It’s time to change one or more of the pipes in your house. You might not be familiar with the various types of pipes if you have never worked in plumbing before. Many pipes are made from plastic but not all are created equal. PVC and ABS are the most common forms of plastic pipe.

Depending on the job, one type might be better than the other. For some suggestions, take a look at this list.

It is a good idea check your local building codes before you proceed. Certain areas may have restrictions that require the use of certain types of pipes. In these cases, the selection has already been made!

ABS Pipes vs. PVC Pipes

While many of the differences between ABS and PVC are minor or situational, one thing is certain to be noticeable to homeowners: ABS pipe contains BPA while PVC pipe doesn’t.

Bisphenol A, also known as BPA or Bisphenol A, is a chemical used to harden plastic. You may find it in many plastics, including water and food containers. Although there is no evidence that BPA is toxic to humans, animal studies have raised concerns about potential hormonal, neurological and cardiac consequences.

In recent years, the FDA amended its BPA guidelines. However, its current opinion is that BPA can be safely used at the current levels in food.

Be aware that ABS and PVC plastic pipes may be the better choice before you waste too much time debating which one is best.

Certain municipal construction standards require that one type of pipe be used for drainage, sewage or other plumbing operations. Others leave it up to the plumbers and builders.

Plastic Pipes’ Strengths & Weaknesses

PVC and ABS pipes can be distinguished by their colors: ABS pipes are black while PVC pipes have white. Plumbers will be more interested in other features, since pipes aren’t meant to be visible. ABS is stronger and more resistant to shock, while PVC is more flexible.

ABS is more resistant against extreme cold temperatures but can be damaged by bright sunlight. PVC is more effective at dampening the sound from running water.

Both varieties are priced equal in most North American regions. Generally, there is a high delivery cost for one variety that causes price differences.

ABS or PVC Piping

There is a major difference between the two materials. ABS pipes can be joined in one step, while PVC has two. While ABS pipes can be quickly bonded using a specific cement block or PVC pipe ends need to be coated with a purple primer first before cement can be applied.

It is important to dry the primer completely before moving on to the next stage. ABS may be more cost-effective than PVC even though the pipes are more expensive than PVC.

PVC Pipe Applications

It is important to choose the right type of pipe for your job at your house or business. PVC pipes can be used for many purposes. PVC pipes are a good choice for interior use. They are soundproof so water won’t be heard through them.

Regular schedule 40 PVC pipe is suitable for wastewater and drainage. Like ABS pipe, PVC pipe is used for drain, waste and vent piping as well as insulation of electrical wires. PVC pipe is flexible and durable, making it an ideal choice for experts as well as do-it yourselfers.

ABS Piping Applications

ABS piping can be used for both commercial and residential purposes. It is affordable. It won’t flake, peel or disintegrate until it is penetrated. It is a great choice for outdoor, underground, extreme cold and places that are not exposed to direct sunlight.

It is used by local Long Beach, CA Plumbers in drain, waste and vent pipe systems. ABS pipe is used for electrical insulation and drainage in sewage systems.