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Difference Between CPVC and PVC Pipe

Mukta Badipatla
Provided here is a comparison between CPVC and PVC pipes. If you are planning to fix one of these pipes at home and are confused between the two, then after reading here, you will be in a position to make the right call.

Difference Between Schedule 40 and Schedule 80

PVC and CPVC pipes are each available in two different categories, namely, schedule 40 and schedule 80. Schedule 80 pipe is costly, able to withstand higher PSI, and has thicker walls than its counterpart. Both categories have the same outside diameter.
The abbreviation for chlorinated polyvinyl chloride is 'CPVC'. This pipe is known to withstand a wide range of temperatures. PVC, one of the most commonly used pipes across the world (sometimes abbreviated as RPVC), is the abbreviation of polyvinyl chloride.
It has good insulation and mechanical properties. Metal pipings have been substituted by this white plastic pipe, which is used for plumbing and drainage purposes.
Both CPVC and PVC pipes are used in drainage and plumbing. But they should not be used interchangeably. Why? Because there are a few major parameters which make them different from each other.
Let's see a comparison between these two pipes and the concluding note will make it clear to you, when to use CPVC or PVC pipes.

CPVC pipes

Making of the Pipes: Polyvinyl resin is chlorinated to form CPVC pipes.

Availability of Sizes (in inches): ¼", ⅜", ½", 3/4", 1", 2", 3", 4", 5", 6", 8", 10", 12", 14", 16", 18", 20", and 24".
Temperature Resistance: It withstands a wider degree of temperatures and contains more chlorine than PVC pipes. It can handle temperatures up to 190ºF. Therefore, this pipe can very well carry hot water.

Fire Resistance: As compared to PVC, this pipe is more resistant to heat and can extinguish itself if it is not exposed to an open flame.
Chemical Resistance: These pipes are inert to mineral acids, bases, aliphatic hydrocarbons, salts, and are free from galvanic corrosion.

PVC pipes

Making of the Pipes: The primary building block of PVC is vinyl chloride, and it is formed by ethylene dichloride.

Availability of Sizes (in inches): ⅛", ¼", ⅜", ½", 3/4", 1", 2", 3", 4", 5", 6", 8", 10", 12", 14", 16", 18", 20", and 24".
Temperature Resistance: According to ASTM standards, this pipe can deal with water or liquid temperatures up to 140ºF. Therefore, it cannot be used to carry hot water.

Fire Resistance: As a fact, boiling water can easily cause harm to this pipe, therefore, it cannot resist heat or high flames.
Chemical Resistance: Although PVC is not resistant to chemicals like esters, ketones, ether, and aromatic hydrocarbons, it can very well resist alcohols, fats, oils, and aromatic free petrol.

When to Use CPVC or PVC Pipes

PVC pipes are only meant for plumbing and ventilation as they cannot deal with excessive pressure. On the other hand, CPVC can withstand higher pressure and wider range of temperatures than PVC.
CPVC pipes appear off-white, whereas, PVC pipes are white in color. Due to its efficient resistance to corrosion and heat, CPVC is a popular choice in industrial applications.