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By: FlowGuard on Jan 9, 2023 1:00:00 AM
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Assessing CPVC vs PPR's Environmental Impact

We all want to be seen doing our part to help the environment.

However, many of our most significant contributions happen below the surface. Take plumbing pipes for example.

  • Some plumbing pipes require risky amounts of energy to produce
  • PPR plumbing pipes weaken over time, even in ordinary hot and cold water lines
  • FlowGuard® CPVC rigid plastic pipes stay rigid
  • Many plastic water pipes are not recyclable, while some are

How do plastic plumbing pipes make a difference?

Plumbing systems made from unsustainable materials have a lasting detrimental impact on the environment. At the same time, they waste energy, at great personal cost to yourself.

Let’s look at how FlowGuard CPVC's environmental impact compares with PPR and why choosing the right material can lead to healthy sustainable results for you and the planet at the same time.

Am I consuming more energy using PPR?

Whether it’s hot water or cold water, water supply lines are where you will arguably consume the most energy in your home. From toilets and showers to water heaters, drain pipes and HVAC units, plumbing is an energy hungry process.

Plumbing material can also require a great deal of energy to produce, before it is even installed.

CPVC has lower petroleum content than PPR. It's lesser requirement for non-renewable resources makes manufacturing a less energy-intensive process, as shown below:

When it comes to running your home, plumbing is essential. Controlling energy consumption during this essential process has never been more important.

Is plastic water pipe long lasting?

Plastic water pipe has evolved to become tough, durable, long-lasting and energy efficient for decades at a time.

  • PPR pipes degrade over time due to innate weakness to chlorine and chlorine dioxide, a common additive in water supply lines
  • FlowGuard CPVC has natural immunity to chlorinated water and does not suffer chlorine degradation in its pipe walls in plumbing applications
  • PPR is heat welded, creating an internal beading that helps host bacteria, restrict water flow and reduce system performance
  • FlowGuard CPVC is installed using solvent cement, which creates no internal beading and strong, permanent joints that form the toughest sections of the system.

Choosing the right plumbing pipes will help to avoid energy consumption and performance issues in the long-term.

Do my plumbing systems produce anything harmful?

Some thermoplastics used for plumbing are highly dangerous, should a domestic fire break out.

PPR produces toxic smoke and burning droplets. Following a fire, it becomes irreversibly damaged, requiring complete system replacement.

FlowGuard CPVC produces no burning droplets and will not propagate fire. The smoke produced from CPVC when exposed to flames is no more toxic smoke produced from wood.

When it comes to your home’s plumbing system, safety and sustainability should go hand in hand.

Are plumbing system materials recyclable?

FlowGuard CPVC is made from sustainable material that can be recycled or reworked, extending the life of new products.

During the manufacturing process, CPVC cutoffs generated during the production process are collected and fed back into the process to create more product, reworking quality materials and minimising waste.

CPVC contained within end-of-life products can also be ground into pellets and granules and recycled to be used in non-pressure pipe applications, such as window profiles, flooring and much more. 

What about the impact of plastic water pipe on my home?

To learn more about the impact of pipe material on home water supplies, and what to look for when specifying pipe material for your home, read our guide, Clean Water at Home.