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Flexible PVC Pipe FAQ (Also see our glossary, PVC Fittings help, Shipping Options Page and Shipping FAQ pages.
Does your Flexible PVC pipe fit standard Sch 40 fittings?YES! Both Sch 40 and Sch 80 fittings will glue to Flexible PVC pipe using standard PVC glue and primer. Cut the pipe, prime both the pipe and fitting, glue both pipe and fitting and stick them together. That's it. Just like any other PVC pipe.
What applications can this flexible pvc pipe be used for?See our application guidelines. Also see our
See our selection guide.
Here is a list of shortcuts to popular pages on site: - Barb fittings
- Barb fittings
- Bulkhead fittings
- View your cart
- Check valves
- Clear pvc pipe
- Contact Flexpvc.com
- Pipe dimensions
- FAQ, this apge
- Fittings start page
- Flexpvc Selection Guide, must read
- Flow charts
- Garden hose fittings
- Gorilla Glue
- Flexpvc Selection Guide, must read
- John Guest Push To Fit fittings
- Metric Adapters
- Rigid PVC Pipe page
- Rigid PVC Pipe pressure ratings
- Specs for Flexpvc Flexible PVC Pipe
Shortcuts to popular pages:
If you install our toolbar (top right of the page) these are included in it.
What chemicals can be run through PVC Pipe?See our chemical ratings page.
What type of glue do I use?All our flexible pvc pipe is glued using traditional PVC pipe cement and primer. We recommend medium to heavy bodied glue, clear or blue, and any standard primer. We do not recommend the gray glue. You can also use Gorilla organic, non-toxic, glue which we sell on our website. (PVCGlue.com.) Here is a chart with all the different pvc glues for use with Flexpvc pipe
How can I identify my pipe size?The best way is to read it directly off the existing pipe. If you can't read the writing or it has no writing, you can measure the inside diameter if it is cut or the outside diameter and compare it to our sch 40 pvc pipe size chart
I need some fittings. Do I measure the diameter of the the ones I have to determine the size? I know it is a silly question but someone told me that even if it measure 1.5 inches it does not mean I get 1.5 fittings.What you were told is correct. Fittings are sold based on the pipe that they fit. Pipe is sold based on it's ID (inner diameter). If you measure the ID of your fitting you will be measuring the OD (outer diameter) of the pipe that it fits, and thus you would get the wrong parts. To get the right parts, use this chart: http://flexpvc.com/PVCPipeSize.shtml and measure the ID of your fitting and look in the 2nd col. for the OD of the pipe that matches it. Look in the first col. and that will show you what size it fits and what size of fittings to order. Sounds complicated, but it's much easier than you think. You start with the pipe you are using (based on ID) and order your pipe and fittings to match.
On your 3 ways, 4 ways, 5 ways, and some other fittings, you show "furniture grade" and plumbing grade fittings. What is the difference?Primary difference is that furniture grade fittings have UV protection in the plastic to keep them from turning yellow in the sun. Also furniture grade fittings are not approved for use in plumbing projects for water or sewer or any other application that would normally be inspected by a city or county building inspector. They do not have an NSF or IAMPO certification. Plumbing grade fittings have very little UV protection, so they will turn yellowish after some time in the sun. If you are using UV rated fittings with UV rated pipe, you don't have to paint the structure or worry about the sun damage. If you are using plumbing fittings and/or plumbing pipe, and it's going to be exposed to the sun, you should paint or wrap the fittings in pvc pipe wrapping tape to protect them. You can freely mix and match furniture grade fittings without any problems.
How do I know what tubing or hose to buy?
See our Flexpvc Tubing and Hose Selection Guide
Do you have any specifications on pvc pipe?See:
How flexible is flex pvc?See our flexible pvc pipe page.
What other kinds of tubing, hose, or pipe do you sell?See our FlexPVC Selection Guide. For a closeup picture of some of them see PVC Hoses and Tubing. For rigid pvc pipe, see Rigid PVC Pipe (including clear.)
I want to build a canopy out of pvc fittings. What fittings do I need?See our flexible PVC Projects Page for pictures of various ways to do it. There are several pictures on that page to give you ideas. Click on the links that say "annotated" and they have the fittings called out.
