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Wooden water pipe

hot_rod Member Posts: 14,874
Looks like a 10" main and a 2" lateral that fed the building. Rot at the end coupling caused the failure.
At Local 174 in Coopersville, Michigan.

Interesting to see the 100 year old pipe, next to state of the art MIG welders in their lab.

A great training facility and staff, classes are filled up!

Bob "hot rod" Rohr
trainer for Caleffi NA
Living the hydronic dream


  • bob_46
    bob_46 Member Posts: 813
    Good find HR. Local 501 (now part of 597) we had a piece of wood gas main that had been in use until the early 1990's .
    It came from a part of the Chicago area that has (had?) district regulation and low pressure.
  • jumper
    jumper Member Posts: 1,682
    I'm told that very long ago LosAngeles had a district refrigeration system with ammonia in wood pipes. Try that today.
  • Gordy
    Gordy Member Posts: 9,514
    Most likley cypress. So long as O2 keeps away from the wood as you see it will last a very long time.
  • BobC
    BobC Member Posts: 5,209
    A lot of the old buildings in Boston's Back Bay were brick built on pilings back in the last half of the 19th century. As long as those pilings stay wet they will last a very long time, some of them have started to rot because of a falling water table.

    i assume the water kept the oxygen at bay. I see similar problems with pilings on wharves in the inter-tidal zone.

    Smith G8-3 with EZ Gas @ 90,000 BTU, Single pipe steam
    Vaporstat with a 12oz cut-out and 4oz cut-in
    3PSI gauge
  • Gordy
    Gordy Member Posts: 9,514
    Look at Venice, Italy.....
  • jonny88
    jonny88 Member Posts: 1,139
    edited July 2016
    Rosenwach in Nyc build all their water tanks from wood.Mike Rowe did a great episode on dirty jobs about it.I forget what kind of wood they use but it stands the test of time open to the elements on top of a lot of buildings.
    GordyPaul S_3
  • Bob Harper
    Bob Harper Member Posts: 882
    Most of the early fire mains were similar wooden pipes. When there was a fire, you dug down to the pipe then bored a hole in it resulting in the pit filling with water under low pressure. Once the fire was out, you took a "fire plug" and hammered it into the hole, thus the nickname for fire hydrants. As long as it remained soaked it didn't leak. Same as wine casks, wooden canteens and wooden boats.
  • Hilly
    Hilly Member Posts: 417
    Here's a couple of snaps I gathered from my home town. I'm hoping there is some more documentation laying around. You manage to peak my interests here at home @hot rod

  • BillW
    BillW Member Posts: 198
    The Cloaca Maxima in Rome, Italy built in about 600 BC is still in use today. Roman sewer systems were copied from the even more ancient Greek sewers. The aqueducts delivered fresh water by gravity to the royal palaces and wealthy homes; the public had fountains. Poorer quality water went to the baths and the public bathrooms and all drained into the sewer system that discharged into the Tiber River, as it does today. The work of the really, really, REALLY "dead men"!
  • Gordy
    Gordy Member Posts: 9,514
    And all great empires come to an end. Sooner, or later......