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The Irrigation Pipe Dilemma:  Poly or PVC

The Irrigation Pipe Dilemma: Poly or PVC

When it comes to choosing the right material for your irrigation system, the decision can be overwhelming. In this article, we will compare PVC and Poly and help you decide which one is best suited for your needs.

What is PVC?

PVC stands for polyvinyl chloride, a synthetic plastic polymer that is widely used in the construction industry. PVC pipes are durable, lightweight, and resistant to corrosion, making them an ideal choice for plumbing and irrigation systems.

Additionally, PVC pipes are relatively easy to install and require minimal maintenance.  They come in multiple wall thickness options, including schedule 40 and class 200 for irrigation. 

Sewer and Drain is another wall thickness, mostly used for outdoor drainage projects.  PVC pipe uses PVC fittings adhered with PVC glue and primer. 

PVC is able to withstand roots and pests compared to Poly. Generally PVC is more expensive but has a longer lifespan.  

What is Poly?

Poly is short for polyethylene, another synthetic plastic polymer used in the manufacturing of irrigation pipes. Poly pipes are flexible, making them easy to install, and are resistant to corrosion, making them an ideal choice for outdoor use. Poly Pipe comes in rolls and is easier to handle. 

Poly pipes also have excellent resistance to chemicals and UV radiation, making them ideal for use in harsh environments. 

They use insert fittings secured by stainless steel clamps.  


PVC vs. Poly Cost Comparison

In general, PVC pipe is more expensive than poly pipe. However, PVC pipe is more durable and requires less maintenance, making it a cost-effective choice in the long run.

PVC is resistant to most chemicals, including acids, alkalis, and oils, whereas polyethylene has a limited chemical resistance and is only suitable for certain applications. 

Poly pipe is less expensive and more flexible, making them a cost-effective choice for short-term use.  In certain parts of the country, like Florida, poly pipe is not an option due to root systems growing around the pipe and crushing it or ripping the material.  

Comparison of PVC and Poly

Both PVC and Poly pipes have their unique features that make them suitable for different applications.

PVC pipes are stiffer and more brittle than poly pipes, making them less flexible and more prone to cracking under stress.

Poly pipes are more flexible and can withstand greater impact, making them an ideal choice for irrigation systems in areas with heavy foot traffic or vehicle traffic.

In summary, PVC pipes are more resistant to chemicals and can withstand higher temperatures than poly pipes.

However, PVC pipes are not as resistant to UV radiation as poly pipes, making them unsuitable for use in areas with high sun exposure.

Poly pipes are more resistant to UV radiation and are ideal for use in areas with high sun exposure. Ultimately, the choice between the two depends on the specific application and the user's requirements.



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