ABS and PVC plumbing are the two most common types of plastic plumbing available on the market. ABS plumbing (acrylonitrile butadiene styrene) and PVC plumbing (polyvinyl chloride) operate in similar manners, but there are a number of key differences between the two of them. Understanding the differences between these two types of plastic pipes can help you choose the one that best fits your needs.

ABS Plumbing

ABS plumbing is somewhat less common than PVC plumbing, but can still be found in a large amount of homes. ABS pipes are more resistant to physical trauma than PVC pipes are, which means that they can withstand blunt impact and other damage much better. Additionally, ABS pipes are more rigid than PVC pipes are, and are easier to join together because they only require plumber cement to join the pipes together. Additionally, ABS plumbing holds up extremely well to cold temperatures, and increases its impact strength in below freezing temperature, allowing it to hold up against physical damage even better.

However, ABS pipes are more likely to deform over time when exposed to sunlight, which can be a problem if your plumbing is exposed or uncovered inside or outside your home. This deformation can ruin the structural stability of the pipe, and can even cause it to burst, causing a serious leak that will need to be repaired.

PVC Plumbing

PVC plumbing is more flexible than ABS plumbing, but is not as able to withstand physical damage. However, PVC pipes are able to stand up to UV radiation much better than ABS pipes are, and will not become deformed or weakened due to sunlight exposure. This makes PVC pipes ideal for outdoor plumbing needs.

However, PVC pipes are harder and more cumbersome to install, as they require a primer to be installed before plumber's cement is applied. This can increase installation costs and time, which can be a hassle. Additionally, if PVC is burned, it can release hydrochloric acid, which is a serious health hazard.

Check Local Code

Before starting your plumbing project, be sure to check the local codes and regulations for plumbing. Some locations will allow either PVC or ABS, but not both. Most hardware stores will sell both ABS and PVC pipes, as they can be used for a number of other applications, but you want to ensure that your plumbing is up to code, or else you'll have to rip out the entire system and start again.

Contact a service like Action Plumbing & Heating for more details.