Question by  apple (447)

Why isn't PVC pipe used as supply pipe?

I understand copper piping is typically used for water supply, and PVC is typically used for drainage or waste. Why? And what about galvanized steel?


Answer by  mlucas (515)

It is used on some well systems to bring cold water into the house, but it cannot be used for hotwater. There is another form of plastic pipe that can be used for both hot and cold supply. Galvanized fell out of favor because it develops serious problems when it gets old. It builds up deposits inside and restricts flow.


Answer by  clg (44)

Copper piping for the supply line is preferred over PVC piping typically because of its durability and longevity. However, PVC can be used for supply, but cannot be used for hot water lines. CPVC can be used for hot water lines though. CPVC and PVC piping are much cheaper than copper piping, and used in drainage for their chemical resistance.


Answer by  Jaggers (1018)

PVC is the most economical choice for large diameter pipe used in drains and sewers. PVC may affect water taste. Copper is strongest but does require soldering skills to prevent leaks. Galvanized steel is the most difficult to use because all joints must be threaded and pipe lengths become harder to fit.


Answer by  thelostone (1457)

PVC isn't used as supply piping because of the chemicals used to make it. Water that sits in the piping can actually leach some of the chemicals out of the piping.


Answer by  ajk71486 (219)

Different pvc types are used for different things most newer systems actually use pex tubing. Copper is becoming much less popular.


Answer by  strohs21 (181)

PVC is more apt to crack or split, especially when it becomes cold. Copper is becoming obsolete as well. New construciton is using a type of plastic piping called pex that is easy to work with, flexible and is never cracks due to freezing.


Answer by  grothcc (119)

Galvanized pipe is cost ineffective. Standard PVC in the National Standard Plumbing Code is not approved for water distribution inside buildings. However, it is approved for underground water services.


Answer by  cangel818 (981)

PVC pipe tends to have a high rate of failure when water over 100 degrees passes through it. Codes in some areas allow it to be used but not for hot water. Also, PVC does not do well in sunlight. It tends to become very brittle. When buying a home or remodeling check the codes in your area.

Reply by wingdog987 (154):
Hot water is run thru another type of plastic pipe. It\'s called CPVC and is specifically used for hot water use, water heaters, under sink ect.. It\'s sized different but is installed basically the same way PVC is.  add a comment

Answer by  Nisha79 (22)

PVC pipe has been a very big deal in the plumbing industry, because it is lighter and easier to work with than traditional galvanized steel pipe.It is used for drain or waste pipes, or stacks and not as supply pipe and requires little more than a hacksaw, miter box, and solvents which essentially "glue" the pipe together.


Answer by  Anonymous

Copper itself kills microorganisms and bacteria...this is why the US Navy uses copper based paint on it ships to prevent barnacles from growing on them and many better quality roofing shingles have copper in them to prevent mold growth.


Answer by  digital1007 (113)

The reason PVC pipe is not used as a supply line is because of the pressure from the city. PVC is acceptable to breakage under the right pressure. That is where copper pipes come in. The pressure will not affect copper piping.


Answer by  wingdog987 (154)

I have seen it used as water supply lines before. I live in a mobile home park that was built in the 70s with alot of underground pvc water supply. It's been working all this time. And yes it's legal. Not above ground though.

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