Since the 1950s, PVC piping has been used in residential plumbing systems. Now, its usefulness has expanded well beyond plumbing. In addition to functioning as drinking and waste water pipes, PVC can be used in HVAC systems, gardens, home offices, and garages. Any project you can think of building can most likely be made out of PVC. A water hose caddy? Yep! A drill rack? Of course! A flute for your child? Yes, even that! The applications for PVC in your home are truly endless.
PVC’s versatility is not its only benefit; there are several others, including its durability and affordability. If you’re not convinced of its greatness yet, look at the benefits of using PVC around the home.
What Is PVC?
PVC stands for polyvinyl chloride and is one of the most commonly used thermoplastic polymers in the world. Pipes made of PVC are white and often referred to by their schedule (Schedule 40 or Schedule 80), which indicates wall thickness and pressure rating. This type of piping is strong, long-lasting, and cost-efficient. It is also easy to install and cut, making it ideal for a variety of projects around the home.
While PVC pipes are commonly found in the construction industry, they are also quickly gaining popularity among homeowners and DIYers. Here are a few places you can find PVC piping used throughout the home:
- Plumbing: The most widely known way to use PVC around the home is in the plumbing system. Because of its smooth surface, water flows faster than it does in piping made of other materials. For this reason, PVC is used as sewage pipes, water mains, and irrigation lines.
- HVAC: PVC duct is a common alternative to metal duct because it is resistant to corrosion and fire and is a better insulator. Plus, it’s low maintenance. It’s no wonder homeowners are using PVC piping in their HVAC systems and HVAC drain lines.
- Furniture: Believe it or not, PVC piping is a popular choice for constructing both indoor and outdoor furniture. You can use it to make tables, bar stools, kids’ camping chairs, patio chairs, and more. If you can imagine it, you can build it.
- Garage: Your garage can easily become the catch-all for bikes, gardening tools, kids’ toys, extra furniture, holiday decorations, and more. It’s enough to make anyone feel crazy. The good news is that you can use PVC piping to organize your garage. That’s right: you can build everything from a drill rack for your husband’s tools to a bike stand for your kids’ bikes to storage racks for keeping all your knick-knacks tidy.
- Kid’s Room: PVC is not just for serious business – it can be fun, just ask your kids! You can use it to make a ballet barre or soccer goal to keep your kids moving. Or you can construct a PVC easel, water table, or lemonade stand to spark their creativity. From a simple project, your child could be entertained for hours.
- Décor: It’s often shocking for people to hear that PVC piping can be used as stylish pieces throughout the home, but it’s true, and many people can’t even tell the item was made out of PVC. With a few inexpensive materials, you could deck out your home for the holidays with a PVC Christmas tree, get into the game-day spirit with a decorative PVC football field goal, or elevate your everyday décor with simple PVC vases.
5 Benefits of Using PVC in Your Home
Homeowners are increasingly using PVC around the home for a number of reasons. Let’s look at the top benefits of using PVC piping in your house:
- Strong But Lightweight: PVC piping is resistant to rust, corrosion, and abrasions, making it ideal for plumbing and HVAC applications. It’s also lightweight, so it doesn’t require a whole lot of manpower to use and makes installation easy.
- Cost-Effective: Because PVC comes with a low price point, it’s often chosen over metal piping. This material also lasts longer than metal and requires very little maintenance, increasing your savings over time.
- Safe: PVC is a non-toxic, inert polymer and has been thoroughly tested. It is safe to use in everything from your plumbing to your DIY projects.
- Environmentally Friendly: PVC is much more friendly to our planet than metal pipes. PVC piping can be recycled once it reaches the end of its lifespan. Metal pipes, on the other hand, cannot be repurposed and are often tossed into a scrapyard.
- Energy Efficient: Metal pipes are more susceptible to heat loss than plastic piping. This means your plumber or HVAC technician will have to install insulation around the metal pipes, increasing your expenses. PVC piping does not require insulation and can preserve heated water or air better.
Should You Be Using PVC Around the Home?
Yes! PVC piping is a highly versatile object with an extremely low price point. This means, no matter what you need to fix or add to your home, you can likely do it with a few pieces of PVC pipe without destroying your home improvement budget. From upgrading your plumbing to organizing your garage, PVC can come in handy.
Another great thing about PVC piping is how easily accessible it is. You can, of course, get some from your local hardware store, but it’s even more affordable and convenient if you purchase it online at wholesale prices. For example, for only a few dollars, you could fix a leaking pipe and build a child’s camping chair for their playroom.
Mark Ligon is the Marketing Manager at PVC Fittings Online, a leading supplier of consumer based PVC products; including piping, fittings, valves, plumbing supplies and accessories. Mark is a DIYer and provides advice to individuals on DIY projects utilizing a range of PVC type products.