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Different Advantages ABS & PVC Pipes Provide

People choose plastic pipes for their plumbing projects for many different reasons. Plastic pipes don’t corrode, are very light, and generally inexpensive. Not all plastic pipes are the same though. The two most popular plastic pipes, ABS(Acrylonitrile Butadiene Styrene) and PVC(Poly Vinyl Chloride), have some distinct differences.


Most of the key differences between ABS pipes and PVC pipes are very minor and situation dependent. The key difference most home owners should be aware of is the use of of BPA in ABS pipes. Bisphenol A (BPA) is a chemical used to harden plastic.Currently, BPA is deemed safe at current levels, but the Food and Drug Administration has changed its BPA recommendations in the last couple of years.

If you are trying to decide between ABS and PVC pipes be aware that your local government may have already made that decision for you. Some building mandates require one pipe over the other. This usually depends on the building code and what type of project your going to be doing (draining, sewage ,etc). In some cases that choice is left up to the builder or plumber.

Strengths and Weaknesses of ABS & PVC Pipes

One way to tell ABS and PVC pipes apart is their color, ABS pipes are typically black and PVC pipes are usually white. Obviously pipes aren’t meant to seen in most cases so there are other qualities you can look for. ABS pipes are stronger and more shock resistant than PVC pipes. ABS pipes are also great at withstanding cold temperatures, although ABS pipes tend warp when exposed to direct sunlight. PVC pipes are more flexible and tend to muffle the sound of running water much better than ABS pipes. Both pipes are priced similarly although shipping prices can alter the price point of the pipes.

Working With ABS & PVC Pipes

The key difference when working with PVC and ABS is the process for connecting the pipes. ABS can be bonded instantly using a special type of cement. PVC is a two step process. You must coat the PVC with a primer and wait until it is fully dry then you can apply the cement to bond the pipes together. Since PVC is a two step process it usually takes a bit longer and the labor prices are generally higher than projects that use ABS pipes.

RD Hydrojet Plumbing & Drain Inc. has you covered for whatever your next plumbing job may be. call or text (951)-796-7491

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