What is the maximum distance between supports for pvc pipe?Below is the chart for Sch 80 pipe, for Sch 40 pipe you should reduce the unsupported span length by about 1'-2'. I.e. 1.5" Sch 40 pipe should be supported about every 4' at 100F temperature.
What is "NSF Rated?"See our NSF Rated Page.
How do I order something I can't find on the website?We carry over 30,000 pvc fittings and other pvc parts. We put the most popular and unusual items on the website, but this is by no means our full line. To order something you can't find on the website, email us and we'll put it on the site for you to order.
What's the minimum bend radius?See our specs page.
What codes do your flexible pvc pipe meet?All white Flexible PVC pipe 1/2" to 2" we sell meets applicable UPC, USPC, ANSI, IAMPO, and NSF 50 (white only) specifications, as well as City of LA, Southern Building Code, and Dade County for PVC Hose, but is not for use with potable water. There are no ratings for black flexible PVC pipe so there are none to meet. The UL rating has been dropped for the Gray Flexpvc due to lack of demand. We do however sell UL Rated Electrical PVC Conduit. Beige flexible pvc pipe has been discontinued.
*Note regarding flexible PVC pipe 2.5" or above, and gray or black colored flexible PVC: There are no plumbing or swimming pool codes for flexible pvc pipe 2.5" and above so these sizes of flexible pvc pipe can't meet any. The color for 2.5" and above is black or gray. Flexible PVC pipe in 2.5" and larger sizes is available by the roll or 2.5", 3" and 4" by the foot and sometimes in the clearance section. Black flexible PVC pipe is only approved for irrigation and pools. Also see shipping cost for additional shipping information. The beige color has been discontinued.
Note: Flexible pvc pipe is NOT rated for potable (drinking) water.
Is flex pvc pipe safe for fish tanks?Yes, good for fresh, salt water or reef aquariums, fisheries, ponds, etc. Warning: It's always a very good idea to wash all pipe and fittings if you are going to use them for anything to do with wildlife. For example, we use a natural pesticide in our warehouse, but you don't know what others use, or what the trucking company uses, etc. So to be safe, always wash the fittings and/or flush the system thoroughly before putting in any fish or livestock. This goes for bird cages and toys made out of PVC also.
Can flex pvc pipe be used in the home or for drinking water?No. The flex pvc pipe we sell is not rated for drinking (potable) water. Flex PVC is non-toxic, however it will pick up a "plastic" taste if water sits in the pipe for several hours. Also home plumbing systems are under constant pressure and so we do not recommend flex pvc for such applications.
Has Flex PVC ever been used for residential or commercial plumbing?No. What you may be thinking of is Polybutylene pipe. Polybutylene pipe was a total failure and subject to many lawsuits. It has nothing in common with Flex PVC. It's a completely different product. (Now outlawed in all states. You can get more information here. )
When is "schedule 40" not schedule 40?There are two "Schedule 40" ratings. One is for dimensions and the other is for usage. Our flexible PVC is the same dimensions as Sch 40 pipe, but it's different from rigid pvc pipe in 2 very big ways: 1) Flexible PVC pipe is not rated for potable (drinking) water, and 2) Flexible PVC pipe will not take the same pressure rigid pvc will. (See chart below.) Also, Flexible PVC pipe is treated as a hose by the building industry, not a pipe. Thus our hose fits Schedule 40 fittings (dimensionally) and can be used in place of schedule 40 pipe for many applications, but it does not meet all the requirements for schedule 40 pipe. (If you look at the specification on the home page you'll see the pressure ratings are not the same as schedule 40 pipe.) So, while we call it "flexible pvc pipe" in reality it's a hose that fits perfectly into schedule 40 fittings, but it has a lower pressure rating, can't take dead head pressure and it not approved for potable water. (Potable water means approved for human consumption.) Irrigation, fish, nurseries, farming, livestock, etc are all okay provided you don't excede the pressure ratings.
What is the temperature range for this pipe?The recommended range is -30F to 140F. Of course you should always winterize your pipe by drain any fluid that might freeze during the winter.
At temperatures over 140F the pipe becomes too soft and could kink at the bends.
