PVC pipe
(polyvinylchloride), inch sizes

This entry deals with the inch-based sizes of PVC pipe in use in the United States. It does not describe PVC tube or tubing. Metric PVC pipe sizes have an entry of their own (what Americans call PVC is called PVC-U in Europe, and CPVC is called PVC-C). Solvent-cemented fittings to connect pipes based on inches to those based on millimeters are commercially available.

Pipe dimensions and pressure ratings

The schedules 40 & 80 sizes are probably the only PVC pipes available in a big-box home supplies store. SDR sizes are a more modern series. CTS sizes were made to match existing copper plumbing (Copper Tube Sizes). PIP sizes are for Plastic Irrigation Pipe. All the foregoing types are for pressurized service. Drain Waste and Vent (DWV) pipe is not pressurized.

All types are sold in 10-foot lengths and most in 20-foot lengths. Plain end (square-cut) or bell-end.

Schedules 40, 80 and 120 (pressurized)

This system of sizes is based on the old iron pipe standards (IPS), recreated in plastic.

Schedule 40 pipe is typically white. Schedule 80 pipe is gray.

In the table below, the maximum working pressure rating is for water at 73°F, using solvent-cemented joints (that is, not threaded). Derating factors for higher temperatures are given below the table. Sizes shaded in pink are not likely to be available in consumer-oriented outlets. All linear dimensions are in inches.

Schedules 40, 80 and 120
Nom.
size
OD Schedule 40 Schedule 80 Schedule 120
Min.
ID*
Min.
wall
Wt/ft
(lbs)
Max
wp
(psi)
Min.
ID*
Min.
wall
Wt/ft
(lbs)
Max
wp
(psi)
Min.
ID
Min.
wall
Wt/ft
(lbs)
Max
wp
(psi)
.405 .261 .068 .045 810 .203 .095 .058 1230
¼ .540 .354 .088 .081 780 .288 .119 .100 1130
.675 .483 .091 .109 620 .407 .126 .138 920
½ .840 .608 .109 .161 600 .528 .147 .202 850 .480 0.170 0.236 1010
¾ 1.050 .810 .113 .214 480 .724 .154 .273 690 .690 0.170 0.311 770
1 1.315 1.033 .133 .315 450 .935 .179 .402 630 .891 0.200 0.464 720
1.660 1.364 .140 .426 370 1.256 .191 .554 520 1.204 0.215 0.649 600
1.900 1.592 .145 .509 330 1.476 .200 .673 470 1.423 0.225 0.787 540
2 2.375 2.049 .154 .682 280 1.913 .218 .932 400 1.845 0.250 1.111 470
2.875 2.445 .203 1.076 300 2.289 .276 1.419 420 2.239 0.300 1.615 470
3 3.500 3.042 .216 1.409 260 2.864 .300 1.903 370 2.758 0.350 2.306 440
4.000 3.520 .226 1.697 240 3.326 .318 2.322 350   0.350    
4 4.500 3.998 .237 2.006 220 3.786 .337 2.782 320 3.574 0.437 3.713 430
5 5.563 5.017 .258 2.726 190 4.767 .375 3.867 290   0.500    
6 6.625 6.031 .280 3.535 180 5.709 .432 5.313 280 5.434 0.562 7.132 370
8 8.625 7.943 .322 5.305 160 7.565 .500 8.058 250 7.189 0.718 11.277 380
10 10.750 9.976 .365 7.532 140 9.492 .593 11.956 230   0.843    
12 12.750 11.890 .406 9.949 130 11.294 .687 16.437 230   1.000    
14 14.000 13.072 .437 11.810 130 12.410 .750 19.790 220
16 16.000 14.940 .500 15.416 130 14.214 .843 25.430 220
18 18.000 16.809 .562 20.112 130 16.014 .937 31.830 220
20 20.000 18.743 .593 23.624 120 17.814 1.031 40.091 220
24 24.000 22.544 .687 32.873 120 21.418 1.218 56.882 210

*Not from the specification, but found by subtracting two maximum within-tolerance wall thicknesses from the minimum within tolerance outside diameter.

