To run specialty gas lines for welding-lab classrooms in both a high school and technical college in Wyoming, Valley Plumbing and Heating worked closely with Viega to obtain the approvals necessary. After consideration and research, Viega approved the uses requested, and the contractor was able to finish the job utilizing Viega ProPress for copper and stainless steel cleaned and capped piping.

At Thunder Basin High School in Gillette, Wyoming, and Eastern Wyoming College in Torrington, Valley Plumbing was tapped to provide lines for specialty gases, as well as domestic water and hydronics.

However, at the high school, two of the requested uses for gas were not already approved by Viega. Valley Plumbing CCO Don Haught, with the help of Viega District Manager Keith Sayers, went through the approvals process for use of propylene and a carbon dioxide/ argon mixture.

The specification required cleaned and capped pipe and fittings for specialty gas. It was essential that no foreign debris or contamination was introduced into the final systems. There were no additional steps taken other than what was done by Viega in the manufacturing process. Fittings are bagged and pipe is capped for delivery and storage. All pipe and fittings remain capped during and after installation.

“We worked with Viega, and they got us the approvals that we asked for to give to the engineers, things that weren’t already preapproved,” Haught said. “I’m a strong proponent of Viega. We worked with the schools to get approval for Viega ProPress installations for copper and stainless products. The Viega solution provides a cleaner, highly professional look and takes significantly less time to install.”

Haught and his team at Valley Plumbing have been using Viega since the early 2000s. He said the products are quicker to install, and he appreciates the “much cleaner look than brazing.”

In addition to the newly approved uses, other gases used at Thunder Basin High School include non-medical oxygen, argon and carbon dioxide in the welding-shop classroom. At Eastern Wyoming College, those same three gases are used in the welding area, along with acetylene and compressed air.

The building Valley Plumbing worked on at EWC was a new build, allowing the school to expand its welding labs as well as offer some new programs, including cosmetology and nursing, where training lines (not carrying actual oxygen) were run.

Using Viega products at both locations was a given for Haught. He said that in addition to the reliability of the fittings and the clean lines with installation, he knew he could work with the company to get the specific approvals needed without a hassle. Haught said he can count more than a dozen recent projects where he has been successful in obtaining engineering approvals on Viega products that were not originally in the specs, and everyone was very happy with the end results.

“We’re always looking for means and methods that make us more efficient and set us apart from the competition,” Haught said. “We like the fact that we’ve been using ProPress for more than 10 years, and many people around here are still not using it much. We always work with the engineers beforehand and try to get it approved before the project bids when possible.”

All of the installations at the high school and college are left exposed so that the pipes are visible as an example of “highly professional install for all new students learning to work in the trades,” Haught said.

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