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All you need to know about PVC pipes and conduits

Date: 26-12-2022 | thinkPVC

Polyvinyl chloride is more commonly known as PVC. As the name hints, this material is made out of plastic and vinyl. Over the recent years, PVC has taken over, replacing its competing materials such as metal, copper, etc. It is known as extremely versatile, durable, and hard to damage. PVC is a corrosion-resisting material, with little or no energy to expand or contract.

This article helps you in understanding and difference between PVC Pipe & PVC Conduit, so you to make an informed decision. A valuable point to consider is that not all PVC pipes and conduits can be used in the same context. Each has its specialty and thrives in different environments. Let’s look in deeper!

Difference between the PVC pipe and PVC conduit

Color

The most prominent difference between the two is that the PVC Pipe is white in color but the PVC conduit is gray. This is the easiest way to visually distinguish between the two. There are times when the diameter is the same, making it difficult to tell them apart but the color gives it away.

Thickness

The walls of PVC pipes are thicker than the conduits mainly because of their usage. Plumbing PVC pipes are usually used where pressure is a factor to be considered. The thickness keeps it strong and intact. On the contrary, PVC conduits are used when the pressure is less, therefore, the manufacturers make them only as thick as the requirement calls for it.

Sun exposure

PVC pipes are mostly used underground as they are not friendly under the sun whereas, PVC conduit can withhold sun exposure, heat, and UV rays for a longer duration. PVC pipe’s life span decreases if it is kept under the sun constantly for a long time.

Uses

This is important to note because you may think of the two to be giving you the same result and experience, but they differ drastically. PVC pipe is vastly used in plumbing and similar areas. It is used in manufacturing sewage pipes, water drainage systems, water distribution, irrigation, and chemical handling. PVC pipes can also be used as ventilation ducts and exhausts.

PVC conduits are primarily used for electrical use such as telecommunications, power, wiring, utility, and cabling. Conduits are used underground where wiring and cabling require protection from water or any other wet substance. It can survive well under exposure to the sun. Conduits are commonly used for the wiring of walls, floors, and ceilings.

Application

It is known that PVC plumbing pipes are manufactured differently from PVC electrical pipes, therefore, their application is different and is not interchangeable. PVC pipes work better with high pressure whereas, PVC conduit has a better threshold in extreme weather and with wiring options. UV can damage the PVC pipe but not the conduits.

PVC pipes are better used in areas that are wet because of their properties but PVC conduits work better in dry places such as walls, and floors. Both PVC pipes and conduit can be used in residential and commercial areas however, for best results, it is better to analyze the usage and properties of each.

Waterproof and weatherproof

PVC pipes are synthetic polymers and are the most commonly used plastics on earth. They are waterproof and flexible. PVC pipe is majorly used underground where they are exposed to sewerage and water, making waterproofing an essential property.

PVC conduits are primarily used in high and dry areas, making them fire-resistant and weatherproof. They are UV tested and survive better under severe weather conditions, making them a better choice for outdoor usage.

Pressure

One of the key differences in their properties is that PVC pipes are pressure tested. The reason for this is that PVC pipes are used for plumbing purposes where the water pressure is high and expected. Each set of PVC pipes has its pressure threshold rating printed on the pipe.

PVC conduits are not suitable to be used for high water pressure areas because their property doesn’t allow them.

Takeaway

It is clear to understand that both PVC pipe and conduit are strong, flexible, durable, and versatile. Their properties differ thus they cannot be used interchangeably.

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