Re: Sch 40 PCV is *not* OK inside a house, right?
Posted by Deb on December 28, 2003 at 15:38:44:
In response to Re: Sch 40 PCV is *not* OK inside a house, right?
: Deb,

: I have lived in several NE states and have found pvc used in cold water well plumbing over and over. I have asked plumbers and plumbing houses about it. None of which have found a problem with it. This includes a major (multi state) plumbing house in our area. What gives?

The first reason (and I find it scary that a major plumbing supply house and local PLUMBERS are so uninformed about this) is code. I know of no code anywhere that allows PVC inside the foundation of a home to be used for water distribution. The second reason (I find it scary that a major plumbing supply house and local PLUMBERS are so uninformed about this) is that the pressure rating of PVC goes down substantially as the temperature increases. Since it is not uncommon for hot water to cross over into cold water lines (convection, bad tempering valves, bad 1 handles faucets), PVC is prohibited for all water distribution inside a home. I run into alot of it where I live and work, too. Just because there's alot of it out there, doesn't mean that it is okay.
The Pipewench

: : : Stupid plumbing question time... I have read a number of posts on this site and information elsewhere that says that using regular (not CPVC) PVC plumbing inside a house is a no-no. I wanted to verify this...because the friend's house that I am helping to replumb apparently has some PVC supply lines.

: : : It looks like when a previous owner built a newer bath, they used CPVC for the hot water lines and (get this...) PVC for the new cold water lines. From what limited info I have, PVC is a no-no inside the house. Why on earth this previous owner opted to save a few bucks and go with PVC for the cold water line, I do not know.

: : : What he did was hook the PVC into the existing galvanized line...ran the new PVC to the new shower...and then ran the PVC cold water line to the water heater. From the water heater, galvanized plumbing runs out until it then hooks into CPVC, which then services the new bath.

: : : Anyway, I wanted to verify that regular PVC is not to be used inside a home. If that is correct, then we will remove this PVC and replace it with CPVC during our replumb.

: : : By the way, for those who are interested, the replumb is moving along slowly but surely. I sweated my first copper joints today (installed a new freeze-proof sillcock at the front of the house and did copper from the new brass shut off valve to the sill cock and then changed to CPVC from there). Although the sweated joints did not leak, I am still not comfortable enough handling the blow torch and sweating LOTS of joints...especially in tight places. The solvent welded CPVC joints seem much easier to work with.

: : : Anyway, thanks again for all of the help!

: : You are absolutely right. PVC is not allowed inside the foundation of a home for water service. Replace with CPVC. Use threaded fittings and brass x CPVC fittings and you will not have to solder. You can buy hose bibs, ball valves, stops, etc with threads. Be sure to use only brass x CPVC fittings when using threaded fittings--not the ones with plastic threads. If you have not done so already, go to the Flowguard Gold site and read the installation standards for CPVC.
: : There are no stupid questions.
: : Deb
: : The Pipewench

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