pvc vs cpvc


PVC and CPVC are very similar, but they still have their differences. They are both great pipes to use for your plumbing, but what’s the difference from PVC vs CPVC?


PVC, polyvinyl chloride, is white plastic commonly used for plumbing and drainage. Many people are familiar with PVC pipes, as they are the most common type of pipe. It is a white plastic pipe made with polyvinyl chloride. PVC is so popular because it is extremely safe, light and easy to work with, cost effective, and readily available. It is recommended for cold water systems, drains, and vents. PVC and CPVC are both plastic pipes, but they are made differently.

PVC is a chlorinated hydrocarbon polymer. It has to be processed in order to be used in a pipe, as it is extremely brittle in its natural state. The material is also used in many other situations other than plumbing, such as signage, furniture, flooring, rubber substitutes, electrical insulation, and medical tubing.  



CPVC is very similar to PVC, but they are not the same. There is one major thing that sets them apart. Altered by a free radical chlorination, CPVC has a higher chlorine content. Because of this, it is able to withstand a higher range of temperatures. This makes CPVC a better choice for the transportation of hot water. In some areas, it’s actually required to use CPVC as opposed to PVC for hot water lines. Even though it is better for handling hot temperatures, it’s only suitable for temperatures up to 200 degrees fahrenheit. Just because it’s best for hot temperatures doesn’t mean that’s the only thing it’s used for. It is also commonly used for cold water applications. PVC is more common for these situations mainly because it comes at a lower cost. 

PVC and CPVC pipes are both known for being resistant to many chemicals. However, certain chemicals can be handled better by one or the other. Typically CPVC can handle harsh chemicals, such as ammonia, better than PVC. The chlorination process it goes through allows it to handle most harsh chemicals better.


Can PVC and CPVC Be Used Together?

Because of the differences in their material and what they are best for, it’s not recommended to mix these together, even though they are both plastic pipes. CPVC can handle different temperatures and chemicals than PVC does. This could potentially compromise the pressure and temperature ratings of the pipe lines. Physically they could fit together if they are the same size, but that doesn’t mean it’s a good idea to do it. 


Final Thoughts

PVC and CPVC are both a great option for your plumbing, but there are many factors to consider. PVC is ideal for plumbing and drainage, while CPVC is more ideal for hot water lines. Both are great options, but it’s still important to consider the pros and cons of each. Now that you know the difference from PVC vs CPVC, you can choose the right pipe for your plumbing!

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