Plastic pipes

 Plastic piping is light-weight and durable, and comes in flexible, semi-rigid, and rigid forms. While this low-cost piping solution doesn’t rot or corrode, some types can’t be used for hot-water lines (i.e. flexible polyethylene) and therefore aren’t suitable for use in homebuilding.

Any plastic pipe that will be used for carrying drinking water should have the NSF (National Sanitation Foundation) seal on it, which assures that the pipe is safe for use with drinking water. Below are some common plastic pipes.

NOTE: Local plumbing codes should be consulted before using any type of pipe.


 Polyvinyl Chloride (PVC) Joining Method
  PVC is a rigid pipe with a pressure rating of 50 to 315 psi. It has excellent chemical resistance, and good impact strength and crush resistance. Used mainly in the following areas: household cold water supply systems and drains; irrigation systems; DWV systems; sewer, chemical, underground gas, and crude-oil piping; corrosive fume ducting. Solvent welding
 Chlorinated Polyvinyl Chloride (CPVC)
  Similar to PVC, this piping can handle corrosive water at higher temperatures. CPVC does demand a special solvent cement. Used mainly in the following areas: hot and cold water supply systems (indoor, outdoor, and underground); hot and cold chemical-distribution systems. Solvent welding
Mechanical O-ring
Polyethylene (PE)
  This flexible pipe is suitable for cold water lines since the strength decreases as the heat increases. It has a pressure rating of 80 to 160 psi. Used mainly in the following areas: heating in concrete floors for temperatures around 100° F, low-pressure water systems, drainage systems, and to carry corrosive gasses and liquids. Mechanical insert fittings/worm-drive
band clamps
Polybutylene (PB)
  A flexible pipe suitable for both cold and hot water lines. It is rated to function at 180° F at up to 100 psi. Also used for riser tubes. Mechanical O-ring
Acrylonitrile Butadiene Styrene (ABS)
  This rigid pipe is used for sewer pipe with pressure ratings of 80 to 160 psi. It has a maximum functional temperature or 180° F for non-pressure systems. Used mainly for DWV systems or drain traps (indoor, outdoor). Solvent Welding
Polypropylene (PP)
  This rigid pipe is used for drain tubes and drainage fixture traps. Mechanical drainage tube slip couplings