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Similarities And Differences Between HDPE Pipes And PVC Pipes

Amisha Lohan
Similarities And Differences Between HDPE Pipes And PVC Pipes

With so many HDPE water pipe and PVC pipe features, you might have wondered which is the best one for underground construction. Don't worry! If you are still looking for an answer to this question, we will assist you. Both HDPE and PVC pipes have different traits that give them a unique identity. To make it convenient for you, we have compiled their characteristics to help you understand which one is the best for your needs. 

That being said, let's first begin with the similar attributes of the HDPE water pipes and PVC pipes before we head towards the dissimilarities. 

Plastic Composition

Both HDPE and PVC pipes are composed of plastic material. These pipes are far safer than metal pipes due to their composition. Metal pipes are prone to rusting on the inside when exposed to chemicals. On the other hand, plastic pipes do not corrode and permit a continuous water flow to the other end.


Since HDPE pipes and PVC pipes are composed of plastic, they are lightweight and can be transported quickly to different locations. Unlike many pipes, they do not require additional manual labor to move to various sites.  

Long Shelf Life 

HDPE and CPVC pipes have a long service life as they do not rust, corrode or break easily. Therefore, these pipes can provide a longer shelf life than metal pipes with proper maintenance. 

So, these are the three common similarities between HDPE and PVC pipes. Now let's discuss the differences between the two. 


There is no doubt that both pipes are built of durable materials and can withstand high temperatures. However, when exposed to wind, rain, stress, heat, or cold, HDPE water pipes are stronger than PVC pipes. In addition, PVC pipes have one rating for every 48650 events, whereas HDPE water pipes have one per 10,000,000 events. 

Thermal Performance

Regardless of their composition, a fact that remains true to most pipes is that they expand with continuous exposure to fluctuating temperatures. HDPE water pipes and PVC pipes are no exception in this case. They also expand and shrink with the varying temperate conditions. However, HDPE water pipe compositions expand four times more than PVC pipes. 


Users can install PVC pipes in both Drop Burial and Open Trench ways. It is simple and quick and does not depend on weather conditions. Neither does it require special equipment to set up. However, HDPE water pipes need energy-intensive equipment and trained personnel to install the fittings. Besides, they can be installed in Directional Bore, Horizontal Bore ways, and the two other installation methods of PVC pipes.  


HDPE water pipes are significantly more effective than PVC pipes at preventing water leakage. In addition, they fit nicely into leak-free couplings because they are pliable and softer than PVC pipes. PVC pipes, on the other hand, are robust and durable. Thus, they are attached to non-plastic fittings and valves. Unfortunately, these valves are inadequately sturdy, and hence water tends to leak through these joints.

Use in Irrigation

PVC pipes are mainly used for all irrigation purposes. However, many people prefer HDPE water pipes for irrigation systems where digging is difficult or impossible. For example, HDPE water pipes are ideal for golf course irrigation systems.


PVC pipes bring water piping solutions to the home. Therefore, they cater to different drain, sewer, industrial and irrigation purposes. On the other hand, HDPE water pipes distribute different gases, chemicals, and petroleum. Besides, they also work efficiently in sanitary, water, and storm sewer systems.  

Fire Resistance

Although both HDPE and PVC pipes have fire-resistant properties and are used in making pyrotechnics, HDPE is a better choice in this case. It is capable of launching pyrotechnics from a safe distance. However, PVC pipes, on the other hand, have tendencies to explode within the container itself. 

Vibration Resistance

The absorption properties of HDPE water pipes can reduce the vibration within the pipe. The HDPE can absorb and suppress stress vibrations, whereas PVC pipes can't.

Gas Release

After the combustion, many gases are released into the air that can be toxic to a person's health. Unfortunately, PVC pipes release such toxic gases too after combustion. However, HDPE pipes do not release harmful gases, and therefore, it is a safe choice to keep the environment clean and healthy. 

So, these are some of the similar and dissimilar traits of HDPE and PVC pipes. Both of them are robust and well-known for their lifespan. However, they differ in specific properties due to their different uses. Furthermore, it is essential to remember that HDPE pipes cannot function like PVC pipes and vice versa. Therefore, if you plan to buy a plumbing pipe for your plumbing issues, know your requirements, associate these attributes with them, and finally make your purchase. This way, you will make the right choice.

Amisha Lohan
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