Domestic Water: PVC Pipe

Domestic hot and cold water systems generally convey potable hot and cold water used for...

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 is an approved material for domestic cold water systems in most residential and commercial construction.

PVC piping has been in use for over 70 years. 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 domestic cold water systems in all major model plumbing codes.

System Application and Material Usage

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

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 domestic water installations of PVC pipe, solvent cementing is used almost exclusively. Why? 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 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. As such, PVC is NOT APPROVED for domestic hot water systems. Other alternate domestic water piping materials are CPVC, PEX, copper and steel. The alternate materials can be used for both cold and hot domestic water systems. 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

ANVIL International

Anvil International offers a full line of domestically-produced iron fittings, steel nipples,......
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Charlotte Pipe & Foundry

Charlotte Pipe and Foundry is the only manufacturer that offers a system of cast iron, PVC......
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Embassy Group LTD

Embassy Group LTD is a 100-percent member owned, 3.2 billion dollar corporation consisting of......
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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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MORSCO is a leading U.S. distributor of commercial and residential plumbing, HVAC, and PVF, with......
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NIBCO Inc. is a recognized industry leader of flow control solutions to the residential and......
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Tyco Mechanical Products

Grinnell Mechanical Products, a leading brand of Tyco International Company, manufactures a wide......
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Victaulic is the world's leading manufacturer of mechanical pipe joining products. For over 80......
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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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Woodford Manufacturing Company

Woodford Manufacturing Company offers frost-free, backflow protected commercial, residential and......
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