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The Life Expectancy Of PVC Piping
It can be particularly problematic to predict how long your pipes will endure. Each household has a unique plumbing system. Depending on when contractors built your home, your pipes may be as old or as new as your plumbing system. This is unless they have been updated.
Replacing old plumbing is a much better way to achieve an efficient system. But more crucially, the materials that were used to build your pipes have a significant impact on how long they last. Polyvinyl chloride (PVC) pipes were originally introduced in the 1960s to compete with other plumbing supplies at the time.
These brand-new, reasonably priced, and robust pipes gained popularity fast and are still the most common kind of piping used for water delivery lines today. PVC piping hasn't been in use for that long. Various life expectancies have been stated concerning PVC piping.
How Long Does PVC Last?
According to stress regression, gradual fracture propagation, and problem testing, PVC pressure pipes should offer more than 100 years of service life. A well-built and fitted PVC pipe has a lifespan of 100 years, which is a conservative estimate. PVC pipe, one of the most used plumbing materials, is renowned for being incredibly strong and long-lasting.
Of course, several elements, like the environment it is exposed to and the installation method, affect how long a particular PVC pipe will last. The bright side to this is that you can easily take specific steps to safeguard your PVC pipes and stop them from deteriorating quickly.
Specific usage and other factors affect the lifespan of PVC. This material can deteriorate or be damaged, but you can prolong the life of the PVC in your home and help avoid deterioration.
Polyvinyl Chloride (PVC) Pipes
They are an excellent option for many households because there is little risk that they will corrode and rust and leave metal in your drinking water like old galvanized pipes. However, PVC is not nearly as strong as metallic pipes and, as a result, does not last as long as lead piping. Polybutylene pipes were popular between the late 1970s and the mid-1990s because the materials were inexpensive and easier to install.
Homeowners soon discovered that these pipes were somewhat fragile and would begin to fall apart after around 10-15 years. This characteristic makes it quite unusual that you have polybutylene pipes in your house; nonetheless, if you have, you should repair them as soon as possible.
Factors That Affect The Lifespan Of PVC
PVC pipes typically have a lifespan of 100 years. This plastic pipe does a great job when it comes to waste pipes or cold-water main supply piping. It is also available in a range of diameters.
The following variables affect how long PVC pipes will last:
- PVC pipes can fail prematurely if not adequately installed.
- PVC pipes can break if they are not well insulated against cold temperatures.
- PVC pipes can become brittle and break easily with time.
Sunlight damage to PVC piping
Running PVC above ground and exposing it to sunlight can cause it to degrade more quickly than it would underground. The sun's UV radiation can damage the structure of PVC material. UV light makes PVC brittle and breakable. Iron piping does not also do well when exposed to the elements because they become rusty with time.
PVC plumbing systems that you must run above ground can be safeguarded in several ways. Paint the pipes or cover them when exposed to sunlight.
PVC manufacturers advise applying a thin coat of light-coloured latex-based paint to protect the exposed pipe. In addition to keeping the pipes sturdy and lasting, this will prevent your pipes from fading.
Debris and weather can damage underground PVC
Sunlight won't be an issue for PVC piping systems that are buried underground, but debris, soil movement, and freezing temperatures might. Your pipes may be buried with trash and pebbles, creating friction and damaging PVC pipes.
PVC pipes might also experience damage in areas with cold temperatures. The shifting, contracting, and expanding of soil brought on by the freezing and thawing of the ground can all damage a plumbing system. This is where having a water heater in such low temperatures is beneficial.
PVC is said to be more flexible than other materials. However, PVC still has a breaking threshold, and soil movement is frequently the culprit. The risk of causing damage to underground PVC pipes and plumbing systems can, fortunately, be reduced by following basic best practices.
The soil must be as clear of rocks and debris as possible. This is whether the work is being done by a contractor or by you as a homeowner. That might involve removing rocky soil and replacing it with sand. PVC piping lines should be placed at least two feet (0.6 m) below ground to avoid damage from freezing and thawing cycles.
Water hammer and surge pressure can arise when water is forced through the pipes under high pressure. No matter how robust your pipes are, these two factors will undoubtedly cause expensive damage. The velocity of water in pipes also depends on the valves. Always check valves to ensure they are functioning correctly and can handle the rate of water in your pipes.
Every pipe is intended to support a particular flow rate expressed in pounds per square inch (psi). This represents the pressure that develops when a force of one pound (453g) is applied to a surface area of roughly one square inch (6.5 square centimetres). For instance, 300 pipes can function adequately at flow rates lower than 300 psi.
Improper installation and use
PVC piping systems risk failing if they are not properly planned and installed. This applies to all plumbing systems. Utilising too much or too little PVC cement to affix pipes to fittings is one of the most frequent errors when building PVC piping systems. This material can degrade if there is too much cement because it is very porous.
On the other hand, using insufficient cement can result in weaker bonding that could leak or fail. A short insertion is another problem that could arise from the poor installation of PVC piping systems. This mistake is made when someone doesn't fully insert a pipe into a fitting.
Such an error creates a space that can result in pipe leaks. Impurities can also infiltrate the water flow through this gap. Remove all debris, burrs, and other objects that could cause residue to collect before installation. This helps avoid installation-related problems. The PVC pipe's edges should be as smooth as possible to guarantee complete coupling and strong cement adhesion.
The durability of PVC piping
PVC pipe is an excellent choice for a variety of household projects, including plumbing and irrigation. This is thanks to its rigidity, strength, durability, dependability, and affordability. It must be installed and maintained correctly, just like any other plumbing component, to perform successfully in the short- and long-term.
Aging makes PVC brittle
PVC becomes more fragile as it ages. The PVC industry has demonstrated that, with proper measures, the sun does not impact the strength of PVC, and it operates well outside. You shouldn't anticipate having PVC plumbing fixed or replaced before its guaranteed lifespan.
It may occasionally develop minor issues before its time if the plumbers did not install it properly. For instance, there are specific ways that you or a professional must secure PVC pipes to the wall. As water passes through the pipe, the movement won't put undue strain on the fasteners to which the PVC pipe is connected if it was secured correctly. A poor job would see the fasteners become loose, and the pipe could collapse at some point.
Indicators Of A Damaged PVC Sewer Line
Most homeowners shouldn't need to consider sewer line replacement while they are still living in the home. This is due to the durability of the materials used to construct sewer pipes. There are a few simple warning signals to look out for, though, that can mean you need to replace your sewer line.
A sewer line issue may be indicated by gurgling sounds coming from the toilet or slowly draining sinks, which homeowners may hear. A homeowner can consider replacing their sewage line after noticing standing water in the yard, water damage, or mould growth within the property.
Talk To Local PVC Experts
PVC pipe is the most commonly used sewer line material in new residential construction because it is reasonably priced and readily available. These two factors are especially important for homeowners looking to install drain pipes. However, PVC pipes can weaken and bend in high temperatures and break in cold conditions.
They are challenging to use in confined locations because of their large joints and rigid composition. If proper measures are taken against the factors that could deteriorate the PVC piping, its lifespan increases and could serve you for a long time. If you want to know how to prolong the lifespan of your new installation, talk to local PVC or plumbing experts.