ABS vs PVC Piping Provides Different Advantages

We have been asked a few questions about ABS and PVC piping over the years. If you have a plumbing project that you are about to undertake, we hope these questions and answers will be helpful in your planning process. If you need a professional plumber, call The Plumbing Pro at 816-763-8200.

Why are there so many homeowners and plumbers choosing to use plastic pipes in their home projects?

Plastic piping is light, inexpensive, and doesn’t deteriorate.  The most common plastic piping materials are PVC and ABS.  Both PVC and ABS are flexible, offer strength and shock resistance. They are great at keeping hot water HOT, and cold-water COLD.

What are the key differences between ABS and PVC piping?

Plumbing Pro artwork guy working on pipeFirst, they are made from different materials Acrylonitrile Butadiene Styrene (ABS) and Polyvinyl Chloride (PVC).

ABS piping is made with the chemical Bisphenol A (BPA) which is used to harden all sorts of plastic materials. Over the past few years, the Food and Drug Administration has had BPA under review over concerns about potential hormonal, neurological, and cardiological effects. As of now the assessment is BPA is safe.

PVC is discovered in 1872 by German chemist Eugen Baumann. It is made using raw materials like salt and oil. The electrolysis of salt water produces chlorine, and that chlorine is used in the production of PVC.  Polyvinyl Chloride is used in all kinds of products piping, films and sheets, tubing, wiring, bottles flooring products and molded goods.

What are the advantages of PVC?

Polyvinyl Chloride is easy to find and inexpensive. It’s high tensile strength makes it a strong material and it is effective in resisting deformation and cracks. It is also very resistant to acids, salts, bases, fats and alcohols.

What are the disadvantages of PVC?

PVC has poor heat stability as temperatures over 140 F can melt the product. If melted or burned PVC can emit toxic fumes.

What are the advantages of ABS?

Acrylonitrile Butadiene Styrene (ABS) is extremely strong, rigid and shock resistant. ABS can work effectively with both hot and cold temperatures. Finally, it is very inexpensive to use.

What are the disadvantages of ABS?

ABS has poor UV resistance. It can be harmed by solvents and temperatures above 160 F. ABS has low fatigue resistance and wears easily in high friction situations.

These products are very similar, however before you make a decision on which to use know that the decision may already be made for you by local municipalities. Give the Plumbing Pro a call and we can install your new piping and make sure you are using the proper pipe. Call 816-763-8200