Types of Plastic Pipes
The plumbing industry primarily uses six types of plastic pipes, each of which has a different application and installation requirement.
ABS (Acrylonitrile butadiene styrene) Pipes:
Made from the thermoplastic resin, ABS is the standard materials for many types of DWV systems. Some of its features are as follows:
• As ABS is light, it is easy to handle and install.
• It is highly resistant to household chemicals. In tests, it showed no effect from common products such as detergent, bleach, and household drain cleaners.
• Sewage treatment plants use ABS because it stands up to the highly corrosive and abrasive liquid commonly found in such systems.
• ABS is strong and long lasting.
PVC (Polyvinyl chloride) Pipes:
A rigid pipe with high impact strength, PVC is manufactured from thermoplastic materials. This material has an indefinite lifespan under most conditions.
Plumbers frequently use PVC in cold water systems. PVC is interchangeable with ABS pipe for DWV system.
It is also used to transport many chemicals because of its chemical resistant properties.
Solid core PVC pipes can be used in high pressure systems, but only to carry low temperature water.
CPVC (Chlorinated polyvinyl chloride) Pipes:
CPVC pipes and fittings are made from an engineered vinyl polymer. Plumbers use CPVC in hot and cold water distribution systems. CPVC is acceptable for indoor use.
Some of the features of CPVC include the following:
• Its molecular structure practically eliminates condensation in the summer and heat loss in the winter.
• It is lightweight and easy to install.
• Its strength is a clear advantage for plumbers working in cold weather.
PE (Polyethylene) Pipes:
PE is a thermosetting plastic. Plumbers commonly use PE for tubing because of its strength, flexibility, and chemical resistant properties.
PE is also corrosion-resistant which makes it ideal for transporting chemical compounds. Furthermore, PE does not deteriorate when exposed to sunlight.
PEX (Cross-linked polyethylene) Pipes:
PEX tubing is formed when high density polyethylene is subjected to heat and high pressure.
Plumbers commonly use PEX for manifold plumbing distribution systems because of its flexibility.
PB (Polyebutylene) Pipes:
PB is a thermoplastic pipe that plumbers used extensively for water supply piping from the late-1970s to the mid-1990s. In many cases, the PB piping has become weak and failed without warning.