Plastic pipes are commonly used for household plumbing systems as they are comparatively inexpensive than metal pipes. Plastic has a lower melting point so it is easier to mold it in different shapes and they are relatively more flexible than other materials. However, there are a lot of different types of plastics that can be used and they usually vary in their color and the type of applications in which they can used. The two most common material used for manufacturing plastic pipes is Polyvinyl Chloride (PVC) and Acrylonitrile Butadiene Styrene (ABS) due to their properties. In this article, both of these plastic materials will be discussed and the way to differentiate between them would be established.
PVC plastic is usually preferred for manufacturing pipes, cable insulation, clothes, and toys. Pipes made from PVC are usually flexible but have higher durability than their counterparts. PVC is known to contain bisphenol A (BPA) which is an industrial chemical linked to some possible effects on health.
ABS plastic is generally used to manufacture pipes, instruments, canoes, and appliances. Objects made from ABS are mostly tough, rigid and are low in cost. ABS plastics do not contain BPA, so no health hazard is associated with their use. ABS pipes can withstand extreme colds so they are better suited to be used underground where the temperature might get very low.
Both of these materials are resistant to corrosion from acids, alkali, and salts. ABS pipes can warp in sunlight so this is the reason it is not recommended to use them overground. The PVC material has higher soundproofing, so using them inside the house is recommended as they can muffle the sound of water rushing in the pipe. Both of these materials are similar price-wise. PVC material and ABS can be easily distinguished from each other as PVC pipes are white in colors, whereas ABS pipes have a distinct black color. Generally, pipes made from both of these materials are very similar, the only difference is how they are connected together. ABS pipes can be connected with others directly using special cement, which makes it a one-step process. Whereas PVC pipes need to be primed before being cemented together, so this is considered as a two-step process which might increase the labor costs while using PVC pipes.