Do you know how long do pvc pipes last? This may be tricky question.
PVC pipes play a big role in our sewage systems, water supply in construction buildings, and other water conduit purposes in various contexts. Polyvinyl chloride (PVC), a chlorinated hydrocarbon polymer, has all the best properties ensuring perfect mixing. It mixes with additives like plasticizers to make robust water supply pipes.
In most cases, we tend to wonder how long these pipes may last before we consider using them in our construction projects. The better the longevity of a pipe, the better it becomes. You will enjoy a peaceful stay before ever thinking about replacement.
So, how long do PVC pipes last?
You will be surprised to know that PVC pipes may last up to 100 years. Yes! It got me by surprise, too, when I started researching. So if you wish to find that durable pipe to stay in your building site for years, PVC will be a perfect choice. If you want water supply pipes, these PVC pipes will supply you with water for a whole century without replacing them.
But, are there any factors that contribute to the longevity of these struggle-saving pipes?
While we looked at why PVC pipes could be the longest-lasting pipes, we came up with the following factors contributing to their long life. Just like in PEX pipes, these factors will also help you learn how to increase the lifespan and durability of these pipes.
Exposure to direct sunlight
Direct sunlight destroys the quality of PVC pipes. When these pipes get exposed to direct sunlight, they may get destroyed faster. The longevity thus decreases, and they may not last up to 100 years as expected. This breakage may get attributed to UV radiation that alters the PVC material making it brittle. (1)
It may prove challenging to protect these pipes, especially if they run above the ground. But we have found that painting these pipes with silver or white color may help reflect excess sunlight.
Other paints may also provide a protective sheet above the pipes, thus protecting them from direct UV light. This way, the PVC pipes will last long.
PVC pipes have designated places of use. You need to use the right amount of cement while installing PVC pipes. Too much cement may cause breakage, while little cement may cause weak bonds, leading to leakages.
When installing these pipes, also ensure that you drive them all through to the desired location. This installation will help prevent ‘short installation.’ This scenario means that improper installation of PVC pipes may affect how long they may serve.
So, in the construction and plumbing projects, this tip could contribute to how long your PVC pipes last.
How long do PVC pipes last underground?
When installed underground, PVC pipes face the debris challenge. Debris and rocks underground may move, causing friction to the pipes hence destroying them. We consider PVC pipes to be flexible. However, soil and rock movements may contribute to their failure.
PVC pipes and changing weather
The weather may be of destruction for underground pipes, just like the surface PVC pipes. In areas that may experience cold weather to the point of freezing, these pipes’ longevity gets compromised.
As the ground freezes and warm temperatures make them thaw, the ground may freeze, contract, warm up and expand. These weather changes cause ground movements which cause gradual damage to PVC pipes.
Do PVC pipes go bad?
As we have seen, several factors may affect the longevity of PVC pipes. If these factors lead to the destruction of PVC pipes, then we may conclude that they have gone bad. On another note, the material of these pipes may save them from going bad. If the conditions were conducive and no destructive agents were at the place, PVC pipes may last for a long time. By the time you repair them, you will be reconstructing your house, drainage, or irrigation system altogether.
So in the question of if they go bad, we may say no. in the right conditions, PVC pipes will not go bad. You will get the privilege to use them for construction purposes indoors. Also, outdoor projects like sewer lines and irrigation projects will find these pipes very long-lasting.
These pipes don’t practically go bad if the conditions favor their existence. A pipe longevity report showed that in the proper use and installation in favorable conditions, PVC pipes will last for up to 100 years. Isn’t that a long period? (2)
How to increase the durability chances of your PVC pipes
Now that PVC pipes may last longer, given the perfect conditions, let’s look at some of the things we might do to lengthen your lifespan.
- Suppliers should keep PVC pipes in covered stores to avoid direct sunlight exposure. Too much sunlight will render the pipes brittle, thus lowering their lifespan. Before purchasing, ensure your supplier has a warehouse to protect the pipes from the sun’s UV light. Also, paint or cover outdoor pipes. This way, they will not get exposed to direct sunlight.
- Ensure proper installation of PVC pipes
- Don’t use too much or too little cement when installing the pipes
- Consider using insulation to protect the pipes from thawing and freezing debris underneath for freezing areas.
- Ensure that the required water velocity in the pipes keeps maintained
- Please don’t use it for hot water supply. Hot temperatures may temper its structure, making it brittle thus less durable.
How long do plastic water pipes last?
When you have a construction project, you must weigh all options. Are you thinking of using plastic water pipes, especially PVC pipes? Have you wondered how long they will last? PVC pipes, or plastic pipes will last from 40 years to 100. This lifespan depends on their operating conditions.
What are the advantages of PVC pipes over metallic pipes? Metal piping vs. plastic piping
- Plastic piping gets considered lightweight and easy to use than metal piping. People used to worry about the durability of plastic piping in plumbing especially considering the poor quality plastic pipes that may not even last for a year. But with the improved PVC pipes, lifespan rose to 100 years, which made them a better plumbing choice than their heavier counterparts- the metal pipes.
- They don’t rust. Corrosion has caused a lot of trouble in the plumbing sector. With PVC pipes, you will experience many corrosion-free years and great service.
- PVC pipes offer a wide joining option. You will find that these pipes may join using solvent welding, clamps, or even mechanical couplings. With metallic pipes, this may be impossible.
- It offers a lower plumbing cost compared to metal pipes. Apart from other plumbing costs, the pipes may lower plumbing costs. PVC plastic pipes go for lower prices than metal pipes and other piping options.
- PVC pipes have an easier installation process compared to metal pipes.
Does PVC get brittle with age?
Almost everything lowers its value and quality as time goes by. The same will apply to PVC pipes but at a lower rate.
If you get a service guarantee of up to 100 years, the product will have served best if it finally wears out. The advantages outweigh the disadvantages, which makes PVC pipes a good fit for most plumbing needs.
However, it might be of great value if we outlined some of the things that contribute to faster breakdown. If you avoid some of these factors, the pipes may be worth the service even after becoming brittle.
Some factors that make PVC pipes brittle with age include:
- Extreme cold weather
- Using hot water supply with PVC pipes
- Wrong installation
- Use of excessive or little installation material like cement
- Exposing your PVC pipes to direct sunlight without painting or covering them.
If you try and minimize the above scenarios, your PVC pipes may become brittle after a very long time, and you will have enjoyed great service and made incredible profits if used in the business sector.
Frequently Asked Questions- How long do PVC pipes last?
What weakens PVC pipes?
We have found out that heat changes may be a challenge for the longevity of PVC pipes. Extreme cold or hot temperatures within or outside the pipe may temper the pipe layers making them brittle. You should ensure to operate within the heat preferred ranges to lengthen the lifespan of your PVC pipes.
When should I replace my PVC pipe?
You may replace your PVC pipes if they break down. If you live in places with extreme temperatures with frequent freezing and thawing, you may plan to replace your pipes after 45 years at least. This way, you may prevent severe plumbing issues from happening.
Can PVC pipes fail?
All materials may collapse at one given time. PVC may collapse even after a new installation. That’s why you should consult the best plumbing service providers and avoid your pipes collapsing from wrongful installation.
PVC pipes may last long or short, depending on their operating conditions. Some PVC pipes will function for 100 years in ideal conditions, while extreme heat conditions and other factors last only 25-45 years. If you consider using PVC pipes for your construction and plumbing needs, then their durability will guarantee you long service. Just use the tips we have highlighted in this article for better results.