CPVC vs PVC
You can use them wherever from the inside of a building to the outside. They are lightweight and easy to work with, but they can get expensive when you have to purchase them on foot. The couplings that come with PVC pipe tend to leak, for this reason, so be sure to use primer and glue when assembling your fittings together.
PVC – what is it?
PVC is a plastic that is inexpensive, easy to work with, lightweight, and strong enough for many different applications. It comes in two versions: standard PVC and schedule 40 PVC Standard . has thinner walls than schedule 40 which makes it easier to work with but not as structurally sound. Schedule 40 is more rigid and durable but takes longer to install because of its thickness.
Either version can be used indoors or outdoors depending on the material you are connecting it to. Installing either variety of plastic piping does require primer and glue. And PVC pipe typically needs support every 4 feet so keep this in mind when installing your piping system so you don’t have any weak spots that will cause trouble down the road! Once installed, these pipes can be used for waste, draining water, and delivering water.
Another downside to PVC is that it’s not environmentally friendly. Although PVC piping is recyclable, you cannot recycle the joints or fittings. This means that each time you use PVC piping for a new project, you are contributing to more plastic waste in our landfills.
CPVC – is it the same?
CPVC is the same as PVC except that it contains Chlorine which makes it heat resistant. This means that you can use CPVC for hot and cold water applications, something that PVC cannot do. It also costs more than PVC so keep this in mind when pricing out materials for your project. When you are working with it, be sure to have a clean cut so there isn’t any leaking at the joints because of the different shapes. And just like PVC, you must use primer and glue when installing CPVC.
What are the benefits of using one over the other?
Both pipes have their pros and cons depending on your application or what your needs are! PVC Is inexpensive,, fast to install, lightweight, and flexible. CPVC is more durable, environmentally friendly, resists high temperatures, and can carry cold or hot water.
PROS: Durable, doesn’t scratch easily (unlike PVC) already installed in many homes, comes in different psi ratings (if needed), can be used for radiant heating systems, compatible with primers & types of cement that work with both types of pipe
CONS: More expensive compared to standard PVC piping but not as much as PEX tubing, requires support & insulation if near hot or cold appliances can crack if water pressure is too high, not as easy to clean as PEX tubing
PROS: Cheaper than PVC and more flexible, can be used for commercial and residential plumbing (unlike CPVC), easier to install (especially with DapPlumb Quick Cement), durable, compatible with primers & types of cement that work with both types of pipe
CONS: Requires support & insulation if near hot or cold appliances, cannot be used for radiant heating systems due to temperature limitations, not as easy to clean as PVC piping (may require some scrubbing) – use Fantastik or 409 cleaner.
What are some things I should consider?
Now that you know the difference between PVC vs CPVC let’s talk about what makes them different from each other! Both are strong, durable materials but are used for two different applications. The thickness of the pipe is one thing to think about when choosing which version to use.
Schedule 40 PVC is more rigid and better for carrying water long distances while standard PVC has thinner walls and is easier for doing small jobs like draining a sink or fastening in a garage because it’s so lightweight. Another thing to consider when choosing between the two: where will it be installed and what temperature will it be exposed to? If you’re installing the piping outside or somewhere where it could freeze, consider using CPVC because standard PVC cannot handle extreme temperatures.
And of course, there’s the cost! PVC costs less than CPVC and can be less expensive if you’re having to purchase pipe by the foot. It is also easier to find and easier for plumbers to work with. CPVC on the other hand does require more training to install properly and oftentimes may need a professional plumber versus DIYers trying to do their own plumbing projects. Because of this, they are slightly more expensive but that extra cost may not really matter depending on your application or who you have helping you install your piping system.
Which one is easier to repair?
PVC piping can be easier to fix than CPVC piping. If your PVC pipe springs a leak, you might just need some PVC primer and glue to stop the leak and get your system back up and running. However, if you’re using CPVC and there’s a small crack in it, you may have to replace the whole piece. A crack of any size in CPVC means that it needs to be replaced because the material will expand and contract with hot and cold temperatures.
Does one last longer?
Both PVC vs CPVC pipes are durable but we recommend choosing schedule 40 PVC over standard PVC for increased durability because it has thicker walls than standard PVC. Durability really depends on the quality of the piping and how it’s installed. If you’re using a reputable company to install your piping, they should use the code which means their piping will last longer than if you decide to try and save some money and do it yourself!
How is it cleaned?
Because PVC has an exterior coating that makes cleaning difficult, we recommend installing cast iron or stainless steel sinks and faucets (and pipes of course) for easier cleaning. However with CPVC piping, because there is no outside plating, you can simply wipe down your surfaces with a household cleaner like 409 or Fantastik.
Cleaning CPVC piping is a bit easier but you still have to be careful because the material can scratch easy so using abrasive cleaners or turning up the water pressure too high can cause damage to your piping system.
What is involved in installation?
Whether you choose PVC vs CPVC you will need to plan for space and purchase the correct size piping. You will also need primer and glue for either system – we recommend using DapPlumb Quick Cement (not included) which works great with both systems! If you’re cutting into already installed piping, use a tubing cutter.
It does take more work to install than PEX but is much cheaper than PEX piping. Also if you’re installing multiple lines at once, be sure they don’t touch because it can cause pinholes even if your primer and cement are compatible.
Is there any maintenance or upkeep required?
It’s important that both PVC vs CPVC piping are properly supported and insulated if they’re near any hot or cold appliances because this could cause the piping to expand and contract which will result in cracks. If you have more than one line, it is important that you do not mix up your lines so be sure to clearly label them!
What version of plumbing is used?
PVC pipe can be used for commercial or residential but it does require a higher PSI rating – 110 PSI min for most household applications. CPVC pipe on the other hand is only recommended for use at 100 PSI max so if you live in an area where the average psi rating is lower, PVC piping may be better suited for your application.
PVC is recyclable but CPVC is not, so if you are concerned about the environment it may be best to go with PVC piping.
What about radiant heat?
Both PVC vs CPVC pipes can be used with radiant heat but only if they are rated for this application which requires a different pipe than what is required for standard PVC vs CPVC applications. Always check with your plumber and/or manufacturer to determine if your piping will work with radiant heating systems. Is one less expensive than the other?
PVC piping is more inexpensive compared to CPVC, however, if you’re looking into money on an installation we recommend using our CPVC piping because it is more durable than PVC. It’s also compatible with DapPlumb Quick Cement which makes installation super easy and quick!
Drinking water and safety
PVC and CPVC piping has been deemed safe for use with potable water and is non-toxic.
Can i mix pvc and cpvc?
Yes, but you should always consult a professional before attempting to mix the two systems. It’s important to note that if you mix PVC with CPVC, you have to have at least one foot of the total piping run being PVC pipe. Do not use any solvent welding or glue on your mixed piping system either!
What other factors do i need to know?
Pipe length: If you’re using more than one line of piping, it’s important that each line only has one. The issue comes when you have two lines running parallel and they share a joint. The joints can expand or contract at different rates than your piping leading to cracks over time which could leak or cause bigger issues later on!
Size: PVC vs CPVC sizing is based on schedule and type. check out the chart below for more info:
Both PVC vs CPVC piping has their pros and cons depending on your application, but if you’re using cast iron or stainless steel sinks and faucets (and pipes of course) we recommend going with PVC if you live in a cold climate and CPVC if you live in a hot climate.
Also, note that both these piping systems do require insulation so be sure to plan ahead and allow yourself enough time to complete this project before winter comes around!