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Understanding Plastic Pipe

Question: Can you please explain the uses of the different types of plastic pipe.

Answer: Plastic drain, waste, and vent (DWV) piping has been approved for use by local and state codes, including the codes established by the following organizations.

Building Officials Conference of America
Southern Building Code Congress
International Association of Plumbing and Mechanical Officials
Federal Housing Administration (FHA)

Types of Plastic Pipe:

PVC – Polyvinyl Chloride: Type 1 polyvinyl chloride can withstand significant applied force, is sturdy, and is inexpensive. It resists a wide range of acids and bases but may be damaged by some solvents and chlorinated hydrocarbons. The maximum service temperature is 140°F (60°C). PVC is better suited to pressure piping.

ABS – Acrylonitrile-Butadiene-Styrene: Usage of ABS has almost doubled compared with PVC in DWV (drain/waste/vent) piping systems. This pipe is limited to 160°F (71°C) water temperature at lower pressures, which is considered adequate for DWV use.

CPVC – Chlorinated Polyvinyl Chloride: CPVC meets the U.S. standards for piping 180°F (82°C) water at pressures of up to 100 psi. It can withstand 200 ° F (93°C) for limited periods. CPVC has a similar resistance to corrosion and is as strong as PVC.

PE - Polyethylene: PE is a flexible pipe for pressure systems. Like PVC, it cannot be used for hot-water systems.

PB – Polybutylene: This flexible pipe can be used for either hot-water or cold-water pressure systems. Because no method has been developed to chemically bond PB, solvent-weld joints cannot be used. Compression type joints are used instead.

Polypropylene: Polypropylene is suitable for lower-pressure applications up to 180°F (82°C). This lightweight material is used widely for laboratory and industrial drainage of acids, bases and many solvents.



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