While forklifts were cruising the aisles of a warehouse in Grantsville, Maryland, a crew from BYCO Enterprises had to carefully retrofit that same space with 1,340 feet of gas line. Viega’s MegaPressG fittings were the perfect solution to meet the challenge.
The warehouse was already stocked and operational, so the small BYCO crew had to navigate around several workers and equipment to do their jobs. Plus, knowing that forklifts were a constant in the space meant that BYCO had to run the piping appropriately, so it wouldn’t be in the way when they finished the job.
“We had to be in and out of the areas quickly,” explains Wesley Brenneman, foreman for BYCO. “We used 160 total fittings, and had to run the gas lines through several walls — sometimes up in the rafter space a good bit. We wanted to make sure we stayed away from workers hitting the gas lines with forklifts!”
The retrofit project became necessary when the already-existing warehouse changed from having a dry sprinkler system to a wet sprinkler system. Brenneman notes there had been a lot of issues with the dry system, so a wet system would hopefully be less problematic and also need less maintenance. But previously, the building hadn’t had heat, so in order to add the wet sprinkler system, they needed to warm the warehouse so the pipes wouldn’t potentially freeze.
That’s where BYCO’s crew — whose mission it was to run the gas line and install 12 Reznor heaters in the 120,000-square-foot warehouse — came in. Installers ran about 200 feet of 3-inch gas pipe and 420 feet of 2-inch pipe. The lines transitioned down to 1 1/4-inch, 1-inch and 1/2-inch in different locations.
“We tried to keep the lines as high as possible,” Brenneman says. “In some places, we could get up and run them behind the beams and drop down to the heaters. With an elevated pressure system like that, you don’t want something hitting those lines!”
Four forklifts move constantly throughout the warehouse, so Brenneman explains that his crew would shut down an aisle when needed, then get in and out as quickly as possible so they weren’t holding up the warehouse workers any more than necessary.
“If we’d been threading, we would have been there for two months, easy,” he says. “It was me and one other guy, and we spent about three weeks on the gas line installing the Viega fittings. It’s easy for me to say that it probably took a quarter of the time.
“Honestly, I don’t know if we would have been able to do it any other way,” he adds. “There’s so much cardboard in that warehouse, so welding a 3-inch line in there might have been impossible.”
Brenneman said BYCO first got to know Viega products when the company started using ProPress for exposed fire-suppression systems a few years ago. Once they realized the speed afforded by Viega’s press fittings, BYCO visited Viega’s New Hampshire Seminar Center and got certified for PureFlow PEX systems, too.
The warehouse job was BYCO’s first use of MegaPress. Brenneman says they’d seen the gas lines and the possibilities of MegaPressG while in New Hampshire.
“It made all the sense in the world,” he said of bringing in MegaPressG.