When There’s a Need for Piping, Which One Do You Use?

When There’s a Need for Piping, Which One Do You Use?
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    PVC, CPVC or Copper?

    When renovating there is no question that you’re bound to come across old piping regardless of project.

    This might be under sink piping, in wall piping or pipe used to run wiring to other structures.

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Every situation and application is unique to that specific project. Many older homes use copper pipe prior to the 1980’s. During the 90’s and present PVC (Polyvinyl Chloride) became extremely popular.

Which Type To Use

To determine the type of pipe, you need to start with the application. For example, if hot water will be involved in your project, CPVC would be the choice of pipe because of the higher temperatures. If your application has existing piping already, you may decide to stick with the same type of product for simplicity of extending the system.

If your application does not involve potable water (for example you built a shed and you need to run piping from that structure to an existing structure, schedule 40 would then be the considered piping method.

The following graphic provides a more detailed comparison of some facts related to each type of pipe product:

It’s important to keep a few additional things in mind when choosing a piping material. When it comes to PVC pipe, you can have white and gray. The gray is typically referred to as Schedule 80 and can withstand more internal pressure than the white (typically referred to as Schedule 40). Within the gray family of PVC pipe you also have the option for CPVC. CPVC has a higher rated temperature compared to standard PVC pipe.

Breakdown of PVC

A simple breakdown of PVC looks like this:

  • Schedule 40 (white) is regular pvc piping,
  • Schedule 80 (gray) is high pressure rated pvc piping
  • CPVC is higher pressure rated and can withstand higher temperatures

When considering Copper, it’s more difficult to install and does have a higher cost. But, it’s much smaller than PVC and less rigid. Copper pipe can also handle more forces from nature. Things like earthquakes and fire do minimal damage to copper.  In certain applications, copper is the choice because of those benefits.

Amanda Hill
Amanda is the Marketing Manager at PVC Fittings Online, an online supplier of PVC products & accessories. She has over 5 years of experience in PVC, including residential and commercial needs & applications dealing with Schedule 40, Schedule 80 and Schedule 80 CPVC fittings products.

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