ASTM D 1785

Derating working pressure at higher temperatures

Operating
temperature
degrees F
Derating
factor
73°F 1.00
80°F 0.88
90°F 0.75
100°F 0.62
110°F 0.51
120°F 0.40
130°F 0.31
140°F 0.22

For example, at 120°F, 2-inch schedule 40 pipe would have a maximum working pressure of (280 × 0.40 =) 112 pounds per square inch.

Schedule 40 PVC pipe should not be threaded; it is too thin. If schedule 80 pipe is threaded, the working pressure, after derating for temperature, should be cut in half.

SDR or class sizes (pressurized)

The second system for sizing PVC pipe is based on the Standard Dimension Ratio (SDR), a series of ratios of outer diameter to wall thickness. The minimum wall thicknes, times the SDR is the OD of the pipe. Associated with each SDR size is a class number, which is actually the working pressure for the pipe in pounds per square inch. All sizes with the same SDR rating have the same pressure rating. A pipe can be identified by SDR number or by class number, but workers in irrigation are more likely to call a pipe "class 125" than "SDR 32.5".

SDR Class
41 100
32.5 125
26 160
21 200
13.5 315
SDR
Nom.
size
Avg.
OD
Minimum Wall Thickness
SDR
13.5
SDR
17
SDR
21
SDR
26
SDR
32.5
SDR
41
SDR
64
¹⁄8 .405 0.060      
¼ .540 0.060      
38 .675 0.060      
½ .840 0.062 0.060      
¾ 1.050 0.078 0.062 0.060      
1 1.315 0.097 0.077 0.063 0.060      
1.660 0.123 0.098 0.079 0.064 0.060    
1.900 0.141 0.112 0.090 0.073 0.060    
2 2.375 0.176 0.140 0.113 0.091 0.073    
2.875 0.231 0.169 0.137 0.110 0.088    
3 3.500 0.259 0.206 0.167 0.135 0.108 0.085  
4.000 0.296 0.235 0.190 0.154      
4 4.500 0.333 0.265 0.214 0.173 0.138 0.110  
5 5.563 0.412 0.327 0.265 0.214 0.171 0.136  
6 6.625 0.491 0.390 0.316 0.255 0.204 0.162  
8 8.625 0.410 0.332 0.265 0.210  
10 10.750 0.511 0.413 0.331 0.262  
12 12.750 0.606 0.490 0.392 0.311  
14                
16                
18                
20                
24                
30                
36                

ASTM D 2241

 

CTS (Copper Tube Sizes)

up to now based on IPS sizes. spread called for meeting copper tube installations.

Nominal
Tube Size
OD Minimum Wall Thickness
SDR
11
SDR
13.5
SDR
17
SDR
21
½ 0.625 0.060 0.060
¾ 0.875 0.080 0.065 0.060
1 1.125 0.102 0.083 0.066 0.060
1.375 0.125 0.102 0.081 0.065
1.625 0.148 0.120 0.096 0.077
2 2.125 0.193 0.157 0.125 0.101

The CTS sizes are treated in Table A1.1 of ASTM D 2241.

PIP (Plastic Irrigation Pipe) sizes

Nominal
Tube
Size
Average
OD
Minimum Wall Thickness
SDR
21
SDR
26
SDR
32.5
SDR
35
SDR
41
SDR
51
SDR
64
SDR
81
6 6.140 0.189 0.150 0.120   0.076
8 8.160 0.251 0.199 0.160   0.101
10 10.200 0.314 0.249 0.200   0.126
12 12.240 0.377 0.299 0.240   0.151
15 15.300 0.728 0.588 0.471 0.437 0.373 0.300 0.239 0.189
18 18.701 0.719 0.575 0.534 0.456 0.366 0.292
21 22.047 0.848 0.678 0.630 0.538 0.432  
24 24.803 0.954 0.763 0.709 0.605 0.486  
27 27.953 1.075 0.860 0.799 0.682 0.548  
Pressure Ratings for non-threaded PVC pipe, by SDR
SDR Water Pressure Rating at 73°F
PVC 1120,
PVC 1220,
PVC 2120
PVC 2116 PVC 2112 PVC 2110
11 400      
13.5 315 250 200 160
17 250 200   125
21 200 160   100
26 160 125   80
32.5 125 100   63
35 118      
41 100 80   50
51 80      
64 63 50 NPR NPR
81 50      

