I plan to extend my cast iron DWV line with plastic to a new bathroom I have
planned. Looks like I can use either PVC or ABS. Is there any reason I
should use one instead of the other or does it come down to what does my
local store stock more of. Will an inspector even care which I choose as
long as I use the right cement?
Ironically, even though ABS is still the most commonly available pipe in my
area (Washington State), I found the PVC pipe and fittings to be slightly
Somewhere early in my planning, I also heard that PVC was supposed to be
"slightly" stronger than ABS. I don't know if that's true or not, or that
it even matters for most applications. It's not usually pressurized or
subjected to any real force.
I chose PVC primarily because I was already familiar with using PVC
on water supply lines. I had also had a leak with an ABS joint I glued up
once (most likely my technique and not the material), so that made me a
little apprehensive too. However, PVC requires a separate primer (cleaner)
and solvent, whereas ABS uses a single solvent. So PVC is slightly more
work to install.
In any case, I've frequently used both types of plumbing, and they
generally work equally well. Some parts of the country use ABS the most,
other parts use PVC. Choose the type that you have commonly available,
with the widest selection of fittings, and whatever the inspector will pass
I asked my inspector what type he preferred, and he didn't care either way,
as long as I used the appropriate thickness, fittings, and solvents.
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