Can I Use PVC for Hot Water? (2023)

This entry was posted on March 11, 2014 by Admin.

This is one of the most common questions people ask about using PVC pipe. Here's the quick rundown...

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The short answer: No.

Explanation: PVC is a thermoplastic, and therefore, at some point it will begin to degrade and break down as it's heated up. It just so happens that Schedule 40 PVC's maximum operating temperature is 140 degrees Fahrenheit, around the same temperature that hot water gets to in most homes. That max operating temperature of 140F means that any temperature above this will cause the schedule 40 PVC pipes to break down, compromising the integrity of the pipe (think leaks and bursting).

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For this reason, it is recommended that PVC pipe and fittings be used only for applications where the water temperature does not exceed 140F. Even if your application involves water at temperatures nearing 130F, I would recommend another material, as temperatures have a tendency to fluctuate, and it's always better to err on the safe side.

So what's your alternative to PVC for hot water lines? CPVC

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CPVC is a thermoplastic just like PVC, and it comes in pipe and fittings just like PVC. The difference lies in the chemical makeup. CPVC material goes though an extra chlorination process that gives the plastic slightly different qualities - one of which is a higher maximum operating temperature. CPVC (schedule 80) pipe is rated for use up to 200 degrees Fahrenheit. This makes it ideal for use on hot water lines in homes and businesses.

Have other questions on PVC? Leave them in the comments for a reply!

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What kind of PVC do you use for hot water? ›

As mentioned before, CPVC is more suitable for hot water applications up to 200F. PVC is still often used for unheated water as well as for vent and drainage systems; however, CPVC has become widely used for both hot and cold potable water.

What type of pipe is used for hot water? ›

CPVC pipes are an ideal choice for hot water plumbing. They are made after adding material that goes through extra chlorination process which gives CPVC higher quality.

Can Schedule 80 PVC be used for hot water? ›

The maximum suggested temperature rating for schedule 80 PVC pipe and fittings is 140 degrees Fahrenheit. Exposing PVC to temperatures above this threshold may cause damage to the pipe.

Can you use PVC for hot water vent pipe? ›

Although the water heater installation manual we obtained recommended using PVC pipe as a flue material, PVC pipe manufacturers do not recommend this.

What happens to PVC when it gets hot? ›

Like all materials, PVC expands with increasing temperatures and contracts with decreasing temperatures. Because the length-to-diameter ratios of PVC pipe and conduit products are generally very large, length change from temperature variation is the most noticeable.

Can I use regular PVC for hot tub? ›


Be sure to buy Schedule 40 PVC pipe (not thinner walled Schedule 20, used for drainage). Avoid using Flexible PVC on the suction side, because the ribbed pipe has much more friction loss than smooth, Rigid PVC, and because it can collapse under extreme suction vacuum.


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