Schedule 40 PVC vs. Schedule 40 Foam Core PVC

Discussion in 'Plumbing Forum, Professional & DIY Advice, Tips & ' started by Fran, Feb 6, 2005.

  1. Fran

    Fran New Member

    Messages:
    5
    schedule 40 pvc v. schedule 40 foam core

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    My husband and I are building a house. The builder(gen'l contractor) signed a contract with the plumbing contractor for Schedule 40 PVC and now we see there is Schedule 40 Foam Core in the house. The walls are not yet closed. We said we wanted the sch. 40 pvc. The builder and Charlotte pipe say sch. 40 foam core and Sch. 40 pvc are the same. We have done research and have found out that foam core is 30% less in cost and lighter and less durable. The builder said we should do a survery of plumbers in our area and see what they use. If they don't use foam core we might have a case. I contacted 10 plumbers and all said they would not use foam core. We also asked the builder what he has in his house. He said he was not sure. We said if you have foam core in your house that's good enough for us. He still has not contacted us since yesterday, although I did fax him my survey responses. What do you think? Are the two pipes of equal quality? Are we being to picky? This is an expensive custom house that, until up till now, has been built beautifully (both structurally and visually).

    Thank you in advance
  2. hj

    hj Moderator & Master Plumber Staff Member

    Messages:
    26,631
    Location:
    Cave Creek, Arizona
    pvc

    We do not use PVC in this area, but since a DWV system is not a pressure system, I cannot see why you would have any problems with the installed piping.
  3. jimbo

    jimbo Plumber

    Messages:
    8,997
    Location:
    San Diego
    First, sch. 40 is sch. 40. But, I did not think that foam core was sch. 40.


    Out here ( San Diego) foam core ABS is used almost exclusively in residential consruction. It is not sch. 40. There have never really been any issues. It has been in use for over 40 years.
  4. Fran

    Fran New Member

    Messages:
    5
    On the east coast Charlotte Pipe and Foundry makes PVC "solid wall" schedule 40 DWV pipe and also PVC "Foam Core" schedule 40 DWV pipe. The contract between the plumbing contractor and the general contractor (builder) states schedule 40 PVC is to be used. Charlotte PVC foam core is what has been installed. The walls are not yet closed in so changes can still be made.
  5. Fran

    Fran New Member

    Messages:
    5
    P.S. Charlotte Pipe says their foam core has been in use for about 17-18 years.
  6. What is the purpose of PVC foam core, besides being cheaper?
    I would think that it would make the drain pipes less noisy, which is a problem with solid plastic pipe.
    IMHO,
    Mike
  7. master plumber mark

    foam core pipe is OK... it is a little cheaper but the good thing is it is supposed to be more quiet too...

    the only place that foam core is not supposed to be used is under ground in concrete slabs...

    sch 40 pvc will probably last about 600 years out of sunlight

    sch 40 foam core will only last you about 575 years.....

    I dont think any of us are going to be around when it finally starts showing signs of failure.

    dont worry about it too much....its just fine.
  8. Fran

    Fran New Member

    Messages:
    5
    Thanks Mark. You make sense. The only thing is that we don't know if it's under the concrete slab. It is sticking straight up and adjoined the the concrete slab, but we don;t know if it actually runs underneath. How would we be able to tell? Thank you again in advance.
  9. Check with your Building Inspection Department for the local code on this. If it's againat code, the plumbing sub is going to have to do it right with Sch. 40, even if he's installed the foam core in the slab.
    You should be able to tell from your house plans where that pipe is running (slab or not), and what is the direction from what you can see to the main drain outfall? Either should tell you.
    Good Luck!
    Mike
  10. jdkimes

    jdkimes Engineer

    Messages:
    181
    Location:
    Littleton, CO
    If a pipe is "Schedule 40" it meets the minimum ASTM standards for materials, workmanship, dimensions, sustained pressure, burst pressure, flattening, and extrusion quality. By meeting these standards you are assured of some certain quality.
    You're worrying about nothing.
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