PVC vs. Cast Iron Pipes
Knowing what to choose in terms of your house’s plumbing materials can give a lot of homeowners a considerable headache.
PVC and cast iron are, by far, the most common option, but if you don’t understand the benefits and downsides of each, you can still struggle to make a choice that’s good for your home.
Below, we at Anytime Plumbing Inc. have created a short comparison of the two materials you can use to make a good, informed decision.
The Battle of the Materials: PVC versus Cast Iron
Cast iron pipes have been around for a long time. They go way back in human history, and even famous places like the fountains in Versailles were created with cast iron back in the 17th century. PVC is a plastic material that doesn’t have such a long history, but since around the 1950s when they first started to emerge, PVCs pipes have proven themselves to be a top choice in terms of plumbing.
So, which one is better? Let’s look at some major criteria:
PVC usually costs less than cast iron, even as much as 50% less. Because the plastic material makes the pipes lighter, PVC can also allow a much faster installation, and the labor costs can be lower as well.
If you’re on a budget, PVCs win this race.
Both PVC and cast iron are fire-resistant materials, but PVC can melt in the event of a house fire, having a self-ignition temperature of around 450 degrees. Cast iron will not melt during a fire and is extremely resistant.
3. Water friction
PVC pipes have a smooth interior than cast iron at a microscopic level, so they have less water friction and a more consistent flow rate. With PVCs, it’s very unlikely to experience fluctuations in the water pressure, and their performance is better when compared to cast iron in this case.
Cast iron is a very dense and thick material, so the water flowing through the pipes will not cause the pipes to vibrate and produce sound as much as PVC pipes do. If sound is a big concern for you, cast iron pipes are the better choice.
Which One Should You Choose?
It’s important to think of what you want out of your pipes. Usually, households will opt for the PVC pipes as they are on the affordable side and don’t experience any major problems with them, while cast iron is better for commercial spaces that use a lot of water.
But, it does depend on the specifics of what you want, your budget, water consumption, etc. If you’re still unsure what type of material your house needs, we can help.
Anytime Plumbing Inc. is happy to help Santa Cruz residents make the right plumbing choice. Contact us online or call us at 831-212-3188. We’re available 24/7.