orange pipe

In every issue you’ll find.

  • How-To
  • Design
  • Tools & Materials
  • Videos
  • Blogs
  • Forum
  • Magazine
  • Members
  • FHB House
  • Podcast
  • Join
  • Log In


My ignorance rises once again. What the heck is Orange PVC used for? Was just up at my church getting my adrenaline rush (my heart races at new construction, especially a new commercial building such as our church….we’re building a very large church and seeing all the trade work gets me going) at seeing the progress of our new church and for the first time ever I kept seeing orange PVC pipe runs, they looked like they were 1″ PVC runs and they were tapping into Cast Iron pipe all over the place. I suspected it might be DWV Vent pipe (the orange PVC) but what all I saw made me pretty unsure that my guess was right. What is it for ?


Around here the pipe is called blaze king. Its used for fire sprinklers

I bought some leftover orange conduit that is used for running optical fiber cabling that I assume is PVC, but haven’t really looked at it that closely. Seems a little more flexible than the 20′ lengths of PVC at the home centers. It’s wound on a drum, so I hope it is flexible. I was told by someone on Breaktime that I probably couldn’t use it as electrical conduit as it doesn’t appear to be rated for that service. However, it does appear that they make orange conduit in both PVC and covered metallic types that is rated for electrical circuits. Hopefully someone more knowledgeable than I will chime in here.

I have seen the orange tubing that you are talking about used as for underground runs for cable and TV.

But in his case it is connecting to a case iron pipe so the sprinker use makes more sense.

Thanks, you’re right. the sprinkler system is likely it. It would make sense because in some places I saw a T fitting with the tail pointing upwards ready for something to hook into it later. coupled with the fact that it was branching off of what looked like 3″ or 4″ cast iron pipe. I never considered it was sprinkler pipe. Another day is down, another thing learned.

After your question here, I gotta ask. . . just how did you come by your nickname?

“You will do me the justice to remember that I have always strenuously supported the right of every man to his opinion, however different that opinion may be to mine. He who denies to another this right, makes a slave of himself to his present opinion, because he precludes himself the right of changing it.” Thomas Paine

Sam – what a nice question. I appreciate your asking.

Ever since my grandfather gave me a roman candle to hold when I was 5yrs old I been hooked on fireworks. It’s a god awful addiction. There is a saying in the industry. “He that once smells the smoke is ne’er again free.” No, we’re not talking Pot either LOL

I’ve always shot backyard fireworks growing up, putting on fancy elaborate displays for my relatives every July 4th. Then I really grew up and moved to PA and accidentally hooked up with a fireworks display company from France. Yes, it was an accident. Apprenticed under them 2yrs and became a lead fireworker shooting displays all over the country.

Today I”m the proud owner of a small time fireworks/pyrotechnics business. It is largely seasonal. I do large choreographed fireworks displays, design, setup and fire them. I also perform indoor pyro FX for theatre, movies, dramas, etc. Pays real good, but I don’t want to become big as it’s a cut throat industry and I dont’ wanna live like that. Instead I’m happy with what I get. Some years I gross $5K, others $50K. Because I am obsessed with pyro a number of friends called me Pyroman, sometime Pyroguy. It’s always stuck and then I pretty much adopted it and it’s as much a part of my life now as my real name.

While I”m a small time operation, I’m proud to have received a number of exceptinally large contracts as well as do private shows for some of the snobs of society like the DuPonts and others. I’ve proudly been the chief fireworker and designer for shows at Busch Gardens and Kings Dominion in VA thru the years. I’ve done some major rock bands, renowned symphonic orchestras, singers such as Whitney Houston. it’s a rather impressive list and sometimes I wake up and wonder how the h*ll I’ve achieved all of that. I take the biz seriously both from safety and from professionalism. My one friend blew his head clean off, it IS dangerous, thank God for testosterone that kinda makes us immune to that threat. the greater reward is when I’ve done a show that does more for people than put smiles on their faces. See, it’s a true passion, thus the name 🙂

“You will do me the justice to remember that I have always strenuously supported the right of every man to his opinion, however different that opinion may be to mine. He who denies to another this right, makes a slave of himself to his present opinion, because he precludes himself the right of changing it.” Thomas Paine

Like Sam says, way cool.

Returning to subject, I would suggest that the orange pipe may be sprinkler pipe if it is connected to steel pipe. Cast iron is not rated for sprinkler systems. Cast iron pipe has a coarse/ dull /slightly rough finish. Sprinkler pipe is slightlt glossy in finish and smooth. Cast iron DWV fitting are light guage metal bands over rubber sleeves. Sprinkler pipe fittings are very large metal rings with bolts over rubber gasgets. Big difference in form and function.

