Storm Water: ABS Pipe

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Storm water drainage systems are networks of pipes and culverts designed to transport surface...

Acrylonitrile Butadiene Styrene (ABS) is a thermoplastic pipe and fitting system available in...

Benefit of Material to Systems Application

The inherent qualities of ABS pipe make it beneficial for use in storm water systems. ABS has many advantages over traditional metal pipe for storm water systems. ABS pipe is less expensive than metal pipe and takes less time to install, also saving on labor costs. It is lightweight and easy for one person to handle. Unlike metal pipe, ABS pipe is corrosion resistant. This is especially beneficial for underground applications where the surrounding soil can have high moisture content.  ABS pipe is also approved for above ground use, but if it is exposed to direct sunlight, it should be protected with an approved coating. ABS pipe does have some limitations on use in some localities, so local codes should always be consulted.

System Application and Material Usage

Schedule 40 ABS pipe is available in 10 and 20 foot lengths with nominal diameters ranging from 1½ inches to 6 inches. (Schedule designations are a standard to indicate the pressure capacity of the pipe.) The wall thickness of Schedule 40 ABS pipe is the same as Schedule 40 IPS (iron pipe size). When joining ABS pipe and fittings, use approved solvent cement. The use of primer is generally not required. Curing times can range from 2 hours to 8 days depending on the pipe size, temperature, and humidity.

Fittings with male and female threaded connections are also available. If threaded connections are required, consider solvent-cementing threaded fittings or adapters.  If it can be avoided, do not join ABS to PVC piping. If there is a situation where ABS pipe needs to be joined to PVC, proper barrier transitional methods must be used. Consult local codes and manufacturer information.

If making threaded connections between ABS and a metal system, it is recommended to have the male threads on the ABS and the female threads in the metal connector. Transitioning from ABS to Cast Iron Soil Pipe should be accomplished with an approved transition fitting as Cast Iron Soil Pipe is not manufactured to Schedule 40 outside diameter.

ABS for drain applications is designed to be used in non-pressurized systems only. Do not use compressed air or any other gas to perform a system pressure test. Hydrostatic testing at pressures no greater than a ten-foot water column is generally recommended. Always test in accordance with codes and manufacturer’s instructions.

Acceptable working temperatures for ABS piping use in drain applications typically range from -40°F to 160°F. In systems with large temperature fluctuations, thermal expansion should be taken into account when hanging ABS pipe. Plastic pipe can expand five times as much as steel pipe. Hanger spacing is determined by the pipe size and operating temperature of the system. Metal hangers such as double-bolt pipe clamps, anchor straps, split ring hangers, clevis hangers, adjustable swivel rings and roller hangers work well for this application. Never hang ABS pipe next to pipes carrying high temperature fluids. ABS piping is not approved to be run through air plenums.

Product standards include:

    * ASTM D 3965 Rigid ABS Compounds
    * ASTM F 628 Co-extruded ABS Pipe with Cellular Core
    * ASTM D 2661 ABS Drain, Waste, and Vent Fittings
    * ASTM D 2235 Solvent Cements for ABS Pipe and Fittings
    * ASTM D 2321 Underground Installation of Thermoplastic Pipe (non-pressure applications)
    * ASTM F 1668 Procedures for Buried Plastic Pipe
    * NSF Standard 14 Plastic Piping Components and Related Materials

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