What are the Harmonized Tariff Schedule Numbers for your products?Harmonized Tariff are as follows:
3917.23 PVC Pipe, hose, tubing (rigid or flexible)
3917.40 PVC Fittings
4009.11 EPDM (Rubber) hose and tubing
8481.80 PVC Valves
3506.91.0000 for Gorilla Glue
I can only find pipe rated for 73F, do you offer higher temperature pipe?The temperature you see printed on the pipe is the standard temperature for rating purposes. It is not the range the pipe can be used in. All sch. 40 and sch. 80 pvc pipe (Flexible or rigid) are rated for use from -10F to 140F. (CPVC is good from -10 to 180F). Note, as the temperature raises the pressure rating drops. For example, at 100F, PVC pipe has only a 62% pressure rating compared to 73F. At 140F, it has a rating only 22% of the rating at 73F. (This is true of all PVC products, not just FlexPVC.) Look about half way down the PVC Pipe Size Chart to see the derating for pvc due to temperature. Note: The temperature ratings in the chart are for the temp of the pipe, not the fuild traveling through it. Typically the temperature of the pipe is much less than the fluid going through it due to radiation (heat loss) and the heat barrier effect, ie the insulating properties of the pvc pipe.
How much pressure/vacuum will Flex PVC take? (Note: the chart below is for Flex PVC not rigid pvc. To see pressure ratings for both rigid and flexible pvc pipe and compare the difference, see http://flexpvc.com/PVCPipeSize.shtml)See this chart:
* OVERSIZE, Shipping will be by truck.
|Weight #/ft||Roll Size 50'||Roll Size 100'|
Remember, the pressure ratings shown are at 73F temp. At higher temperatures, the rating will be lower. If you need high temperature (over 140F) PVC pipe, you need CPVC pipe, not PVC pipe. (Which we do not sell at this time.)
Note: If you have already put flexible pvc pipe in the ground and you are getting failures due to hydraulic hammer, you may be able to resolve the problem by using a pressure relief valve. The one we sell is adjustable up to 150PSI. So what you would do is locate where you have a pipe failure, and when you make the repair, put in an Tee at that location. Then in the branch of the Tee put in a pressure relief valve and set it to just above the working pressure of the flexible pipe shown in the above chart. (You may need a gauge to set the pressure. Do not put the gauge on the relief port of the relief valve, you'll have to put the gauge someplace else in the system.)
Can PVC hose, tubing or pipe be used for gasoline?For temporary or emergency use as a siphon hose it'll be fine. (But toss the hose when done.) As a permanent fluid transfer method, no. Gasoline will make the PVC pipe, hose or tubing brittle and cause cracks, which could cause a leak. The last thing you want with gasoline transfer is a leak. So it cannot be used for any sort of fuel line or conduit in a permanent situation.
Can PVC hose, tubing or pipe be used for alcohol?Pure Methyl, Ethyl or Isopropyl Alcohol is fine. Something like E85 should be avoided for the same reason in the link above. The gasoline in E85 is 15% which will cause the same problems with PVC tubing, hose, or pipe, just over a longer period of time. So you should avoid using pvc for e85, but pure alcohol is fine. See our chemical ratings page.
How much water will flow through a pipe?See our GPM/GPH Flow based on PVC Pipe Size page. These are just estimates. Individual systems can easily vary 50% based on the number of fittings, whether it's gravity feed or pump, size of the pump, etc.
How smooth is it on the inside?It's very smooth on the inside. The ridges only come up about .010" to .020" depending on the pipe size. See the picture below. (2" pipe)
Why would I want to use flexible pvc pipe over rigid pipe?If you are going over terrain, you only have to dig down along the terrain. If you were using rigid pipe you'd have to go to the lowest point along the path and dig down to the desired depth, and then all along the path you'd have to dig down to a depth that will make a straight line. Thus you could be digging a lot more than would be needed if you used flex pvc. Also if you have a lot of rock, sometimes digging it isn't possible so going over it makes the job easier. Your trenches don't have to be straight or at right angles either.
Any other reasons why I want to use flexible pvc pipe over rigid pipe?You can make smooth gradual bends instead of using a fitting which restricts flow and causes turbulence. Reducing or removing fittings results in better flow (more pressure and more volume.) By using flex for your turns, you also save money by buying fewer fittings. Every fitting is also a possible leak, so you have less chance of trouble when using flex pvc. You'll have one long continous run instead of many short pieces connected with a multitude of fittings.
