Plastic sewer pipe installation (C) D Friedman CPVC & PVC Chlorinated Polyvinyl Chloride Pipe in Buildings
Properties, uses, standards, defects, gluing specifications, set & cure times, defective pipe litigation

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PVC or chlorinated polyvinyl chloride plastic plumbing pipes:

This article series describes the properties of polubutylene PVC & CPVC plastic piping and tubing used in buildings. We include information about failures and problems with some generations of CPVC or PVC plastic pipes and we describe good building practice installation details where plastic piping is being installed.

The articles at this website will answer most questions about plastic building water supply and building drain piping products, failures, and claims as well as many other building plumbing system inspection or defect topics.

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PVC & CPVC Piping in buildings

PVC Pipe waiting for use (C) D Friedman Article Series Contents

[Click to enlarge any image]

Our photo (above-left) illustrates Royal brand PVC sewer piping being installed at a New York Home. Photo courtesy Galow Homes. Other types of plastic pipe such as ABS are discussed
at PLASTIC PIPING ABS CPVC PB PEX PVC. We took this picture of pipes resting on a gravel driveway. This is not where this pipe will be installed.

Properties of CPVC and PVC Piping

What's the difference between PVC and CPVC plastic piping?

PVC, polyvinyl chloride plastic pipe is used in both pressure and non-pressure piping applications.

CPVC, chlorinated polyvinyl chloride pipe (shown below) is typically used for pressurized piping applications such as hot and cold potable water distribution. CPVC pipe can be used for handling corrosive liquids so is found in industrial and chemical applications.

CPVC Plastic Pipe Identifying Markings

Below we illustrate typical markings and specifications found on lengths of CPVC piping.

CPVC plastic water piping (C) Daniel Friedman

Chlorinated polyvinyl chloride (CPVC) pipe is not as flexible as PB or PEX and the fittings are solvent welded (glued) rather than press-on. This pipe is likely to split if freezing occurs. - Home Reference Book, used with permission.

CPVC pipe identification & specification markings (C) Daniel Friedman

Watch out: PVC polyvinyl chloride pipe produced by JM Eagle Corp. is reported to be defective, leaking or breaking as early as in the first year after installation. Details are

CPVC pipe identification & specification markings (C) Daniel Friedman

Watch out: Using the wrong solvent adhesive, or not using it properly (including pre-cleaning the pipe joints) not only results in leaky plumbing, also the purple solvent cement makes permanent stains, as Oatey Plumbing points out:

The pigments or dyes in Oatey Purple Primer and Oatey Purple Primer/Cleaner are permanent. Depending on the type of material stained, its porosity and the length of time the stain has set, it may be possible to remove or lighten the stain.

We recommend blotting a clean, dry towel with Oatey Clear Cleaner to attempt to remove the stain. It may not be possible to remove the colorant from particular fabrics or surfaces.

The finish and/or color of certain fabrics or materials may be dulled or discolored when in contact with solvents in Oatey Clear Cleaner.

You may want to try the cleaner on an inconspicuous spot before using on the stained area. Please use our purple primers and colored cements with caution.

PVC is Poly(Vinyl) Chloride, CPVC is Chlorinated Poly(Vinyl) Chloride and ABS is Acrylonitrile-Butadiene-Styrene. PVC and ABS pipe are normally used for drain, waste and vent (DWV) systems.

CPVC is used for water distribution systems. It is important to choose the correct solvent cement or pipe glue based on the type of plastic pipe being used.

You should not bury plastic sewer piping in sharp rocks but rather it should be bedded in sand and located 18" below the ground surface or deeper to reduce chances of damage from rocks or from vehicles passing overhead.

Photo above courtesy Galow Homes.

PVC Plastic Pipe Identifying Markings

Below is an illustration of typical markings on PVC plastic pipe. Shwon below, white 4" Schedule 40 PVC piping meeting ASTM D2665.

PVC plastic pipe markings (C) Daniel Friedman

Compare Schedule 40 PVC Piping with SDR 35 Piping

Reader Question: which pipe is better for a buried downspout drain line: Schedule 40 or SDR 35?

If you have a moment for a quick question.
What pipe is better for an underground rain gutter?
Schedule 40 or SDR 35?
Each gutter will drain right on top of a catch and go to day light. - Anonymous by private email 18 October 2015


In my opinion Schedule 40 is a better choice as it's a heavier pipe less likely to be crushed by equipment driving over top of the system than SDR35 pipe. However the Schedule 40 PVC pipe will be more costly to install and (usually) requires solvent-glued connections while the SDR35 piping assembles using press-together o-ring-sealed hubs. However Schedule 40 is not required for downspout drains anywhere that I've read and some plumbers will consider it overkill for many applications where the pipe is not exposed to damage.

