Water Service: PVC Pipe

Water service systems include the connection, piping and associated valves and accessories that...

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 and ease of installation, cost-effectiveness and environmental soundness.  For these reasons, PVC water service piping is the material of choice in most residential and commercial construction. PVC piping has been in use for over 70 years for water service 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 water service systems in all major model plumbing codes.

System Application and Material Usage

For water service applications solid walled PVC pipe of either Schedule 40 or constant pressure rated [Standard Dimensional Ration (SDR)] is used. (Schedule and SDR designations indicate the pressure capacity of the pipe.)

Solvent cementing is the most commonly used method of joining these piping systems. Pipe diameters are available from ½ inch to 24 inch and in 10 or 20 foot lengths. Pipe ends are either plain end or belled. 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 pipe, solvent cementing is used almost exclusively. Cemented joints are easy and safe to make and require no expensive or special tools. If made properly, the joint it 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 and SDR 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.

The maximum operating temperature of PVC piping is 140°F. Do not use PVC piping for hot water service. 

Other alternate water service piping materials are CPVC, PEX, copper and steel. The alternate materials can be used for both cold and hot water service. If conditions of service allow the usage of PVC piping material, it likely would be the most cost-effective of any piping material. For more information visit the PPFA Website.

Manufacturers and Suppliers Participating in OPUS

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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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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