Do I have to take any special precautions with flex pvc pipe?Yes, if it's being used in a pressurized system and you bury it in ground with a lot of medium or large sharp rocks, you should backfill with sand or earth without rocks. Under presssure the flex pvc moves and if it rubs up against sharp rocks, over time, it could develope a leak. If it's a non-pressurized use, then it'll be fine regardless of the backfill. Do not use it in a dead head pressure situation.
Does FlexPVC pipe need to be protected from the sun?Yes, flexible pvc pipe needs to be protected from sunlight. Either paint it, tape it, bury it, or cover it with something. There is rigid pvc pipe with UV protection, but it's not flexible. See http://pipe.flexpvc.com.
Do I do anything differently when gluing flexible PVC Pipe?One thing you do NOT do is twist the pipe once it's inserted into the fitting. Just push straight in, and hold. Be sure you get a good coating of glue 360 degrees around the pipe and inside the fitting socket. Larger sizes need to be held for longer than smaller sizes of pipe. Other than that, it's the same as rigid pvc pipe.
What is the longest continous length roll of flex pvc do you offer?100' rolls are the longest. The reason you see 500' quantities in the shopping cart is to give you a better price on larger quantities. If you order 500' you can specify if you want 10 50' rolls or 5 100' rolls in the comments section of the order form.
Do I need special "flexible PVC Pipe fittings?"No, any standard PVC fitting will work. There are a few people who sell special "flexible PVC Pipe fittings" however standard pvc fittings will work fine. We do offer "extra deep" couplings in standard sizes for extra protection or systems that work near the limit of the ratings for the pipe. The problem is, there are only a few fittings made this way. We've been using standard PVC fittings for 20 years without a failure due to the fitting. If you cut your pipe straight, clean it with primer, get a good uniform coating of glue on the pipe and fitting, and then hold the pipe in the socket for 10-15 seconds you will be fine. One thing: you do NOT twist the pipe once it's inserted into the fitting. Just push straight in, and hold. Be sure you get a good coating of glue 360 degrees around the pipe and inside the fitting socket. You will be fine if you follow these simple rules.
Can I get a free sample?Sorry, but we've discontinued the free samples. However, you can buy by the foot and often in the clearance section you'll find short pieces.
Can I get a catalogue?Sorry we do not offer any printed catalogs. We use the website to showcase our products. If you spend some time in the shopping cart you'll probably be able to find most any fitting you are looking for. Look along the left side of the page and you'll see the different categories. Note: it's in alphabetical order, however, capital letters are shown above smaller case letters. For example, pressure relief valve are shown below PVC Unions because the CAPS are put ahead of smaller case letters. So when looking for something, look for both CAPS and smalls. :-) Also any sch. 40 sch. 80 plumbing fitting can be ordered. Many other parts are also available. Many spa, whirlpool bath, pond, irrigation, and swimming pool fittings are also available. If you don't see it in the shopping cart, put it in the comments section of the order form and we'll contact you with the price and shipping time. You can also email us.
Do you offer 3 ways, 4 ways and 5 ways any larger than 4"The largest molded 3 way, 4 way and 5 way is 2". The largest constructed 5 way and 6 way that we stock is 3" and 4". If you want a 3 way or 4 way in 3" or 4", use a 5 way and just don't use 1 or 2 of the extra ports. If you want sizes larger than 4", we can make 5 ways and 6 ways for you. Just understand the cost for 6" and above fittings is many times what you probably expect. For example, where a 1" fitting may be $1, and a 2" fitting may be $3, a 4" fitting might be $21 and a 6" fitting may be $60. Ie, it's not a linear progression on the prices.
Do you offer any side outlet 45's?Yes! Please see Side Outlet Tees at 30 degrees, 45 degrees and any angle fittings.
Do you have any telescoping pvc pipe?See PVC Telescoping Pipe Possibilities.
Do you offer pipe snap on clamps in any sizes larger than 1.5"2" clamps are on their way.... maybe. Other sizes unlikely at this time. Screw on hose clamps are available up to 7" now.
What is your return policy?See Return Policy
See a hard copy of our Warranty, Returns & Exchange Policy (PDF format)
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