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Thread: Cast Iron VS PVC for DWV

  1. #1
    DIY Junior Member Steven Gaffin's Avatar
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    Sep 2012

    Default Cast Iron VS PVC for DWV

    I am starting to dive into a kitchen remodel of my house and need to put in a new drain and vent stack for the kitchen sink. The house is 1920's and the existing waste line is cast iron. I originally thought that I would use a coupling to attach PVC to the existing run. While I was researching I noticed that the cast iron distributors were really pushing the benefits of cast Iron pipe, especially with the new hubless fittings.

    Why is PVC preferred over Cast Iron? is it anything significant?

  2. #2
    In the Trades Tom Sawyer's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2010


    That's kind of a Cadillac Versus Hyundi question. You will need special tools to work cast iron.
    [B]No, plumbing ain't rocket science. Unlike rocket science, plumbing requires a license[B]

  3. #3
    Moderator & Master Plumber hj's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2004
    Cave Creek, Arizona


    I guess you did not notice that the plastic PVC and ABS distributors were pushing the "benefits" of their materials also. That has been going on for a century or more.
    Licensed residential and commercial plumber

  4. #4
    Retired Defense Industry Engineer jadnashua's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    New England


    CI costs more, because it is heavier, requires more substantial supports, if leaded, requires a lot more skill and special tools, and because it is slower to install and costs more to buy, ends up costing a bit more to install. PVC and ABS are lighter, cheaper to buy, and quicker to install. CI will end up being MUCH quieter than any plastic install unless extrordinary sound proofing is done. So, since most people opt for cheaper, they use plastic drain lines. Plastic lines also expand and contract much more than CI lines, and if not installed to allow that, will make additional clicking or popping sounds when they rub against a tight hole or other object.
    Jim DeBruycker
    Important note - I'm not a pro
    Retired Defense Industry Engineer; Schluter 2.5-day Workshop Completed 2013, 2014

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