Drain Waste and Vent (DWV): PVC Pipe

Drain Waste and Vent (DWV) systems convey effluent streams, such as black water and or gray...

Polyvinyl Chloride (PVC) piping is the most widely used plastic piping material. It is available...

Benefit of Material to Systems Application

There is more footage of PVC piping used in the world today than any other piping material mainly due to its durability, safety, ease of installation, cost-effectiveness and environmental soundness.  For these reasons, PVC DWV piping is the material of choice in most residential construction. Also, more and more DWV installations are being considered for commercial and industrial use.

PVC piping has been in use for over 70 years with over 60 years of success in DWV piping installations. In North American and Europe there have been several Life Cycle Analysis studies done that have shown that PVC piping compared to other piping materials have a much lighter impact on the environment. PVC piping systems are recognized as acceptable for use in DWV systems in all major model plumbing codes.

System Application and Material Usage

PVC piping for DWV applications is available in both solid wall and cellular core construction with both profiles being completely interchangeable. Cellular core construction involves the simultaneous extrusion of three layers to create a pipe wall of a solid outer layer, a foam intermediate layer, and a solid inner layer. The inner surface provides a smooth, continuous surface necessary for superior flow characteristics and the outer layer develops the beam strength necessary for the pipe to be rigid. The closed-cell core holds the outer and inner layers in position with each other but requires less material to do so compared to a solid pipe wall. The result is a lighter, more cost-effective pipe that is completely satisfactory for DWV residential applications.   

PVC DWV piping is available mostly in Schedule 40 pipe dimensions and from 1 ½ inch to 24 inch diameters. (Schedule designations indicate the pressure capacity of the pipe.) PVC pipe is available in 10 foot or 20 foot lengths. Schedule 40 PVC pipe may be used above or below ground. If used aboveground and exposed to the sun’s rays, it is advisable to protect the pipe with an approved shield. The most commonly used protection is a coat of water-based latex paint.

For aboveground installations of PVC DWV pipe, solvent cementing is used almost exclusively. Cemented joints are easy and safe to make requiring no expensive or fancy tools. The joint, if made properly, is stronger than the pipe or fitting.

In underground applications, solvent cementing is also used. However, elastomeric gasketed bell-end joints may be an alternate method of joining. Schedule 40 pipe cannot be directly threaded (only Schedule 80 and 120 dimensional pipe can). If threaded connections are required use unions or other socket transition adapters. To ensure a leak-free system, completely follow the manufacturer’s joining and installation instructions. In testing any PVC piping systems, test hydrostatically—DO NOT TEST WITH AIR.  

Other DWV piping materials are available for residential construction such as ABS thermoplastic and cast iron but still PVC is the preferred piping material.

For more information visit the PPFA Website.

Manufacturers and Suppliers Participating in OPUS

ASC Engineered Solutions

ASC Engineered Solutions is defined by quality-in its products, services and support. With more......
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Charlotte Pipe & Foundry

Charlotte Pipe and Foundry Company has been a part of the plumbing industry for over 100 years.......
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F.W. Webb Company

F.W. Webb Company is a multi-faceted distributor of plumbing and heating, HVAC and controls,......
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Ferguson specializes in providing PVF, Plumbing, HVAC and Related Specialty Products and......
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Galloup Company

J.O. Galloup Company is a premier distributor of commercial and industrial piping products,......
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Hajoca Corporation

Founded in 1858, the Hajoca Corporation is the largest privately owned wholesale distributor of......
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For 28 years, HOLDRITE has been the market leader in pipe support and alignment bracket systems.......
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Jomar Valve

Founded in 1966 by former Navy Commander Joseph Martin, Jomar Valve set out to change the way......
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MORSCO is a leading U.S. distributor of commercial and residential plumbing, HVAC, and PVF, with......
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The Commonwealth Group

The Commonwealth Group is the industry’s newest, 100-percent member owned, $8.5......
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Wade Drainage Products

Wade Drains is the oldest drain company in the United States. Founded in 1865 by J.J. Wade, it......
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Weldbend Corporation

Weldbend Corporation is a manufacturer of carbon steel welding fittings and forged steel......
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WinWholesale, Inc. is comprised of over 525 wholesale distribution locations. Along with Noland......
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Applicable Joining Methods

Solvent Weld

Solvent welding, also known as solvent cementing or solvent bonding, is the process of joining...
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