PVC Pipe

Discussion in 'Irrigation' started by spray-head-dave, Oct 19, 2005.

  1. spray-head-dave

    spray-head-dave LawnSite Member
    Messages: 31

    Does PVC pipe every go bad? I just bought some from my distributor; he got it from some industrial site. It looks like it been outside for some time.
  2. Dirty Water

    Dirty Water LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 6,794

    PVC pipe does not like sunlight (except for SCH 80 and conduit).

    We keep all of our pipe covered, or on the shady side of our shop.
  3. sildoc

    sildoc LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,925

    What Jon said.
    I have some PVC sch 40 that I have been doing some tests on. I have left out a 10 ' piece of 1". I covered 9 feet for 1 month then 8 feet for 3 months then 7 feet for 6 months and 5 feet for 1 year, 4 feet for 1.5 years and 4 feet for 2 years. that is where I am at now. the first foot is really yellow and flaky. at the end of 3 years out in the sun I will cut pieces off with my cutter and see how brittle it is. From my suppliers mouth it has a 2 year expectancy left out in the sun. Now I figure this has some leniency built in but will test my self. I figured I would post when I was done with my experiment.
  4. Wet_Boots

    Wet_Boots LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 50,410

    There are a lot of old (ten years plus) installs with above-ground sch 40 PVC I maintain, and no pipes are suddenly failing from old age. No question the stuff does get more and more brittle, but it doesn't disintegrate. I don't know how it works out in the sunniest climates.
  5. PurpHaze

    PurpHaze LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 5,496

    You have a LOT of time on your hand, are very bored or working on a thesis. :D

    When PVC pipe gets "sunburned" it gets quite brittle. I've used some for lateral lines and had it in the ground for over 15 years without any problem. However, I'm not about to use it on the pressure side. ;)

    If you do have to cut a brittle piece of PVC pipe use the "cold" approach and primer the area where you're going to cut. Cuts like butter.
  6. sildoc

    sildoc LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,925

    No Not alot of time on my hands. Took me 5 min to set up 2 years ago when I was asked the same question. I didn't know the answer so I figured I would try it on a 10' stick I had laying around. It takes me 5 min every 6 months to check it out.
    As for being brittle I have been around PVC risers that have been out in the sun. Most last and hold up but I also have just barely touche some and they broke with ease. I.e. Shattered. I will say that most were class 200 with thin walls. Therefore my thesis will probably conclude that the sch 40 has a thick enough wall to last longer than any homeowner needs.
    My next question is since when is educating yourself having alot of time on your hands. If I could goto a book and find out the exact life expectancy of pvc I would have saved me some time.
  7. Wet_Boots

    Wet_Boots LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 50,410

    There is a class of sch 40 pipe and fittings known as UVR (ultraviolet-resistant), which is what I think is now preferred for those above-ground installs on hillsides.
  8. Mdirrigation

    Mdirrigation LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,722

    Swimming pool plumbing by the filter usually sits in the sun . Yes the pipe gets chalky and a bit brittle
  9. sildoc

    sildoc LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,925

    Oh. by the way. I was talking to an older gentleman about a year ago. He had been in the landscaping business for well over 30 years and in process of turning over to his son. Any ways. Old timers passing on new tricks. He said to rub spf 30 sunblock on the risers of older pvc and it moistens the pipe and keeps it from being so brittle. whether this is true I am not sure.
  10. PurpHaze

    PurpHaze LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 5,496

    Maybe the sun block just allows it to stay out longer? :p

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