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Thread: ABS vs. PVC? Stacks too?

  1. #1
    DIY Member jpb116's Avatar
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    Default ABS vs. PVC? Stacks too?

    Is there a prefered material for waste lines and vents? I was told at the supply house that ABS is a better material for waste lines than pvc. If it is great, but would that also suggest that the vent should or could be abs as well?

    What do folks think?

  2. #2
    Plumber patrick88's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jpb116 View Post
    Is there a prefered material for waste lines and vents? I was told at the supply house that ABS is a better material for waste lines than pvc. If it is great, but would that also suggest that the vent should or could be abs as well?

    What do folks think?
    It is not a good idea to mix different types of materials. I like abs. They each have there own problems. They each can be used for DWV, but you should not mix the two.
    I'm just starting to work with an old friend of mine to bring solar electric and hot water systems, wind turbines, Flex Fuel Boilers, batteries, hydroponic gardening, books, pellet grills and more. Also the parts for DIY installation.

  3. #3

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    The consensus is usually that PVC is better than ABS. I personally prefer ABS. But ABS expands and contracts more than PVC, and doesn't have quite as hard a surface. But ABS is easier to cut, only needs glue and not primer, and to me looks more like drainage material. In function, they both work the same. But PVC is more brittle, particularly in cold weather. PVC takes longer because you have to first prime it, then glue it, then hold it together so it doesn't ooze back out of the fitting socket.

    Some states require PVC and do not allow ABS. Check your local codes.

  4. #4
    Retired Defense Industry Engineer jadnashua's Avatar
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    Either...it seems to be a regional thing, but a few places both are available. Don't look down on the expansion thing...ABS expands and contracts a LOT more than PVC. Neither should be installed tight, but it's more of a concern with ABS.
    Jim DeBruycker
    Important note - I'm not a pro
    Retired Defense Industry Engineer; Schluter 2.5-day Workshop Completed 2013, 2014

  5. #5
    Moderator & Master Plumber hj's Avatar
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    Default abs/pbc

    Whatever you use, you use it for the entire system. Normally any one area of the country will only use one of the two materials so you would use whichever is locally available. When both are available, some plumbers prefer PCV because it uses a clear cement rather than the black ABS cement.

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