CPVC: (AKA: Chlorinated Poly Vinyl Chloride). When we’re asked what is CPVC Piping, the quickest answer is that CPVC is a glue or solvent-welded system that has piping available from 3/8″ though 1-1/4″. In plumbing, there are a lot of choices, and it’s important to know the differences between CPVC, Copper and PEX tubing.
CPVC piping system is based on glue on, or more technically “solvent welded” fittings and joints. The piping is available in nominal lengths between 8 to 16 ft and is normally ivory color in appearance. Even though the fittings and parts look similar to regular white PVC, the two systems are not compatible—and they require a different kind of glue.
CPVC Requires CPVC Glue
You don’t want to use regular PVC glue, or even “universal” glue with CPVC because the high temperature water can soften non-PVC glue and allow the pieces to separate under the high pressure. I’ve seen this enough times not to want to take any unnecessary risks.
Cutting CPVC piping is somewhat easier than copper or even Pex piping, particularly if you use something like a Ridgid TC-40 Plastic Pipe and Tube Cutter.
What is CPVC Piping? It’s for Potable Hot Water
PVC is not designed for domestic water use and uses a different system to size the piping. CPVC is based on the same outside diameter as traditional copper piping and utilizes the ivory color to help distinguish it from regular PVC piping.
It is also specially rated to work well with hot water applications. The last thing you’ll want to do is run hot water through normal PVC pipe. The heated water can technically react with the piping, causing some issues with the safety and drinkability of your potable house water. Keep that in mind in the event you’re tempted to cut corners. Some people will run, as a precaution, CPVC for all water lines, but realize that this restricts water flow, given the same outside diameter pipe.