Thousands of MegaPressG fittings will ensure that tens of thousands of animals at a hog farm in Milford, Utah, stay warm. Plus, the fittings will reduce the need for maintenance at the site.
Barry Barnes, Superintendent for Rollins Construction, has overseen the huge project of building a group of new hog-raising barns. There are 26 sites, each with four barns that are 320 feet by 50 feet in size.
And to keep all the hogs warm, there are gas heaters installed – 58 per barn. The gas main and branches, from 1″ down to 1⁄2″, are piped with MegaPressG fittings. Lots and lots of them.
“The hog barns get very acidic,” Barnes explained. “It’s like the ocean, salty air from the pigs. They’re well-ventilated, but it’s still acidic. And because of that, gas lines rust and break.”
Enter Viega. Barnes noted that in previously built barns the threaded joints were the weakest part of all of the plumbing. It’s the cause of most maintenance.
“They’re always replacing gas pipes,” he said. “One of the main problems is the high maintenance issues, and the weakest points were always at the thread. With MegaPressG, they won’t have that problem. And it makes future repairs easier.”
Barnes had a history with Viega from previously working in Las Vegas, where he used ProPress for years and was “very impressed with it.” So when he went to Utah and got involved with the hog farm job, he said he felt like calling on Viega was the perfect fit.
“The first new barn we built has been in operation for about eight months. You can see the gas pipe rusting some – but the MegaPress fittings look brand new!” he said. “So the owners are impressed.”
Each site has 206 fittings to run all the gas pipe to the individual heaters. Barnes’s two-man crew saved an estimated 50 percent on installation time by using Viega press instead of threading. He said the speed of installation has made MegaPressG well worth the investment, particularly give the large scope of the project.
Building on the current location began in April of 2018, and the last barn is set to be built and populated by December of this year.
The heaters are necessary because in the winter, temperatures can be below zero in Milford, not factoring in wind chills. In the summer, temperatures can hit 100, but the evenings still get cold, so even in the warmer months the heaters are often necessary, at least overnight.
“My favorite thing about Viega is the time savings,” Barnes said. “For example, when you have a lot of piping up in the air, you have torches and fire extinguishers that you’re always dropping down which takes up time. Plus, using MegaPress – which is flameless – in wood structures is a safety thing. You don’t have to fill out a hot permit and shut the crew down early to check for hot spots.
“I hadn’t seen MegaPress until 2015, but seeing that we didn’t need oils and threading machines anymore, I saw the ease of use,” he added. “It’s been great on this project.”