What's the Difference Between PVC and CPVC Pipe?

Whether  you want to hire a plumber for routine fixes or are a DIY enthusiast, understanding the difference between commonly used PVC and CPVC pipes is essential for using these plumbing pipes for water supply, drainage or sewer. For general plumbing purposes, PVC (Polyvinyl Chloride) and CPVC (Chlorinated Polyvinyl Chloride) are widely used across various regions and geographies. Plastic pipes do not corrode and are lightweight as compared to lead and galvanized pipes. These pipes are also relatively easy to cut and join . You do not need to worry about welding these pipes.

PVC, or polyvinyl chloride, pipe is a drain or vent kind of plumbing pipe and are popular because they are easy to install and lighter than steel pipes. There are a few subtle differences between PVC and CPVC pipe. Let's do a deep-dive and understand the differences in detail.

a) Chlorine Component: The manufacturing process of CPVC pipes involves the usage of chlorine and the chlorine content in CPVC pipes can be as high as 20 per cent. Put merely, CPVC pipes are the PVC pipes with chlorine components added to their composition. It should be noted that the chlorine in the CPVC pipes does not have any impact on the water flowing through these pipes.

b)Resistance to Temperature:  For water applications below 140 degrees Fahrenheit, PVC pipes are considered safe. For temperatures beyond 140 degrees Fahrenheit and up to 200 degrees Fahrenheit, CPVC pipes are recommended. It is advisable to use these pipes within their permissible temperature limits to avoid leaks and softening of these pipes.

C) Size Standards: PVC pipes are typically sized as per Iron Pipe Size Standards or IPS. Though CPVC pipes can be sized according to Iron Pipe Size Standards, they are generally sized as per Copper Tubing Size or CTS standards. It should be kept in mind that PVC and CPVC cannot be joined together.

d) Price Factor: PVC pipes are  slightly more affordable as compared to CPVC pipes. CPVC pipes, in turn, are less pricey than PEX pipes. Depending on your budget and purpose, you can choose either PVC or CPVC pipes.

e) Applications: PVC pipes are best suited for the service line and underground use. Using CPVC pipes for underground water supply is not the best strategy price-wise as CPVC pipes are priced higher as compared to PVC pipes. PVC pipes can be used for irrigation and sprinkling purposes in the agriculture industry. CPVC pipes are perfect for indoor water distribution, especially for those areas where water or soil conditions are corrosive. In metalworking industries and workshops,  CPVC pipes are preferred over PVC pipes for fire sprinkling systems.

Above mentioned five points would help you in choosing the right pipe for your next plumbing project. You can buy PVC and CPVC pipes at the best prices on online marketplaces. For bulk requirements, you can avail the bulk buy option available on online marketplaces and save more.