The Pros and Cons of CPVC Pipe and CPVC Pipe Fittings

Every type of plumbing has its pros and cons. That explains where there are so many different types of plumbing pipes and pipe fittings. What are the pros and cons of CPVC pipe? What are the pros and cons of CPVC pipe fittings?

What Are the Pros of CPVC Pipe?

CPVC pipe is lightweight and as easy to install as PVC pipe. While it uses different solvents and glues than PVC pipe, the same methods are used to secure both in place and protect against leaks.
CPVC pipe is as safe for drinking water as PVC pipe, both of which are much safer for drinking water than older types of pipe. For example, lead and copper pipes both leach traces of the metal into the drinking water, a problem made worse when the acidity of the water rises or the water sits for a long time.

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CPVC plumbing pipe resists corrosion from both water flow and the chemicals like chlorine that may be contained in the liquids flowing through the pipes. CPVC pipe resists corrosion from chemicals in the soil and wastewater flowing through the pipe, as well.
CPVC plumbing will not emit toxic smoke if exposed to high heat, and it will remain intact for a long time though there are flames underneath it. This is why CPVC pipes and fittings are regularly used in sprinkler and fire suppression systems.
CPVC pipe hardly expands or contracts on exposure to hot or cold temperatures. This dimensional stability reduces the odds that it will eventually leak. The same thermal properties mean CPVC pipe and pipe fittings require less insulation than metal pipes. Because CPVC pipe won’t conduct electricity, it is even used to protect electrical wires in walls or buried in the ground.

What Are the Cons of CPVC Pipe?

CPVC pipe costs a little more than PVC pipe. That’s why PVC pipe is more commonly used. This means it can be harder to find CPVC pipe fittings, too, in unusual sizes due to the weaker demand for them.
CPVC is available in semi-rigid and rigid forms, but the rigid form is especially brittle. This means the pipe is safe to use for wastewater piping as long as it is buried so deeply that it won’t be strained by people or equipment passing over it.
Because CPVC pipe is brittle and not as strong as copper pipe, it requires more bracing.
Building codes typically allow PVC pipe, but not all building codes list CPVC pipe as an acceptable alternative to PVC pipe.

What Are the Pros of CPVC Pipe Fittings?

CPVC pipe fittings won’t melt or warp on exposure to high heat, including when a hot water heater is venting steam. It won’t deform on exposure to high pressure or hot water, either. This makes CPVC piping a better choice than PEX, since PEX is so flexible that the repeated bends can stress it until it fails.
CPVC pipes are available in both the Schedule sizes available for PVC pipe and CTS or copper tube sizes.
CPVC pipe fittings like PVC fittings are easy to install without tools.

What Are the Cons of CPVC Pipe Fittings?

CPVC pipe fittings cost more than the PVC alternatives. However, the price gap between them has narrowed over the years.
While CPVC plumbing fittings are available in copper tubing sizes, you cannot directly connect them to copper pipe.
CPVC pipe fittings are more prone to failure if the water inside the pipe freezes than if water frozen inside metal pipes. This means CPVC isn’t a good choice where the pipes may be exposed to freezing temperatures or extreme variations in temperature.