CPVC vs PVC: Which One Do You Choose?

Polymer science entails complex processes wherein little change can greatly affect the behavior of the material. This is clearly illustrated by two of the numerous products made of polymer, CPVC and PVC. Both items encompass the same primary components but differ a lot in their other properties. Let’s investigate and understand the difference between CPVC vs PVC more deeply.

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What is PVC?

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Polyvinyl Chloride or PVC is commonly utilized in drainage and plumbing activities. PVC pipes have stabilizers that are capable of preventing degradation and oxidation. Furthermore, PVC has been a convenient alternative to metal pipes as it has been known for its durability, strength, and ease of installation. Molded in various shapes, this thermoplastic material is being fabricated into fittings, pipes, valves and other materials.

The chemical composition of PVC comprises of two carbon atoms that are double bonded and connected by a perimeter of three hydrogen atoms. The resulting molecules are linked together to create chains, creating the PVC.

PVC has been introduced to the industry in the 1950s and today, there are roughly over two million miles installed for residences and other structures. When the pipes are properly fitted and installed may last for more than 50 years. Pipes that don’t reach their standard lifespan may have been caused by poor gluing or obstructions damaging them.

What is CPVC?

Chlorinated Polyvinyl Chloride or CPVC is basically a PVC pipe equipped with more chlorine, usually around 20%, depending on the manufacturer. The chemical composition includes double bonding of two carbon atoms, plus chlorine and hydrogen atoms bonded to the carbon. The molecules of the same kind are connected to create the CPVC. Its durability is astounding that the piping system established in 1959 is still working until today.

Differences between CPVC vs PVC

There are clear differences between CPVC and PVC. These differences can be summarized in the five statements below:

1. Temperature Resistance

PVC can cater residential facilities with water applications not going above 140 degrees Fahrenheit. On the other hand, CPVC can work safely with temperatures until 200 degrees Fahrenheit. When the temperature goes beyond the limit, it may cause leakage, softening of the pipes and further destruction of lines.

2. Chlorine Content

CPVC and PVC are both made up of the primary components, except for one distinct factor- chlorine. CPVC is manufactured by a chlorination reaction in order to effectively increase the amount of chlorine in the product. The additional chlorine does not affect the liquid flowing through the pipes.

3. Sizing

The size of PVC pipes and fittings is based on the standards of Iron Pipe Size, IPS. In contrast, CPVC pipes are typically sized using two methods- the nominal pipe size where the interior hole serves as the reference and the copper tube size where the reference is the outside diameter. In common applications, CPVC and PVC can’t be joined together because of the significant difference in sizing standards.

4. Color

PVC pipes that are included in schedule 40 are typically white in color, and those that are in the schedule 80 bracket are commonly colored gray. There are purple-colored ones indicating that recycled water is flowing through it, which makes it unsuitable for drinking water. These pipes are normally found in irrigation and landscaping projects. CPVC pipes, on the other hand, are colored off-white or yellowish cream for schedule 40 and light gray for schedule 80.

5. Price

PVC pipes are more affordable than the CPVC pipes. The price of PVC pipes ranges from $0.40-$0.60 per feet, while CPVC pipes are priced $2.50-$3.50 per feet.

CPVC Vs PVC - Things To Take Care Of While Using 

CPVC pipes can also be utilized in the various applications where PVC pipes are usually used. Both types are deemed as a safe and convenient way of transporting potable water for drinking, bathing and cooking in residential and commercial establishments CPVC and PVC are both resistant to the damages that can be caused by inorganic chemicals, alkali, and acidic substances. However, the pipes should have ultraviolet stabilizers to prevent degradation from the sun.

In addition, the pipes serve as a more affordable, more convenient and quieter option instead of the traditional iron and copper pipes. Plumbing works take advantage of these features embodied by the pipes. Their thermoplastic property is considered as an efficient insulation which reduces the formation of condensation inside while maintaining the temperature of water effectively.

Finally, these pipes are being sold in same lengths and same end shapes. Also, with chlorine component as a halogen, the pipes are sturdy and stable as well as fire resistant. Both pipes require solvent cement and primer in order to be connected to fittings and other pipes.

CPVC Vs PVC Pipes - Common Uses

While there are differences on how CPVC and PVC pipes are used, they usually share common functions.

1. Commercial Purposes

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  • Housing for underground wiring systems
  • Drainage and sewage systems as well as other plumbing works
  • Irrigation systems for farms
  • Fire sprinkler systems​

2. Residential Purposes

  • Sprinkler and irrigation systems for homes
  • Plumbing activities, drainage, and sewage systems for houses​

3. Recreational Purposes

  • Frames for carports, greenhouses and garden beds
  • Shaded seating areas and tents
  • Installation of spas, pools and hot tubs​

CPVC Vs PVC – Which One Is Suitable For You?

The numerous advantages and disadvantages of CPVC and PVC pipes have been explained, which of the two will you choose? In order to answer this, you need to assess your needs as well as your budget.

If you want a more durable and flexible type and are willing to spend more, then you should opt for CPVC pipes. However, if you are on a budget but still want to create a durable line for your house or establishment, then you can go with the PVC pipe.

Regardless of your choice, proper installation is required to make the pipes last for a long time. Furthermore, correct maintenance is also essential to preserve the condition of the pipes. You need to be mindful of their differences so you can easily decide on what type of pipe to use. This way, you can maximize their use without suffering from hassles and unexpected problems.

Conclusion

Have you decided whether you’ll use a PVC or CPVC? I hope that this article has helped you in some way. If you have any inquiries about the difference between both plumbing pipes, don’t hesitate to leave a comment below.

Ethan Johnson
 

I’m Ethan Johnson. I’m a mechanical engineer, and I’m passionate about Home Improvement. I hope my skills and experience can help you remodel your home by turning simple, inexpensive, and innovative ideas into easy tasks that you can DIY! So no need to go too far, just read on and you’ll be ready to get the ball rolling.

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