Hazen–Williams Equation
The Hazen–Williams flow equation is the most widely accepted and used for calculat-
ing pressure pipe flow conditions. The equation can be expressed in the following ways
depending on the solution needed. Flow velocity in a pipeline can be calculated using
Eq 3-4.
V = 1.318C(RH)0.63(S)0.54 (3-4)
Where:
V = flow velocity, ft/sec
C = flow coefficient
RH = hydraulic radius, ft
Note: RH = ¼(D) for pipe flowing full
S = hydraulic slope, ft/ft

Flow rate in gpm, given pressure drop in psi, can be calculated using Eq 3-5.

P 1 – P 2 0.54
C  -------------------
2.63
Q = 0.442d i (3-5)
 L 
Where:
Q = flow rate, gpm (All gallons are US gallons unless otherwise noted.)
di = pipe inside diameter, in.
C = flow coefficient
P1, P2 = gauge pressures, psi
L = pipe length, ft

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HYDRAULICS 15

Source: American Society of Mechanical Engineers, New York, NY, Transactions, ASME, Vol. 66 (1944) L.F. Moody.

Figure 3-1 Moody diagram—friction factor

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16 PVC PIPE—DESIGN AND INSTALLATION

Source: American Society of Mechanical Engineers, New York, NY, Transactions, ASME, Vol. 66 (1944) L.F. Moody.

Figure 3-2 Moody diagram—relative roughness

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HYDRAULICS 17

Using Eq 3-6, flow rate can be derived from pressure drop expressed in terms of
feet per 1,000 ft.
Q = 0.006756 Cdi2.63 H0.54 (3-6)
Where:
Q = flow rate, gpm
C = flow coefficient
di = pipe inside diameter, in.
H = head loss, ft/1,000 ft
Friction loss in hydraulic flow can be derived from Eq 3-7.

1.852 1.852
f = 0.2083  ----------
100 Q
-------------------- (3-7)
 C  4.8655
di
Where:
f = friction loss, ft of water/100 ft
C = flow coefficient
Q = flow rate, gpm
di = pipe inside diameter, in.
Flow coefficients for PVC pipe have been derived through research and analysis
by various researchers, including Neale, Price, Jeppson, and Bishop. Research has
established that the Hazen–Williams flow coefficient C can range in value from 155 to
165 for both new and previously used PVC pipe. Therefore, a flow coefficient of C = 150
is generally used as a conservative value for the design of PVC piping systems.
Using C = 150 for PVC pipe, Eq 3-4 through 3-7 can be simplified as follows for
use in designing PVC piping systems:
0.63 0.54
V = 197.7 R H (S) (3-8)

2.63  P 1 – P 0.54
Q = 66.3 d i -------------------2 (3-9)
 L 
2.63 0.54
Q = 1.0134 d i H (3-10)
1.852
Q
f = 0.0984 -------------------
4.8655
- (3-11)
di
Where:
V = flow velocity, ft/sec
RH = hydraulic radius, ft
S = hydraulic slope, ft/ft
Q = flow rate, gpm
di = pipe inside diameter, in.
P1, P2 = gauge pressures, psi
L = pipe length, ft
H = head loss, ft/1,000 ft
f = friction loss, ft of water/100 ft
For convenience in design, Tables B-1, B-2, B-3, and B-4 in Appendix B have
been developed, based on the Hazen–Williams formula with C = 150, to provide flow
capacity (gpm), friction loss (feet per 100 ft), and flow velocity (ft/sec) for AWWA C900,
AWWA C905, ASTM D2241, and C909 PVC pressure pipe products. Nomographs for
solving head loss characteristics are provided in Figures 3-3 and 3-4.

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18 PVC PIPE—DESIGN AND INSTALLATION

Figure 3-3 Friction loss characteristics of water flow through PVC pipe

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HYDRAULICS 19

Source: Flow of Fluids through Valves, Fittings, and Pipe. Copyright 1942 by Crane Company.

Figure 3-4 Resistance of valves and fitting to flow of fluids

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