Which is better – ABS or PVC plastic pipe?
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ABS and PVC plastic pipe
ABS and PVC both work well, but differ slightly in joining techniques.
When it comes to longevity,
there isn’t any reason to
choose one over the other. If
you install them right, either
black or white plastic pipe will
remain in service a lot longer
than you will.
So how do you choose?
First, check with your building
inspector. A few local building
codes allow only PVC (white)
or only ABS (black). That
doesn’t make sense, but it
doesn’t matter; comply or else.
If code allows both PVC and
ABS, make a pass through the
plumbing aisle at your favorite
home center. Even if the store
carries both PVC and ABS,
you’ll probably find that it
stocks a much wider selection
of fittings for one of the types.
A big selection makes your
plumbing life easier.
If code and selection turn
out to be nonfactors, go with
ABS, which is a little easier to
work with. Unlike PVC, which
requires purple primer and
cement, ABS is joined with
cement only. ABS is also easier
to cut and a bit more flexible.
If, for any reason, you need
to join one to the other during
a remodeling project, don’t just
cement the two together.
Instead, use a rubber transition
coupling with stainless steel clamps.