Comparing PVC, CPVC and PEX
How PVC, CPVC, and PEX Are Used in the Home?
Plumbing pipe is primarily used in three ways in your home, to:
Bring water from the local water utility to your house through water service lines.
Deliver hot and cold drinking water to your faucets, showers, toilets and appliances through water distribution systems inside your home.
Collect and remove water, sewer gases and waste from toilets, showers, sinks and appliances through drain-waste-vent (DWV) systems.
Based on these three functions, PVC, CPVC and PEX may work for some applications, but not others.
While PVC is excellent for water service lines and DWV applications, it’s not recommended for hot-water distribution systems because it can only withstand temperatures up to 140℉. CPVC and PEX, however, can withstand temperatures up to 200℉. Most water heaters are set to heat water to no more than 140℉.
PVC, CPVC and PEX have been in use in residential plumbing applications for decades. Historical information, as well as independent research studies, indicate that PVC, CPVC and PEX can have a 50+ year life when installed correctly under the proper conditions.
Are CPVC, PVC & PEX Safe for Drinking Water?
All plastics used in potable water systems must be tested regularly and certified by a third-party certifier as meeting the strict public health requirements of NSF/ANSI/CAN 61. NSF International is an independent, accredited organization that develops public health standards and certification programs to help protect the world’s food, water, consumer products and environment. This testing ensures that drinking water carried by plastic pipe meets the strictest health effects standards. You can look for the NSF (or other third party) certification to rest assured that your piping choice is safe for drinking.