For all your above & below ground pipe requirements

Choosing Between PVC or ABS for Home or Industrial Use Pipes

Brief introduction


Large industries and homeowners apply different types of piping for various purposes, including drainage, water supply, and even gas utilities. The quality of material depends greatly on the user’s budget and application. There are various different pipes to choose from, each with their certain advantages and disadvantages. Choosing the right one can be a total nightmare for the inexperienced homeowner, as they tend to buy pipes that they believe will serve them just fine. However, one should consider the benefits of choosing the right pipe for certain types of applications. If you happen to be one of those people, you are in luck because we're going to describe to you the benefits and drawbacks of two of the most common types of industrial pipes; PVC and ABS pipes.




PVC pipes are the most common pipes used in many areas. PVC stands for polyvinyl chloride, which is the material they are made from. The material itself is utilized for water pipes, toys, clothes, shower curtains, and even used for cable insulation, amongst other things. One of the benefits of using PVC is that it is flexible, extremely durable under harsh conditions, and relatively cheap to purchase. One possible downside to PVC is that it is made from materials which contain a substance called BPA (bisphenol A). This substance has been used in the plastic making industry for many years and the potential risk of a PVC pipe is if you use it for transporting drinking water, as it contains this BPA. Using PVC for anything else besides that won’t be too much of a problem however. Yet one other drawback of PVC is that it requires a longer process to join together and you will need additional materials for this.




ABS pipes, similar to PVC pipes, are also used for various purposes. ABS stands for acrylonitrile butadiene styrene. The material is used to make items such as toys, like Legos, musical instruments, golf club heads, car bumpers, kitchen appliances and many others. The benefits of ABS are that it is tough, rigid, affordable, and much easier to install than PVC. One of the drawbacks of utilising ABS above ground is its poor resistance to sunlight; the pipes tend to deform during prolonged exposure to sunlight. However, the direct sunlight problem can be bypassed easily by applying a coat of ultraviolet resistant paint. Finally, ABS pipes are able to withstand impact much better than PVC at lower temperatures.


Which one is for me?


The final step is making the right decision on which pipe material to choose. First, you need to consider your budget. Are you willing to dedicate some money to pipe instalments? If so, go for PVC. If you are on the tight side, aim for ABS. Next is purpose, what are you using these pipes for? Are you going to use them above or below ground? Alternately, will they be exposed to extreme weather and sunlight? If this is the case, you might consider ABS for below ground applications and PVC for above ground due to its resistance to direct sunlight and since ABS deforms under these conditions. If you live in a much colder environment without much sunlight anyway, ABS is the way to go. Furthermore, if you do not want to go through a lot of trouble installing your pipes, ABS is relatively easy to install and connect as you will not require any additional materials or components. Lastly, if you are ever unsure about the specifications of the pipes that you require, you should always consult the hardware store for more advice.


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Clayton Le Moors

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