You’ve probably come across the terms schedule 40 and schedule 80 when shopping for PVC. Surprisingly, these terms have nothing to do with timing but rather the thickness of the pipe. Knowing what type of PVC is suitable for your situation is critical.
Schedule 40 and Schedule 80 pipes have the main difference of sizing and diameter. A schedule 80 pipe has a thicker wall even though its exterior diameter is similar to a schedule 40 pipe. Having the same outside diameter is possible because the extra thickness of a schedule 80 PVC is inside the pipe.
Because schedule 40 PVC has thinner walls, it is not highly recommended in situations where the water pressure is high. A schedule 80 PVC is more likely to perform better in high water pressure due to its thick walls. That’s why it is used in industrial and chemical applications.
A schedule 80 pipe is likely to cost more than a schedule 40. This is because the former has thicker walls and is beneficial in specific applications.
A schedule 80 pipe usually offers a more restricted flow compared to a schedule 40. This is because the extra thickness provides a smaller room for the fluid to flow through the pipe compared to schedule 40 pipes.
Colors can also be used to distinguish between a schedule 40 and schedule 80 line. Schedule 80 pipes are usually gray in color and schedule 40 are white. However, some manufacturers use different colors so it’s wise to check the label.
Choosing What PVC You Need
In order to determine the type of PVC that’s best for your application, consider the properties mentioned above. Schedule 80 lines are mostly common in high pressure applications and so if you want to use it for a residential project like home repair, opt for a schedule 40. You’ll spend less on the piping system and also get the service you need.
One thing you have to be aware of is that the pressure requirements of a given system will mostly dictate the type of line that is best. If you use a schedule 40 PVC in a line that is likely to experience high pressure at certain areas, you risk causing severe damage. Avoid this by making sure you understand highest pressure point of your application and choose wisely.