Drain, waste and vent PVC pipe (nonpressurized)

Nominal
size
Avg,
OD
Min.
Wall Thickness
     
1.660 0.140
1.900 0.145
2 2.375 0.154
3 3.500 0.216
4 4.500 0.237
6 6.625 0.280
8 8.625 0.322
10 10.750 0.365
12 12.750 0.406
14 14.000 0.437
16 16.000 0.500
18 18.000 0.562
20 20.000 0.593
24 24.000 0.687

Markings

PVC pipe is marked at intervals of not more than five feet. In practice, the marking is usually a continuous string of characters printed the entire length of the pipe. The required information differs slightly for different sizing systems, but in general it consists of, in this order:

 

In the absence of any conflicting regulation, a pipe that carries reclaimed water must either be made of purple-dyed resin or have two continuous purple stripes on opposite sides of the pipe, and it must be marked “RECLAIMED WATER” at intervals no greater than 5 feet.

Other color codes sometimes encountered: blue for potable water, green for .

 

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Types of PVC

PVC pipe is rigid, inexpensive, and highly resistant to corrosion.

 

 

 

Max operating temperature 140° F. Because of this limitation, for the hot and cold water systems in residences CPVC pipe

The code

recycling symbol

PVC can be recycled (symbol at right). Pipes must be manufactured from virgin resin, except that a factory may use scrap from its own production line as raw material.

PVC should not be stored in sunlight.

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Cementing fittings

 solvent-cemented. fuse vs space filling by dissolved resin

cut square

fit

mark pipe and fittings so that the marks run across fitting and pipe, and thus show how they are to be aligned.

clean

purple primer. Coat both the inside of the fitting and the exterior of the pipe.

cement. Different sizes of pipe require cement with different densities; cement for Don't thin size of brush

give a quarter turn, aligning the marks you made earlier. For sizes over x inches in diameter, a team of two people is required.

The colder the weather, the more difficult installing PVC pipe becomes. At low temperatures the pipe itself becomes more likely to crack and the solvent takes longer to evaporate. It is best to preassemble as much of the system as possible in a heated workshop.

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Installation

An assembled system should be tested with water, not compressed air or gas. Unlike water, which is almost incompressible, compressed gas can store a lot of energy. If a pipe full of compressed gas fails, the results can be catastrophic, i.e., fatal to those nearby.

Supported at each direction change and

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Thermal expansion

  feet.   °F 

Change in length of pipe is inches.

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Relevant standards

The ASTM standards are, of course, by ASTM International and can be purchased from them at their website, astm.org, or by mail at. Big public libraries and most college libraries have a set of the Annual Book of ASTM Standards.

ASTM D 1784. Specification for Rigid Poly(Vinyl Chloride) (PVC) Compounds and Chlrorinated (CPVC) Compounds

ASTM D 1785. Standard Specification for Poly(Vinyl Chloride) (PVC) Plastic Pipe, Schedules 40, 80, and 120.

ASTM D 2241 Standard Specification for Poly(Vinyl Chloride) (PVC) Pressure-Rated Pipe (SDR Series).

ASTM D 2665. Standard Specification for Poly(Vinyl Chloride) (PVC) Plastic Drain, Waste, and Vent Pipe and Fittings.

ASTM D 2729. Standard Specification for Poly(Vinyl Chloride) (PVC) Sewer Pipe and Fittings.

ISO R161-1960. Pipes of Plastics Materials for the Transport of Fluids (Outside Diameters and Nominal Pressures).

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