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PVC DWV Pipe vs. Schedule 40 PVC Pipes

PVC DWV Pipe vs. Schedule 40 PVC Pipes

When it comes to plumbing and piping systems, making the right choice between various types of pipes is crucial for ensuring the longevity, efficiency, and functionality of your plumbing infrastructure. Two commonly used types of PVC pipes are PVC DWV pipes and Schedule 40 PVC pipes. While both these pipes are made from polyvinyl chloride (PVC), they serve distinct purposes and come with their own set of advantages and limitations. In this article, we will delve into a comprehensive comparison of PVC DWV pipes and Schedule 40 PVC pipes, exploring their features, applications, and considerations to help you make an informed decision for your plumbing needs.

DWV Pipe


What is PVC DWV Pipe?

PVC DWV pipes are designed for Drain, Waste, and Vent (DWV) systems. As the name suggests, these pipes are primarily used to facilitate the removal of wastewater and sewage from buildings, ensuring proper drainage and ventilation to prevent foul odors and gases from accumulating indoors. PVC DWV pipes are typically available in white or cream colors, making them easily distinguishable from other types of pipes.

Features and Benefits of PVC DWV Pipe

  1. Smooth Interior Surface: PVC DWV pipes boast a smooth interior surface, which prevents debris and waste from adhering to the walls. This characteristic reduces the risk of clogs and blockages within the drainage system.

  2. Chemical Resistance: PVC DWV pipes are highly resistant to chemical corrosion, making them an ideal choice for transporting wastewater that may contain various chemicals and substances.

  3. Lightweight: These pipes are lightweight and easy to handle, simplifying the installation process.

  4. Low Noise Transmission: PVC DWV pipes are known for their sound-muffling properties. They minimize noise transmission within the plumbing system, ensuring a quieter and more comfortable living environment.

Applications of PVC DWV Pipe

PVC DWV pipes are specifically designed for use in drainage systems, including:

  • Drain lines for sinks, showers, bathtubs, and toilets
  • Ventilation pipes to allow air circulation within the plumbing system and prevent the buildup of harmful gases

stack of white pvc pipe and fittings

Schedule 40 PVC Pipes

What is Schedule 40 PVC Pipe?

Schedule 40 PVC pipes are a common choice for a wide range of plumbing and piping applications. The term "schedule" refers to the thickness of the pipe wall. Schedule 40 pipes have a relatively thick wall compared to other schedules, making them suitable for both pressurized and non-pressurized applications.

Features and Benefits

  1. Strength and Durability: The thicker wall of Schedule 40 PVC pipes provides them with enhanced strength and durability, allowing them to withstand higher pressures than other PVC pipes.

  2. Versatility: These pipes can be used for a variety of applications, including water supply, irrigation, underground installations, and more.

  3. Temperature Resistance: Schedule 40 PVC pipes can handle a wide range of temperatures, making them suitable for both hot and cold water distribution systems.

  4. Wide Availability: These pipes are widely available and come in various diameters, allowing for flexibility in design and installation.


Schedule 40 PVC pipes find applications in both residential and commercial settings, including:

  • Water supply lines for sinks, showers, toilets, and appliances
  • Irrigation systems for gardens and lawns
  • Underground piping for drainage and sewage systems
  • Conduit for electrical wiring in some cases

plumber cutting white pvc pipe with a saw

PVC DWV Pipe vs Schedule 40 Pipes: Comparison Considerations

1. Purpose and Function

The primary distinction between PVC DWV pipes and Schedule 40 PVC pipes lies in their intended purpose. PVC DWV pipes are specifically engineered for drainage and ventilation systems, ensuring the efficient removal of wastewater and preventing the accumulation of gases. On the other hand, Schedule 40 PVC pipes are versatile and can be used for both pressurized and non-pressurized applications, including water supply, irrigation, and more.

2. Strength and Pressure

When it comes to handling pressure, Schedule 40 PVC pipes have the upper hand due to their thicker walls. They are designed to handle higher pressures, making them suitable for applications that involve the transportation of pressurized liquids. PVC DWV pipes, while sturdy, are not intended for high-pressure systems and are better suited for gravity-driven drainage.

3. Installation and Ease of Use

Both PVC DWV pipes and Schedule 40 PVC pipes are relatively easy to install. PVC DWV pipes, being lightweight, are simpler to handle during installation. They require minimal support structures and can be easily cut and connected using solvent cement. Schedule 40 PVC pipes, due to their strength, may require more effort in terms of handling and installation. However, their durability and versatility make them a popular choice for a wide range of applications.

4. Chemical Compatibility

PVC DWV pipes are particularly resistant to chemical corrosion, making them suitable for transporting wastewater that might contain various chemicals and substances. Schedule 40 PVC pipes also exhibit good chemical resistance, but it's essential to consider the specific chemicals that will come into contact with the pipes and choose the appropriate type accordingly.

5. Noise Considerations

PVC DWV pipes are known for their noise-dampening properties, reducing the transmission of sounds within the plumbing system. This feature is especially advantageous in residential settings where noise reduction contributes to a more comfortable living environment. Schedule 40 PVC pipes, while not designed for noise reduction, can still be used with additional soundproofing measures if noise is a concern.

6. Cost Considerations

In terms of cost, PVC DWV pipes are generally less expensive than Schedule 40 PVC pipes. This cost difference is primarily due to the variation in wall thickness and intended use. However, the overall cost will also depend on factors such as pipe diameter, length, and location.



Choosing between PVC DWV pipes and Schedule 40 PVC pipes depends on your specific plumbing needs and applications. PVC DWV pipes excel in drainage and ventilation systems, offering smooth interior surfaces, chemical resistance, and noise reduction. On the other hand, Schedule 40 PVC pipes are versatile, durable, and suitable for a wide range of pressurized and non-pressurized applications.

Before making your decision, consider factors such as the intended use, pressure requirements, installation ease, chemical compatibility, and budget. It's also a good idea to consult with plumbing professionals or experts to ensure that you select the right type of PVC pipe for your project. By making an informed choice, you can ensure the efficiency, longevity, and reliability of your plumbing system for years to come.

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