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Home Home Improvement Why Do PVC Pipes Cause Trouble From Time To Time?

Why Do PVC Pipes Cause Trouble From Time To Time?

PVC is an exceptional material used for making plumbing pipes. Its durability and low rate of failure make it suitable for residential and commercial plumbing applications. In most of the cases, a failure occurs because of human negligence. It may be poor installation or poor usage practices. When you Google “top plumbing companies near me” and discuss your project, almost all companies will recommend PVC pipes. 

If you have hired a company for your plumbing project, you want to make sure that the crew does not contribute to the failure of the pipes. For that, you have to be aware of the potential problems. Some of these problems are discussed in this article. 

Improper Installation 

A plumbing project should be properly planned and implemented. If not, pipes are likely to fail. Sometimes, plumbers use too much cement for bonding pipes to fitting. A PVC pipe absorbs the cement which can break down its integrity. The integrity of the pipe is further hurt as cement allows more absorption of water. On the other hand, the bond is likely to be weak if the plumber is using an insufficient amount of cement. So, hire an experienced plumber who uses the right amount of cement. 

If the plumber needs to cut the pipe, there should be no residue on that end of the pipe. Remove if there are any burrs. Make sure that the sharp outer edge of the PVC pipe is smoothened. Otherwise, the cement and pipe bond will be weak. The pipe is likely to fail in this case. Another installation error is a short insertion.

If you are pushing a pipe into a fitting, make sure that it goes all the way. Otherwise, the accumulation of contaminants in gaps will lead to failure.                               

Faulty Engineering 

Faulty engineering is one of the primary causes of plumbing failure. As the coefficient of linear thermal expansion is high in PVC, a pipe needs some room to expand with changes in the temperature. Plumbers eliminate this problem by using roller hangers or expansion loops. So, always hire a qualified system engineer for plumbing design.   

Improper Use of the system       

These incredibly strong pipes often fail due to improper operation of the system. Sometimes, pipes don’t have proper freeze protection but are exposed to freezing temperatures. This can cause a failure. Plumbers avoid this problem by filling pipes with a glycerin solution. Another problem is the over-pressurization. Sometimes, stress on the point of contact with the conduit can also lead to failure.   

Contamination of the system 

In some cases, a PVC pipe is not compatible with an element used in some other system, but the pipe is exposed to that element. For example, a PVC pipe should never come in contact with flame retardants or aromatic ester plasticizers. Both of these are components of fire caulk. If even a single drop of fire caulk comes in contact with a PVC pipe, it can damage the plastic and cause a failure. 

Black grommets are also not compatible with PVC. So, make sure that the plumber is not using black grommets for sealing any part of your PVC system. Polyurethane spray foam, antimicrobial linings and solder flux can also contaminate PVC pipes.     

PVC is a durable material. However, you should not use any material that is not approved for this material. Some products, such as fire protection foam can cause internal contamination. So, do not deliver these products via a PVC system.

Manufacturing defects 

It is quite rare that PVC pipes come with some manufacturing defect. This happens when the extrusion and cooling processes are not performed and monitored properly. Some manufacturing defects can be because of a dirty die. This leads to improper cooling and extrusion lines. This further causes stress throughout the pipe.

Defects in the Resin 

It is important to mix resins properly for creating PVC and CPVC pipes. Wrong filler content can lead to defects. Pipes are likely to be weak when the filler content is wrong. A CPVC pipe cannot withstand normal operating pressure if the chlorine content goes wrong. Similarly, the wrong use of pigments or additives can also cause some problems.

Whether it is a residential plumbing project or a commercial plumbing project, choose the best company. The company will help you in choosing pipes free from any manufacturing defect. It is easy to find a plumbing company that can deliver a successful plumbing project. Just Google “top plumbing companies near me” and compare online ratings and reviews before hiring.


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