You may or may not have heard about PVC plastic. But did you know that under it are several variants and of which is CPVC? The latter has been a rising star for the past few years. So if you are curious about how they differ, hop in to learn more!
Polyvinyl chloride, also known as PVC, ranks third among the most utilized plastics in the world. It’s most probably the white plastic you see in your homes. It’s a popular choice because it’s durable and odorless. It mainly uses home plumbing systems alongside its other industrial and commercial uses.
One great thing with this variant is that it does need fossil fuels for production. However, it can be recycled and adapted to different situations. It is also known to survive contact with other chemicals that might otherwise compromise other options.
A huge concern is that it is said that 57% of chlorine and high carbon and salt content are present in PVC. But to this day, no clear-cut evidence has been found regarding its harmful effects on our homes.
PVC pipes have also been replacing the usual metal pipes. However, the latter can induce corrosion and pollution in your drinking water, so maintaining it may be a hassle.
A variant of this PVC plastic is called CPVC, and this is what we’re tackling next.
Chlorinated polyvinyl chloride, or CPVC, is a PVC with increased chlorine content. Commercially PVCs usually house 63% to 69% chlorine, but they can go as high as 74%.
The chlorine promotes durability and rigidity in higher temperature conditions. Thus, this plastic is chosen for ductwork and hot water piping. Some of the everyday uses of CPVCs are for piping and fittings. However, please note that combining it with other materials industrially is doable.
Since it requires more processing than that of a PVC, CPVC has a higher price tag. But its high price tag has a cost-effective benefit in the long run.
When to utilize the two
As discussed, the temperature threshold is the main difference between a PVC and CPVC. While a PVC pipe can survive at a 140 F temperature, a CVC can handle up to 200 F. That’s a significant difference.
Therefore, for hot water piping, CPVC is the easy choice. Also, most overflow pipes connecting to the pressure relief valve are usually made of CPVC. On the other end of the spectrum, PVC is still the material of choice for cold water and waste pipes, given its cheaper price point.
These are also used in replacing copper pipes. Both the PVC and CPVCs come in NPS (nominal pipe size). An NPS-scaled CPVC is almost always available in light grey. Moreover, CPVC may also come in CTS (copper tube size) in a usually light yellow hue.
Lastly, chemical exposure is another thing to take into consideration. Although both are made in almost similar compositions, with CPVC having more chlorine content, PVC may resist some chemicals better than CPVC, and the other way around. Again, this is why consulting a chemical compatibility chart is of utmost importance.
Is it ideal for gluing PVC and CPVC together?
Gluing the two together is not entirely impossible, but doing so may compromise the system. This is due to their differences in pressure and temperature rating. Doing so may even lead to leaks and other unforeseen issues.
CPVC fitting types
CPVC is versatile in that it’s also available in various fittings. Thus, it can be used in a lot of configurations.
Some of these fittings are:
- 45 degrees
- 45 degree CTS
- 90 degrees
- 90 degree CTS
- Reducing 90 degrees
- Female elbow in 90 degrees
- Female reducing elbow in 90 degrees
- Reducing tee
- Female reducing tee
- CTS tee
- Cross tee
- Male adaptor
- Female adaptor
- CTS male adaptor
- CTS female adaptor
- Reducing male adaptor
- Reducing female adaptor
Other CPVC connectors
- Ball valve
- CTS cap
- CTS coupler
- Reducing coupler
- End cap
- End plug, threaded
- Hex head plug
- Reducing bushing
- CTS reducing bushing
- Step over bend
- Tank connector
- CTS union