Schedule 40 vs 80 – Buy the Right PVC Pipe

Most modern PVC and CPVC fittings and pipes use a popular scheduling method to define and differentiate plumbing thickness. The method uses a measurement standard to describe how thick or wide a pipe’s wall is. Two of the most common schedules include the 40 and 80. 

Despite the pipes having a distinct thickness, users tend to have difficulty in choosing. We will take a look at schedule 40 vs 80 in this post and help you determine which pipe is fit for you. 

Schedule 40 description

Schedule 40 has a thinner wall when compared to Schedule 80. This means that it’s made using less material. You may also discover than the pipe itself feels lighter. This affects its suitability especially where it’s not fit for the project at hand. 

The main difference that will help you distinguish a Schedule 40 PVC pipe from a Schedule 80 is the internal diameter. The former has a larger internal diameter due to its thinner walls. Manufacturers also use a different color to help users differentiate between the two. Schedule 40 pipes will have a natural white color without any color additives. 

Strong sides

1. Best for low pressure applications

2. Costs less to purchase

Weak sides

1. Not able to withstand higher PSI

Schedule 80 description

Schedule 80 PVC pipes are thicker than Schedule 80. They have a smaller internal diameter due to the extra material used in their construction. They also feel stronger and have a higher chemical and structural rigidity and durability. In short, they boast of higher resilience to pressure and strain. 

Apart from their smaller internal diameter and thicker walls, Schedule 80 pipes can also be distinguished by their color. Traditionally, manufacturers will produce Schedule 80 pipes in grey. Note that there are definitely outliers that will have a different color pattern. 

Having thicker walls means that Schedule 8 pipes are heavier. This makes them more expensive and difficult to handle and ship. 

Strong sides

1. Stronger and can withstand higher PSI

2. Has better structural integrity. 

3. Better for pressurized applications.

Weak sides

1. Costs more to purchase. 

2. Poses more difficulty in installation.

Overview

Schedule 80 is a safer and durable choice when compared to Schedule 40. Its increased wall thickness makes it rigid enough to withstand high pressure, making it ideal for industrial and high pressure piping. However, if you’re working on something simpler like science project or a PVC pool chair, a Schedule 40 will do the trick. It works great for non-plumbing applications.

FAQ

What is Schedule 80 pipe used for?

Schedule 80 pipe is commonly used for high pressure and industrial water flow applications. It can withstand up to 140 degrees F in temperature.

Can Schedule 80 PVC be used for compressed air?

Yes. But, this is not recommended. It can get brittle with time causing it to break, crack, or shatter. It is commonly used because it is readily available, easy to work with, and inexpensive.

How much psi can PVC handle?

Most small PVC pipes can handle between 300-600 psi when new and perfectly sealed

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