Application guidelines for Flexible PVC pipe:
All white Flexible PVC pipe we sell meets applicable UPC, USPC, ANSI, IAMPO, and NSF specifications, as well as City of LA, Southern Building Code, and Dade County, but not for potable water. Black has no ratings other than for swimming pools. It's all the same pipe, but because of the different uses, not all have the same rating. Flexible PVC pipe should be used in accordance with the following guidelines:
- NEVER to be used where there is a constant "dead head" pressure. Deadhead pressure is when you have the pump running and no place for the water to go. Constant deadhead pressure may balloon the pipe and eventually it may fail or cause joint failure. The pressure ratings given are for flowing pressure situations. Typical okay uses are: swimming pools, spas, hot-tubs, whirlpool bathtubs, irrigation (after the valve), ponds, drainage, conduit, suction applications, etc. As long as there is flow in the pipe you should be fine within the rated specifications.
- NEVER to be used for residential or commercial potable (drinking) water for humans. While white FlexPVC does have an NSF-51 rating, it is not suitable for potable (NSF-61, drinking) water applications. There is nothing toxic in the pipe, but it will pick up a "plastic taste" if water sits in it for several hours. This is the only reason it doesn't have a potable water rating: it can't pass the taste test. Same for black or gray. Neither can be used for potable drinking water. For livestock and fish it is perfectly acceptable. (Subject to local codes.)
- Should not be used with "booster pumps" applications. Ie, two pumps in series. In such situations, the flow stops and then starts repeatedly, it produces a "hydraulic hammer" effect and the glue joints may eventually fail. Standard swimming pool pumps are fine, booster pumps in addition to a standard pump are not. Note: the pipe itself rarely fails. In fact, we've never seen the pipe burst; the fitting connection is where it will fail. If really want to use flexible pvc pipe in high pressure or "critical" situations you can use Extra Deep Couples which have double the socket depth.
- If the pipe is buried in the ground with large sharp rocks, sometimes the rocks can rub a hole in the pipe. Keep this in mind when burying pipe. Back-fill with sand or screen out the large sharp rocks. Standard gravel, pea gravel, sand, Type II, topsoil, etc are all fine for backfill.
- It is not resistant to insects, in particular, termites have been known to eat it. Research has shown flexible PVC does not attract termites, however if flexible pvc is placed in between a termite nest and a food source, they may try to eat their way through it. (They are too dumb to go around it.) FlexPVC.com will not be responsible for failure due to insect damage, nor rocks rubbing against the pipe and wearing a hole in it. You can lace your backfill and trenches with boric acid to reduce the likelihood of termites, but it won't last forever. If you have termite infestation and want to use Flexible PVC pipe, you should retreat your trenches every few years to be safe, just like you do your house, garage, etc.
- When is "schedule 40" not schedule 40? Our flexible PVC 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 Specs Page you will 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 can't meet the most stringent "schedule 40 pipe" requirements.
- FlexPVC is not suitable as a flue for furnaces or heaters. The high heat causes the pipe to become soft and will collapse upon itself, possibly causing a kink in the pipe and then obstructing the airway.
If you are using it for something other than water movement, see our chemical ratings chart (png). An "A" rating means you can use it without damage to the pipe. A "B" rating means you can use it, but over time the pipe will be affected. A "C" rating means you should not use it with that chemical. In all cases the chemical is concentrated or the solution noted. Ie, chlorinated water is fine, but pure chlorine liquid may not be. Consult the chart.
If you have further questions, see our Flex PVC FAQ or
- Replace Rigid PVC pipe with flexible PVC pipe in hard to plumb situations.
- Replace Rigid PVC pipe 90 degree fittings with flexible pvc pipe to create gradual bends to reduce back pressure and increase flow.
- Plumb Swimming Pools, Hot Tubs, Spas, & Whirlpool Baths with flexible PVC pipe to make the plumbing job easier and faster.
- Great for Irrigation, Farming, & Gardening Projects; Anyone can use it.
- Use as a conduit to run electrical lines and other hoses.
- Smaller sizes perfect for Fountains and Ponds; Easier to route then rigid pvc pipe.
- Uses standard Schedule 40 PVC fittings and primer/glue. Cuts with a hacksaw, carpenters saw or
ratcheting PVC pipe cutters.
Left to right: Flexible PVC pipe 2.5" and above available in colors gray or black. Flexible PVC pipe 1/2" to 2" is available in colors white & black*.