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PVC vs. CPVC: Understanding Which Pipe Is Best for Your Job

February 15,2023

PVC Vs CPVC - Understanding Which Pipe Is Best for Your Job

There are many uses for the two different types of plastic pipes, PVC and CPVC. You can save time and money if you know which pipe is best for the job.


Since both pipes are composed of thermoplastics, condensation is less likely to form thanks to their insulating qualities. However, a few crucial variations make one material superior to another for particular uses.

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Cost

It's crucial to know what kind of pipe will work best for your project, whether you're building a new house or just undertaking a simple remodel. The two widely used options are PVC and CPVC. Although they are both frequently utilized in plumbing applications, each one is distinct and can have a significant influence on your next project.


You must first understand how these pipes are made. Salt and oil are used in the chemical process that creates the vinyl chloride monomer, which is subsequently polymerized, to create standardPVC. With the help of additives, the resin can be formed into pipes using this technique.


However, CPVC is made using a different process that calls for more chlorine. Before starting the process, manufacturers add chlorine to the raw pvc material. As a result, the pipe is of higher quality, more corrosion-resistant, and better suited for hot water applications.


The manufacturing process affects the pipe's sizing, which is something else to take into account. While CPVC piping can be scaled using Copper Tubing Size (CTS) standards, conventional PVC piping follows the Iron Pipe Size (IPS) standard. This may indicate that the pipe you receive is either too tiny or too huge for your project.


Specific types of solvent cement are used to connect both types of pipe. This cement softens the outside surface of the pipe and the inner surface of the union to form a solid junction.


When welding and joining, the different chemical composition of these materials might occasionally cause issues. This is due to the possibility that the primer and solvent used in PVC pipe may not be appropriate for CPVC joints.


Because it needs more manufacture, CPVC is likewise more expensive than PVC. This is caused by the additional chlorine injected during the procedure, however there isn't a significant difference.


Both pipe types come in a variety of colors and are excellent choices for the majority of jobs. They can be utilized for vent, drain, and water supply piping. They may also be put in underground, as well as in basements and crawl spaces.

Temperature

Both PVC and CPVC make excellent pipe materials, but their unique characteristics can have an impact on your project. Knowing which pipe you require for your project and how it will function will determine whether it is a successful build or a failure.


An essential factor is the temperature of the water flowing through the pipe. Your ability to do your work effectively will be directly impacted by having water that is either too hot or too cold.


Researchers found that workers at various organizations worked better when the temperature was between 70 and 80 degrees. This is because it's simpler to concentrate and work effectively when you're at ease.


Similar to this, the choice of pipe material will have a significant impact on the temperature of your pipes and fittings. Regardless of whether you choose to use CPVC or PVC, you should consider the highest temperatures your pipe can withstand without becoming brittle and losing its shape.


This is something you should think about, especially if you intend to use the pipe somewhere where it might be subjected to harsh chemicals or high temperatures. If you intend to use the pipe in these environments, CPVC might be a better option than PVC because it will be more resistant to these conditions.


Other factors besides temperature can influence the type of pipe you should utilize. You should first be aware of the kind of chemicals that will pass through the pipe.


For instance, you should verify a chemical compatibility table before utilizing the pipes in a chemical application to make sure they won't be exposed to any dangerous substances.


Finally, different kinds of cement are used to connect pipes in both PVC and CPVC. Both of these cements, which must adhere to certain guidelines, contain various compounds intended to soften the surface of the pipe. The joints' integrity and pressure and temperature ratings may be affected by the use of the incorrect type of cement, which may result in leaks or other problems.


You should generally refrain from combining these two elements in your projects. This can assist you in avoiding the problems that can occur while utilizing various sorts of pipes and fittings. By cutting down on installation expenses and time, this might also help you save money.

Chemical Compatibility

When choosing a material for use, chemical compatibility with a pipe can be a crucial consideration. Compatibility can be a significant issue for worker safety, environmental protection, and legal compliance in many hazardous materials management settings, such as the storage, mixing, transport, and disposal of chemicals.


Understanding the product's chemical resistance characteristics and its performance additives is crucial when choosing a piping material for chemical applications. This is particularly true with CPVC products, which are created using base resins and compounds with various molecular weights, chlorine contents, and chemical additions.


Compatibility can be impacted by the type of chemistry being employed, the concentrations of the reagents being used, and the temperatures to which the product will be exposed. For this reason, it is crucial to confirm with the particular plastic material provider and to consult a table of chemical compatibility.


For instance, aromatics and ketones are two of the more often utilized compounds that are incompatible with PVC. This is due to the possibility that these substances could result in stress cracking and material softening in the piping, which could result in premature failure.


Similar to how many very corrosive or caustic chemicals can harm metal pipework. Leaks that harm property can arise from this and cost a lot for repair. Fortunately,chlorinated polyvinyl chloride is capable of handling these liquids and may frequently add many more years to the useful life of metal piping systems.


The temperature rating of the pipe is a crucial factor to take into account when selecting it for your chemical application. CPVC is frequently used for commercial and residential potable water piping because of its great temperature resistance.


This enables it to resist temperatures between -40 and 200 degrees Fahrenheit (-40deg C to 39deg C). The majority of CPVC piping systems also use solvent cement, a special chemical bonding method that offers superior joint strength and durability, to link the CPVC joints.


Because CPVC piping comes in a variety of colors, users can select a color that best suits the requirements of their commercial or industrial facility. This means that even in places of the facility where there may not be enough room for signs, the piping system can be aesthetically pleasing and simple to recognize.

Installation

Knowing the right pipe for the job is crucial when installing plumbing. Although PVC and CPVC are both frequently used materials for home and commercial plumbing projects, there are some differences between them that should be considered when making a decision.

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Cost

Both PVC and CPVC pipe are affordable when compared to other options such as metal and PEX. They also have a long service life and are easy to work with.

Unlike other plastics, CPVC is environmentally friendly and does not require the use of fossil fuels to produce. It is durable, odorless, and can be recycled.

However, CPVC pipe is more expensive than PVC pipe because it requires more manufacturing. This process includes adding chlorine to the material, which increases its resistance to a variety of household chemicals.

Temperature

CPVC is rated for higher temperatures than PVC, making it better for hot water applications up to about 200 degrees Fahrenheit. This is why many building codes require CPVC pipe for hot water piping.

Chemical Compatibility

Whether you’re working with PVC or CPVC, you need to use primer and solvent cement (“glue”) when joining the pipes to fittings. These chemicals soften the inner surface of the pipe and melt the joint areas together to create a permanent bond.

When a primer and glue are combined properly, the joints will be strong enough to handle even the most rigorous plumbing applications. CPVC is different than PVC in terms of the primer and solvent that is needed, so make sure you check the label to ensure you’re using the right product for the material.

Sizing

Both PVC and CPVC have their own sizing standards, which prevents confusion between the two types of pipe. For example, PVC is made in copper tube sizes, whereas CPVC is available in iron pipe size standards. This helps plumbers and homeowners avoid accidentally using a copper pipe fitting on a CPVC project or vice versa.

Both pipes have a wide selection of fittings for connecting pipe ends together in a straight line or bending the pipe around a bend. These fittings are available in various lengths to accommodate any pipe length, and they can be used for everything from changing the direction of the pipe to changing the flow of the liquid being pumped through the pipe.