PVC is a common material used to make pipes in North America. PVC stands for polyvinyl chloride. It's basically a really strong form of plastic. Many homeowners choose to have PVC pipes installed in their homes, but some do shy away from the material, often because they've heard some myths about PVC. The thing is, these myths are not true. Here's a look at a few of those myths and the truth they're hiding.
Myth: PVC will release harmful substances into your water
There are some plastics that release harmful substances into water, especially as they age and break down. This is why it's not often recommended to reuse disposable water bottles. But thankfully, this is not an issue with all plastics, and it does not happen with PVC. The PVC is determined to be food-safe, which is one reason plumbers started using it for pipes in the first place. You will want to let the water run through new PVC pipes for a few minutes to clear away any grime or debris, but after that, your water will be safe to drink.
Myth: PVC pipes are a fire risk
This myth may arise from the fact that if you have a house fire, your PVC pipes will need to be replaced, whereas copper pipes may not need to be. But this does not mean that PVC is a fire risk or that it will even burn. It does melt at a much lower temperature than copper, which is why PVC pipes need to be replaced more often than metal ones post-fire. However, there is no reason to worry about your PVC pipes catching on fire randomly or even causing a home fire to spread.
Myth: PVC pipes can't be recycled
Not all plastics can be recycled, but PVC pipes can be. If you ever need to pull the existing pipes out of your home, then you can take them to a recycling plant. They can be used to make new plastic items, from car parts to cookware. So, you won't be adding to landfill waste by choosing PVC pipes for your home.
If your plumber recommends PVC pipes for your home, there's no reason to say "no." PVC is an excellent choice for most residential plumbing systems. It's not a fire risk, and it can be recycled. It's also safe to drink from. If you have any other concerns, feel free to bring them up to your plumber.