The Most Common Uses for CPVC Pipe
CPVC pipe is a version of polyvinyl chloride pipe, except it has been run through an extra chlorination process. That is what results in the C in front of the PVC. Otherwise, they are quite similar. They are both plastic pipes available in the same sizes and shapes. What are the most common uses of CPVC pipe?
Hot Water Pipes
PVC pipe has a maximum operating temperature of 140 degrees Fahrenheit. Unfortunately, that is the same maximum operating temperature of most hot water heaters. You do not want to use PVC pipe where it is likely to fail. The solution is to use CPVC pipe instead. It can handle temperatures up to 200 degrees Fahrenheit.
Another point in favor of CPVC pipe is that it is available in both Nominal Pipe Size or NPS and Copper Tube Size or CTS. You can find a CPVC pipe to fit almost any size of pipe in your home, though you cannot directly connect it to PVC or metal pipe. CPVC and PVC require different primers and solvents for fitting joints and connecting the pipes.
Cold Water Pipes
CPVC pipe is as suitable for cold-water applications as PVC pipe. It offers the same level of thermal protection as PVC pipe, so it is less likely to sweat and needs less insulation than metal pipes. This is why CPVC pipes are commonly used in both hot water and cold water piping systems. Another reason this is done is that it is not advisable to mix and match materials, since one mistake could lead to a failure downstream. It is simply safer and easier to use CPVC for everything.
Whether it is the drain from the bathroom sink or the larger pipes connecting the toilet to the sewer line, odds are that it is CPVC piping. CPVC like PVC is almost chemically neutral. It does not degrade on exposure to chemicals like household cleaners washed down the drain or human waste. CPVC lines are far more leak resistant than the alternatives, and that is what you need to minimize the odds of toxic waste leaching into the soil.
Because CPVC pipes are leak resistant, do not corrode, and cheap, they are often used to protect underground wires. This is why CPVC pipe is sometimes used to protect power lines and other underground infrastructure for short distances.
One point in favor of CPVC is its low cost. Another is its ability to withstand exposure to the elements. It is less likely to crack when under load, and it cannot be eaten through by rodents like rubber tubes. This is why CPVC piping is regularly used in indoor and outdoor irrigation systems. It resists the encroachment of tree roots, too, and it can withstand repeated exposure to root killing compounds flushed through the pipes.
CPVC pipe is able to withstand a far wider temperature range than PVC pipe. This means that it can stand
up to below freezing temperatures as well as the hottest summer sun. This has resulted in CPVC pipes regularly used in outdoor vents, whether it is draining rainwater away from the roof and foundation or serving as a ventilation vent for sewer gas. This is why the venting system that regulates the air in the pipes is typically the same CPVC pipe as is used to carry wastewater to the sewer.