Sanitary Pipe: DWV vs. PVC vs. CPVC vs. Schedule 40 (2023)

There are several different types of pipes when it comes to plumbing. But which of these options will be the best for your project? This article will cover several different types of tubes, their purposes, and what they are best used for.


  1. What is DWV tube?
  2. What is PVC pipe?
  3. What is CPVC pipe?
  4. What is an ABS pipe?
  5. Comparison table
  6. Common questions:
    • What is the difference between Schedule 80 and Schedule 40 PVC pipe?
    • What is the difference between DWV and PVC pipes?
    • Can PVC be used for sewer pipes?
    • What is the expected life of PVC pipes?
    • Are PVC pipes safe for drinking water?
    • What are the advantages of using PVC over other piping options?

What is DWV tube?

The abbreviation:DWV stands for Drain, Waste and Vent. Although this pipe is made of the same material as PVC pipe and looks very similar, it has thinner side walls compared to neighboring PVC products.

Usos:DWV (Drain, Waste and Vent) pipe has thinner sidewalls because it is not designed to hold pressure. It is made for drains, sewer pipes, and vents. Since these purposes should never experience significant pressure, the line should never be in danger of bursting, which means they can use the thinnest sidewalls, resulting in a less expensive product.

(Video) Differences between CPVC, DWV PVC, Schedule 40 PVC, and Schedule 80 PVC

DWV pipe is designed to be installed in a way that allows gravity to facilitate the movements of its contents. Or, in other words, it's meant to be used for drains, sewer lines, and plumbing outlets.

How to identify it:DWV pipe is the same white color as its PVC counterpart, so it's not always as easy to spot. The main difference is that the sidewall thickness will be noticeably thinner than Schedule 40 or Schedule 80 pipe.

When using accessories, the tube will slide into the accessory. The part is called a Hub, shorter than their Schedule 40 counterparts. Also, there will typically be a label on the tube stating NO PRESSURE. This will help ensure that you know that this tube is not to be used for pressurized lines.

What is PVC pipe?

The abbreviation:PVC is a polyvinyl chloride, a plastic made with additives to help prevent oxidation and degradation from affecting it.

Common Uses:PVC is used in many different applications, the most common being residential plumbing. Once introduced in the 1950s as an alternative to steel and cast iron pipe, it took over the plumbing industry. It can also be commonly found housing underground electrical cables, HVAC vents, irrigation pipes, and more.

How can you identify it?:PVC pipes are most easily recognized by their white or dark gray color. It will have your technical specifications printed on the side and can be found with flat or flared ends.

A bell end is an end that will allow you to connect the plain end of another tube to it. It is like a preformed coupling on the tube. PVC is available in 10-foot or 20-foot sections, but is sometimes sold as furniture PVC, which may be sold in 5-foot sections.

What is CPVC pipe?

Abbreviation:CPVC stands for Chlorinated Polyvinyl Chloride. It is created when PVC resin is chlorinated, resulting in more durable pipes that are resistant to decay. Both PVC and CPVC are thermoplastics.

(Video) PVC vs DWV fittings

Typical uses:CPVC is commonly recognized as the preferred choice for residential hot water lines. PVC is limited to 140 degrees superheat, while CPVC has a recommended maximum temperature of 200 degrees. Therefore, it is common to see PVC for cold water lines in homes, while CPVC is the popular choice for hot water lines inside homes.

How can you identify it?:CPVC looks remarkably similar to PVC, but has a more yellowish exterior. It can also be found in light gray. Like PVC, it will have the technical information printed on the side, will be sold in 10, 20, or sometimes 5-foot sections, and will come bell-shaped and flat-ended.

Another way to identify CPVC is that the most commonly used yellowish pipe for hot water supply lines will be sized in copper gauges. That is, the size of the pipe will be based on the outside size of the pipe, not the inside like PVC. This means that yellow CPVC pipe will always be smaller than white PVC when comparing the same "size" of pipe.

What is an ABS pipe?

Abbreviation:ABS stands for acrylonitrile butadiene styrene (ABS). It is a thermoplastic that has been used since the 1960s. It has proven to be exceptionally durable, making it a strong candidate for sewer pipes that are in the ground and need to be reinforced.

