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What’s the Difference between PVC and CPVC Pipe?  

Marketing W. P. Law, Inc. - Tuesday, April 04, 2017
Duo Pro dual-contained piping system

Finding the perfect kind of pipe is important in ensuring a long-term plumbing and chemical management solution that will allow you to rest assured your pipes are built to last. There are two very popular kinds of pipe that are used for many projects: PVC and CPVC pipe. Understanding the difference between these pipes is vital, find out now!

PVC and CPVC

PVC pipe is a widely recognized modern alternative to metal piping. It’s known as a low-cost solution with the strength, versatility, durability, and easy installation process to back its popularity. PVC is made of polyvinyl chloride, a widely used thermoplastic material that can be molded into different shapes.

CPVC is best described as a ‘cousin’ to PVC pipe. They share many common traits, such as basic material composition, but they shouldn’t be used interchangeably. CPVC is able to withstand a much wider range of temperatures than PVC pipe. This attribute means that many building codes require the use of CPVC instead of PVC.

Different Composition

PVC pipe is made of polyvinyl chloride which is unsafe when handling any temperatures above 140 degrees Fahrenheit. PVC is able to resist certain chemicals better than its cousin, which can affect your decision to install one versus the other. PVC is commonly used for unheated water such as for vent and drainage systems, cold water systems, and recreational use.

CPVC is altered by a free radical chlorination reaction that increases the chlorine content of the pipe. CPVC is able to safely handle higher temperatures than PVC, up to 200 degrees Fahrenheit. CPVC is more suited for higher temperature water, and certain kinds of chemicals.

Cost Effective Solutions

PVC pipe is the cheaper, more common choice for many builders and companies. The material it is composed of and the wide range of uses it offers can sway many buyers towards the cost-efficient choice.

CPVC is more expensive than PVC pipe but can be used in more builds. It can handle higher temperatures and more chemicals. Compared to other kinds of pipe, CPVC is still a viable and smart choice for a pipe system.

For more information on commercial and residential types of piping in South Carolina, contact W. P. Law today!

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