Maybe some of the firefighters can help out with the orange pvc “sprinkler” pipe.

Actually, I stand corrected, it IS steel pipe, blackish pipe. Show how I got cast iron stuck in my head. Might be because I’m getting ready to replace a CI section in my house.

did ya hear the sad news that a great guy . George Zambelli . died?

Around here . and from what I understand .. around the world . he was known as one of the great firework guys.

Had the pleasure of meeting him . then seeing again once a year for a handfull of years . thru a work function my wife was involved with. Both him and the wife was as nice of people as you’d hope to meet . the first year .. he was the guest of honor at this huge black tie affair . we were to be “introduced” right after them . he kept talking and joking the whole time we were all filling in .

JeffBuck Construction Pittsburgh,PA

Artistry in Carpentry

Jeff, no I hadn’t had the opportunity to hear yet that George Z had died. I will shock you, though, when you hear me say that as great as a guy he was from what you saw, he’s on the extreme opposite when it came to fireworks business and fireworks contracts. I used to want to work for Zambelli and over time glad that I never had the chance. I’ve had the distinct honor of competing against him in bids a few times and with him it’s beyond cut-throat. I’ve considered the man to be a crook. Yeah, believe me I know that’s harsh, really harsh, but I know others to go further with their thoughts in terms of harshness.

Once I won a show here locally, a solid and fair win. Ole George true to form, after I thought I beat him, came in with his powerful infuential contacts (the mayor) and made the client withdraw me as winning bidder. I’m just a little guy who occasionally gets to compete against a big fish in the sea. All I could do is walk away.

Couple of years ago I had a very solid lead on getting all of the fireworks displays for HERCO (Hershey Entertainment and Resorts Company) here in Hershey PA. Zambelli had them, I was going in to oust him. I had all my ducks in a row. I had developed such a positive relationship with the then director at the time that ultimately they came to me and said Zambelli appears to be influential in HERCO and that he (the director) had been instructed to no longer entertain my offers or services. when I inquired what happened all of a sudden, he cleared his throat and said he can’t say anything other than G.Zambelli found out and spoke to certain people and those certain people told him to not make me welcome anymore.

some of the things he’s openly said to competitor companies has resulted in his being investigated on numerous accidents, include sabotage accidents. The man actually had a police “record” as I understand it from those that worked for him.

I fell victim to his business tactics a number of times. Those of us in the know of how he does business have despised his tactics enough to inform the client he is working with what he’s doing to them. In most cases the client won’t listen to reason. Sometimes a client would listen, and see what we said was true, and sued him for breech of contract. See. most cities and towns bid out shows by the “shell count.” That is how many of this size and this size and this size of aerial shell they’ll get. He promises certain counts for various size shells and bids based on that. It’s usually a ridiculous amount of shells that an honest competitor cannot compete against, just so he lands the show. Once he gets a signed contract he immediately slices and dices the shell counts by a solid third. At the packing warehouse packers were instructed to to slice another third off of what remained for quality shells, and to make the remaining 2/3 of the order cheap Chinese shells and 1/3 super quality shells.

One company I worked for got the ear of the sponsor. Though I wasn’t allowed to be present, I learned that the customer went onsite (most never do) to check if what they were told is true and did count the shells and compared them to what they were told they’d get and it was less than the bid, and it was even less than what the competitors were offering when bidding was open.

Yeah, I’m pretty ill towards the man. But that aside I’m deeply sorry that his life has otherwise ended. Life is precious no matter what one makes their paths in life be. If I recall correctly, I thought I learned he was battling cancer?? I won’t miss his tactics, though, and at least there is some hope that maybe those who resume the torch of Zambelli Internationale will bring positive and respectable changes. Maybe I’ll try competing against ZI again. I stopped competeing against ZI about 5 yrs ago. That is if I saw he was a competitor I did not bother bidding. Fortunately he’s mostly gone after the big fish shows. So I’ve done well as a business working the small and medium stuff. But I love the occasional big win 🙂 I realize you meant your comments positively, and i’m sure he was a great and decent man to you, but I regret my business experiences with him really really sucked.

Definately the only thing the phone monopoly will accept here.

My ignorance rises once again. What the heck is Orange PVC used for? Was just up at my church getting my adrenaline rush (my heart races at new construction, especially […]