Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Using PVC in Commercial Applications

"What's the difference between plumbing PVC and Schedule 20 PVC? It's just PVC pipe I can install whatever I want, right?" "What type of PVC pipe should I use in commercial applications?" We come across these questions from our customers fairly often...The number 1 rule of thumb would be to never use Schedule 40 PVC piping in the home. Schedule 40 is not certified to be used, and it has not been approved for use in the home. We're hearing so many horror stories that people have to rip out the PVC Schedule 40 they have used or a builder has installed for them.
Many of these stories end in hundreds of dollars of waste and labor costs because the Schedule 40 was not up to building code for a central vacuum application. More and more states are following increasingly rigid code guidelines for install
ation purposes. Schedule 40, also known as "plumbing PVC", should only be used for sewage or plumbing applications. Schedule 40 elbows, wise T's, etc., have too small of a radius, which will hinder the suction power from the central vacuum, causing too much turbulence and restricting airflow.

The only times you should use plumbing PVC would be for a commercial application, and it would have to be a 3" opening instead of the standard 2" opening. Another application would be to hide a 2" Schedule 20 pipe underground by using the 3" plumbing PVC as a "jacket", or cover, for the Schedule 20, thus not causing the 2" PVC to crack from the pressure of the dirt or cement it's buried in.

Any and every central vacuum company will not endorse using plumbing PVC, for the reasons mentioned above.
Please read our information about PVC pipes if you're installing or thinking of installing a central vacuum system, it's very important. Click here.