The Essentials Piping Standards Checklist
Why PVC Pipes are Worth Checking
A quick checklist of priorities and standards is never a bad way to start a project, particularly when it comes to choosing piping products.
Subtle differences exist in piping products, particularly in polymers that are widely used today in the industry. Some of these differences do not make themselves known until weeks, sometimes years of use.
Use this five minute checklist to steer you and your business towards safer, stronger plumbing installation that meets international standards and protects the end user for longer.
Is it Suitable for Drinking Water?
Suitability for drinking water distribution depends on multiple factors:
Leaching potential - Many older properties still have metal pipes which can actually increase the level of lead in the human body over time. However, it is not only metallic pipes that can leach contaminants and transmit them into people's homes. For example, PEX pipe is a permeable material and can transmit substances through the pipe surface:
Biofilm growth potential - Many common piping materials support the development of this potentially harmful biomass, which over time can harbour dangerous bacteria.
FlowGuard® Pipe and Fittings cannot leach substances at unsafe levels into water, either from the outer surface or from the pipe material itself. It also has a smoothness that makes it difficult for biofilm to attach and develop.
What Will it Do to the Water Supply?
Scaling and corrosion can also threaten a plumbing system's safety and performance.
Copper - Scaling is a common problem in this heavily used plumbing material, a natural buildup that can interrupt performance, host bacteria and encourage further leaching. This will inevitably lead to costly repairs.
PPR - Corrosion is one of the principal threats to this frequently specified, low-cost pipe material. Chlorine and chlorine dioxide, present in all common domestic water supplies, erodes the surface of PPR pipe over time, weakening its structural integrity, ultimately leading to system failure. Bead formation at the installation stage also threatens the end user with ideal environments for bacterial buildup.
FlowGuard CPVC is a chlorinated polymer and can naturally provide immunity to the presence of chlorine.
Will it Perform in the Long Run?
Pipe specification isn't just about water quality; the pipe itself has to be able to perform in transporting hundreds of litres of hot and cold water a day for decades at a time. FlowGuard Pipe and Fittings have been used in 60 years of fault free installations; here's why.
Tensile Strength - FlowGuard Pipe and Fittings' tensile strength is 60% greater than PPR and also greater than alternative types of PVC. This allows for stronger, more durable installations and less risky repairs, if at all necessary.
Impact Strength - This is essential to pipe specification from the start, as the majority of the pipe's handling will be done in the early stages. Impact strength is tested using the ASTM D2444 Standard, which demonstrates that FlowGuard CPVC is 33% better than all CPVC brands available on the market, in a Drop Impact Test environment. (For more information on the Drop Impact test, download this infographic.)
Pipe Wall Strength - Beyond the handling of the pipe itself, putting installed plumbing pipes under pressure to perform over decades also takes a toll. Compared to PPR, FlowGuard CPVC has the same flow rate as PPR, even when extruded into smaller pipe sizes. (For more information on the Impact Test, watch this video.)
Is it Safe?
As we mentioned, some differences are subtle. Not all PVC pipes are the same, even if they are both highly recommended for drinking water. For example, what is the difference between CPVC and UPVC? The answer is heat.
Heat - UPVC's chlorine content is lower than CPVC and therefore has a lower operating temperature of 60℃, compared to CPVC's 93℃.
Fire - UPVC's LOI (Limiting Oxygen Index) is 45 while CPVC's is 60. This positions both materials well as a fire resistant material, providing extra peace of mind to your customers. However, FlowGuard CPVC has been tested and awarded recognition as the superior fire safe plumbing material.
(For more information, watch this video.)
How Can I Prove I'm Using the Best of the Best?
FlowGuard CPVC has been approved for drinking water distribution by all major public health institutions and standards including NSF International, ISO standards and the WRAS. But the manufacturers themselves hold their material to even higher standards.
"CPVC piping systems are designed and developed to exceed the requirements of the applicable standards. Lubrizol has always been optimizing its compounds to bring outstanding performance to the market" Wouter Devriese - Technical Services Manager at Lubrizol
For more on this subject, listen to our podcast interview or subscribe to the podcast channel here.