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ProLawn

Broken Arch???

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OK, first of all I have to say putting the first of my three arches together this afternoon was a huge test on my nerves. It took over 3 1/2 hours to do a 9 channel, 10' arch. But when I hooked it up and ran "MusicBox Dancer", I grinned from ear to ear like a little kid. This stuff aggrevates me soooo much and I always rely heavily on PC members for help to sometimes obvious questions,........but I love it.

My question: I used sch40 3/4 white pvc on a 10' arch. When I finished the lights I bent it into an arch to see what it would look like and wondered how easy these things will take and hold a bend in freezing temperatures. At 78 degrees today, its fine, but when I go to bend it when its 30-40 degrees should I worry about it snapping?

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I don't worry about such things here in Miami but if you live where the temps get below freezing then you might want to use the gray electrical PVC as it won't get so brittle.

I wouldn't bother re-doing now that you have it done, though. Might as well try it and see what happens.

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I'm using the exact same thing for my arches. Mine are 15' though. I have had no problems bending the PVC at all - even the joints have held up.

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I have four 15 foot arches and used 3/4 pvc and have had no problems with it breaking. Of course I usually try to put it out on a sunny day. After the first year mine retain some of the bend.

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Guest Lightzilla

That is the one thing I am worried about up here in Edmonton, Alberta. Here it gets to -40F and I often wonder how a sch40 arch would hold up.

Nonetheless, the arches I designed scare me even more so in cold weather. There light weight, strong for the lights I use, flexible, but how well do they hold up in the very cold weather? Only time well tell.

So far these past few weeks they held up well in sun, rain and wind, and stress...but the cold test comes in just under two months.

Good thing they are portable because I may not like where I plan to put them. What do you think B_Regal78, in front of our 30 ft front deck?

Did I even send you a picture of our new renovated house yet?

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It will get brittle in the cold (I used to lay a lot of pvc pipe in all sorts of MN weather), but if you bend them and put them up before it gets that cold, there shouldn't be a problem. If you try to bend the pipe 180 degrees in the extreme cold, it's going to break, especially considering your 10' pipe is going to have more of a bend/foot than other peoples 15'-20' arches.

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If you are worried about fractures, why not place the arches INSIDE your home to bring up to room temp overnight.....then while "warm", place them in position in your display.

Doug

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my arches were fine in the winter (17 feet 1inch schedule 40) until we had an inch of ice build up on them, collapsed 2 of the arches, at breaking point along the top parts (connectors) other then that even -10 they were fine

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Made my first arch using WHITE 1" Schedule 40 PVC and it was 20 feet. Scared me if it would break in cool weather. The WHITE is not designed to be bent too much.

Discovered in the electrical section of the big hardware stores the GRAY electrical PVC. This pipe has a little more flex to it and will bend earier than the WHITE. Took my lights off the WHITE PVC and put them on the GRAY. First time I bent the arches I knew the made the right decision.

Just my opinion.

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Dont worry about it.....My 10' arches...bent to about 7-8' wide...36" high....withstood -15 degrees (That's right NEGATIVE 15) with 40mph winds, a ton of snow and a pretty good ice storm last winter. They didn't flinch. I think you'll be fine in North Carolina.

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The gray electrical PVC can even be bent into a circle a bit more than 3' diameter (try that with the white stuff!) I originally was going to make a 'trunk' for my mega-tree that way but plans were changed when the lights didn't end up being as long as I thought they would be...

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This is my first year building arches, and I am also a little concerned about snapping the PVC. I plan on leaving the arches in my garage with a propane space heater for several hours, until they get warmed up. Then I plan on using a come-along or ratchet strap to slowly bend them into a half circle. Then let them cool off in shape. Looking back on it, I don't know why I didn't go with grey electrical PVC, since I also know it bends easier. On the other hand, it might not be as sturdy once it gets up in place in the yard. I get a fair amount of wind and snow and don't want things sagging or bending either. Trial and error.

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My experience with Schedule 40 in sub freezing weather is that it will hold up unless it is impacted with a force.

Years ago I was doing work north of Nashville when the temps were in the single digits. The equipment I was working on was filled with Schedule 40 PVC. It was my experience that when I touched it, pushed on it, pulled on it or otherwise, it shattered into hundreds of pieces.

As long as I left it alone, it did not break.

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My experience with Schedule 40 in sub freezing weather is that it will hold up unless it is impacted with a force.

Years ago I was doing work north of Nashville when the temps were in the single digits. The equipment I was working on was filled with Schedule 40 PVC. It was my experience that when I touched it, pushed on it, pulled on it or otherwise, it shattered into hundreds of pieces.

As long as I left it alone, it did not break.

Well that's certainly a comforting thought. Going out to replace a few burned out bulbs and having the arch explode before my eyes into a pile of twisted lights strings and pieces of PVC. Hope you really didn't mean just "touch."

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Well that's certainly a comforting thought. Going out to replace a few burned out bulbs and having the arch explode before my eyes into a pile of twisted lights strings and pieces of PVC. Hope you really didn't mean just "touch."

I really meant touch -- as in putting any weight on it.

I broke enough pieces of piping that I ran out of there and called it a day (I was in for about 15 minutes and broke a lot of pipe).

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