PVC plastic pipe markings (C) Daniel Friedman

White PVC Schedule 40 piping is shown above. This piping is sold for use in both water distribution systems and for sewer and drainage systems. A lighter-weight Schedule 30 white solvent-welded PVC pipe is also available to meet ASTM D2949.

If you are installing your drain piping where vehicles heavier than a home lawnmower are going to be driving over the piping, I recommend using Schedule 80 for taht application. Pressure-rated PVC piping (that is for pipes under pressure rather than pipes being used as a gravity drain) JM Eagle provides jpiping meeting ASTM D2241. Below I'll give a pipe and standards summary list for PVC.

Green colored SDR piping is a lighter-schedule pipe. According to JM Eagle, the company's SDR 35 and SDR 26 Ring-Tite™ hub jointed piping meets ASTM D3034 and the company's PS46 and PS115 meet ASTM standard F679. These PVC pipes are sold for use in gravity sewer systems.

You can take a look at pipe specifications in brochures and tables from the manufacturers to make a more factual comparison.

JM Eagle's "Gravity Sewer" piping meets ASTM D3034 and ASTM F679. The companys green PVC hub-type piping includes an O-ring to seal between joints and is intended fdor both normal residential or "domestic" sanitary sewer piping and also for certain industrial wastes. Contact JM Eagle's customer service department for other applications or for using this pipe with specific chemicals. This pipe is sold in diameters from 4" to 36". The 4-inch pipe has an impact resistance of 150 foot pounds. 6-8" pipe of this type has an impact resistance of 210 foot pounds. The larger sizes are rated with an impact resistance of 220 foot pounds.

The following data is excerpted from JM Eagle's "Solvent Weld PVC Pipe" retrieved 2015/12/14, original source:

Solvent Welded PVC Pipe vs ABS Types & Standards & Specifications

PVC Solvent Weld Pipe

ABS Schedule 40 DWV, Cellular Core

For Use In Plumbing, Drainage Waste And Irrigation

Green Ring-Tite Pipe Catalog Description

PVC - Gravity Sewer


Gravity Sewer Pipe and Fittings

JM Eagle™ realizes the growing demand for an effective all-out attack on water pollution, highlighting the need for improved sanitary sewage collection systems. A modern system needs pipe with improved design for reserve strength and stiffness to increase load-bearing capacity - all within the framework of maximizing sewer system capacity at a resonable cost. JM Eagle's Ring-Tite™ PVC sewer pipe is designed to meet this need. - JM Eagle Op Cit

White Solvent-Weld PVC Pipe Catalog Description


Solvent weld joints are designed to provide a rigid (or restrained) joint connection. These products are engineered for use in a variety of applications from potable water distribution to sewer and drainage systems. Additionally, the schedule rated products are specifically engineered for use in partial support systems above ground. - JM Eagle Op.CIt.

PVC & CPVC Pipe Installation

This topic has moved to PVC & CPVC PIPE INSTALLATION STEPS

PVC & CPVC Pipe Gluing Specifications, Joint Set & Cure Times

This topic has moved to PVC & CPVC PIPE GLUING SET & CURE TIMES

Defective PVC Polyvinyl Chloride Pipe Production, Leaks, Explosions, & Whistle Blower Lawsuit

Early in 2010 New York Times reported that John Hendrix has accused PVC piping manufacturer JM Eagle of falsifying PVC pipe quality testing results, covering up the discovery that pipes that should last 50 years are failing as early as in one year, risking costly leaks and dangerous explosions.

Indeed the same Times article reported that some U.S. municipalities have already found leaking, cracking, and exploding PVC pipes made by JM Eagle, and some are joining the "whistle blower" lawsuit as a result. Litigation has been filed in the U.S. District Court for Central District of California, and has been joined by California, Delaware, Nevada, Tennessee, and Virginia. The Nevada state attorney general cited JM Eagle pipe that had been rupturing several times a year.

In April 2010, again reported in the NY Times, JM Eagle promised to guarantee its products for 50 years, including pipe that is already in the ground. "The warranty covers the pipe based on standards that were in effect at the time of the installation," the times reported. Links to and excepts from the JM Eagle pipe warranty are provided below at References.

Watch out: the same April 2010 Times article points out that municipalities had already reported pipe failures that "... may not qualify for a claim against the new guarantee..."

See JM Eagle® DEFECTIVE PVC PolyVinyl Chloride PIPING LAWSUIT for details.


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Or see PB Polybutylene (PB) Pipes


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