High temperature hazards of PPR pipe installation
Heat is a factor in all aspects of plumbing. From installation, to performance and maintenance, the threat of long-term damage from high temperatures is consistent. Here's how FlowGuard CPVC performs against PPR when the heat is turned up.
As we enter summer and temperatures start climbing, let's discuss how we maintain acceptable standards of quality on the construction site. There are a variety of ways in which temperature can hinder a successful installation, maintain reliable performance and keep water supplies safe:
- Hazards of heat welding
- Hot water damage
- UV damage in outdoor applications
How does your chosen pipe material perform against these very different, but very real threats?
FlowGuard CPVC is a dependable choice for residential and commercial plumbing applications due to its inherent heat resistance, heat distortion temperature and performance against the elements, when temperatures are high. Here's why.
What is CPVC pipe (chlorinated polyvinyl chloride?)
CPVC pipe (chlorinated polyvinyl chloride) is a durable and versatile thermoplastic, made popular by Lubrizol for residential and commercial plumbing applications. It is known for its superior resistance to heat and chlorine corrosion over typical PVC pipe and many common industry materials like PPR pipe.
CPVC gets its strength from the free radical chlorination reaction in which it is created. Chlorine atoms essentially reinforce the backbone of the pipe's molecular structure, protecting it against temperatures, pressure and many corrosive environments that are common in our industry.
FlowGuard CPVC therefore provides the plumbing market with superior temperature and pressure ratings, without sacrificing nominal sizes or flexibility.
Heat welding pipes and fittings
Many plumbers use PPR pipe which is susceptible to long-term weaknesses, as soon as heat is applied. Heat welding and threading tools for PPR pipes and fittings not only require installers to expose themselves to a hazardous environment, but the heat that forms connections between pipe and fittings creates an internal beading that hampers performance in hot and cold water systems. It is a particular threat to potable water systems, as the internal beading can help accelerate biofilm growth.
As a tool in the workforce, the welding machine itself increases the overall temperature in the working environment. In hotter climates Like Saudi Arabia, particularly during this time of year, it is an undeniable workplace hazard that can lead to potential injuries or heat exhaustion.
FlowGuard does not require heat welding to install. Solvent cement welding requires basic preparation of parts using hand tools, a light application of solvent and adequate time to cure and dry. The absence of beading between joints and valves makes it more suitable for hot and cold potable water. The internal pipe smoothness of CPVC also helps to minimise biofilm growth.
How does CPVC pipe respond to hot water?
While you can choose your plumbing material and your tools, you cannot avoid the effect of hot water on copper or plastic material. However not all plumbing pipes handle temperatures the same way.
PPR's chemical makeup is susceptible to chlorine based corrosion; heat only accelerates this process. Chlorine and chlorine dioxide used to disinfect drinking water forms hypochlorous acid; the chemical composition of PPR has no inherent protection from this threat, breaking down the molecular bonds of the PPR polymer. This weakens the surface of the pipe material over time, leaving it thinner and more capable of leaks.
FlowGuard CPVC is protected by large chlorine atoms, successfully defending against hypochlorous acid in water supplies. This maintains CPVC's strength and reliability over time so installers can be assured of maintaining nominal pipe size throughout its service life.
PPR's maximum allowable operating temperature is 70°C. FlowGuard has a maximum allowable operating temperature of 93° C, maintaining its temperature and impact resistant qualities where needed for longer.
How does CPVC respond to UV in hot climates?
In many regions around the world, where the threat of harsh outdoor elements are consistent, FlowGuard CPVC is frequently specified.
UV is a powerful outside influence on plastic materials. It causes a free radical process which can directly attack the molecular structure of the pipe wall. PPR is particularly weak against the influences of UV and regions where there are intense levels of sunlight only accelerate this.
Prolonged UV exposure leads to an intensified free radical process, weakening the pipe wall and once again leaving plumbing and drainage systems exposed to potential leaks and performance failures.
While the large chlorine atoms mentioned earlier protect FlowGuard CPVC from the influences of hot water, the high levels of chlorine make it naturally more resistant to free radical degradation than PPR.
Beyond some minor discoloration, FlowGuard CPVC is known to maintain its molecular and mechanical strength over long periods of time in some of the hottest climates in the world.
Choose a safer, dependable plumbing material this summer
FlowGuard CPVCs inherent heat resistant characteristics give installers a number of cost saving and safety conscious advantages in the summer months and beyond.
In your next plumbing system, provide built-in durability for your stakeholders. Rather than hazardous welding tools, use solvents that take minutes. For water distribution, trust plastics that are flexible and can transport water without the risk of degradation.
Speak to you one of our partner manufacturers about using FlowGuard CPVC pipe on your next project.