Typical uses:ABS is typically used outdoors in underground situations. This is due to his strength and his extreme resistance to cold. While other piping options can become brittle in colder weather, ABS isn't affected in the same way.

ABS tube has been banned in certain areas due to possible failures caused by its production. The manufacturing process is a recycling process to keep the cost competitive with PVC. This has led to cases where the pipe has failed and has caused certain regions to make the use of ABS pipes illegal.

ABS resin is not an insulating compound, which means that ABS pipe does nothing to keep water at a preferred temperature or muffle the sound of water running through it. Both are made with PVC and CPVC products. Another reason why the use of ABS in the home is not preferred.

How can you identify it?:The easiest way to tell if it is an ABS tube is the color. ABS IS SIMPLY BLACK, unlike PVC and CPVC, which have different colors. Aside from the color, it bears a striking resemblance to PVC, but it's the only pipe that's black.

(Video) BASIC understanding about PVC CPVC and ABS plumbing pipe

Comparison table

traffic tubeAnnex 40 PVC Annex 80 PVC CPVC
heart blancoblancoDark grayLight yellow
Maximum pressure 0 psi130psi-600psi Depending on tube diameter220psi-850psi depending on tube diameter120psi-780psi depending on tube diameter
Maximum temperature 140 degrees140 degrees140 degrees180 degrees
Minimum temperature 20 degrees20 degrees20 degrees0 degrees

common questions:

What is the difference between Schedule 80 and Schedule 40 PVC pipe?

The main difference between Schedule 40 and Schedule 80 pipe is that Schedule 40 is thinner, which means it will be used in lower water pressure systems. Schedule 40 is the most common pipe gauge you will find in residential plumbing. Since schedule 80 pipe is thicker, it will be used for higher pressure systems.

These two tube styles also have the same outside diameter. The interior is smaller due to the thickness of the walls of the Schedule 80 tube.

Also, you will typically see that the schedule 80 tube is gray while the schedule 40 tube is white. This is to help you tell them apart right away and avoid costly mistakes.

What is the difference between DWV and PVC pipes?

DWV can easily be confused with PVC because they are so similar. However, there is a big difference. DWV cannot be used with pressure. It is strictly to be used for drainage and ventilation purposes.

The joints or "cubes" are not as deep and the tube is generally thinner. Since this tube is not made for pressure, it can leave the manufacturer without passing a pressure test.

Without the added cost of pressure testing and less material needed to make a thinner pipe wall, it makes DWV pipe more economical than its PVC counterpart.

Can PVC be used for sewer pipes?

Yes, PVC can be used for sewer pipes.

ABS was the ideal product for sewer pipes. Still, a change in the manufacturing process resulted in a higher probability of failure, which has allowed PVC to take the lead as the most popular sewer pipe product on the market today.

(Video) Should I Use PVC or CPVC Pipe? | U.S. Plastic Corporation®

What is the expected life of PVC pipes?

The life expectancy of PVC pipes is extraordinary. When PVC pipe is buried underground, no chemical degradation is expected. This gives PVC a very long lifespan. Studies have shown that PVC pressurized water lines buried in the ground can last over a hundred years, if not much longer.

Are PVC pipes safe for drinking water?

PVC pipes have proven to be very safe for the passage of drinking water. Scientists will examine key aspects of how water reacts with pipes: migration, microbial growth, odor, and taste.

Migration:PVC pipes have been shown by numerous European research laboratories to have excellent resistance to migration. Migration is when chemicals leach from the pipe into the water or vice versa.

Microbial growth:PVC is excellent at preventing migration, which means it is also highly resistant to microbial growth.

Smell and taste:Regular testing has found the risk of unpleasant odors or tastes to be extremely low due to the lack of microbial migration and growth.

What are the advantages of using PVC over other piping options?

Luz:PVC products are very light. Therefore, they will require less strapping once installed and will make the installation much more manageable.

Joining Methods:PVC has several joining methods, from solvent to push-lock connections. The installer will have numerous options to best suit your needs.

Renewal:Since PVC is a thermoplastic product, adapting or repairing PVC is quite simple. Because PVC is easily handled, you can add poppets, connect new lines, or reroute pipes with minimal effort.

(Video) 10 MISTAKES When Working With Plastic Pipes (PVC, CPVC & ABS) | GOT2LEARN


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