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Can You Use PVC Fittings on Hot Water Heaters?

Trying to decide what kind of fittings to use on your hot water heater can be confusing. Most newer homes use PVC piping which costs less but is not reliable at high temperatures. If the water temperature is over 140 degrees, PVC pipes and fittings start to degrade. This makes it a less than a stellar choice for hot water heaters.

When you have questions like this, it’s always preferable to talk to a professional. At Four Seasons Plumbing, we can answer all your questions. However, to help you in your decision-making, the information below will help you understand the differences in the options available.

PVC Fittings

PVC (Polyvinyl Chloride) is a thermoplastic containing 57% chlorine, so contractors often use it for cold water delivery.

However, PVC pipe will begin to degrade as the water temperature heats up, causing warping, breaking down of the glue around your seals, and eventually, leaks or burst pipes, leading to you needing an  emergency plumber in Ashville, NC. 

While the water coming into the house may not reach a temperature higher than 140 degrees, the discharge line and fittings can reach 200 degrees.

If you have a tankless hot water heater, you may be able to use PVC, but only if it is a conversion-type water heater. Otherwise, tankless water heaters use stainless steel, which is also expensive.

One other drawback to PVC fittings is that PVC pipes and fittings are not biodegradable, so after they break, if you do the replacement yourself, you will need to find a way to dispose of them properly.

We pride ourselves on leaving your home as clean as when we arrived, so you won’t have to worry about that if you choose to have Four Seasons change your fittings.

CPVC Fittings

CPCV (Chlorine Polyvinyl Chloride) is also a thermoplastic, but it is reliable at much higher temperatures because it has a higher chlorine content. CPVC can stand temperatures up to 200 degrees, so your water heater fittings are less likely to degrade during the lifetime of your water heater.  

The pressure release valve on your tank-style water heater is designed to open when the temperature goes over 200 degrees, so you never want to use PVC fittings for the discharge line.

In addition, CPVC is resistant to weather and many household chemicals, however, it is also more expensive than PCV pipes and fittings. You will want to be aware that PCV fittings and CPCV fittings are not interchangeable, so you will need to make sure you have the fitting for the type of pipes you are using.

Copper

Copper is the old stand-by but still works today. It also eliminates the issue of changing out your pipes just to change your water heater fittings, and copper will also work with either type of pipe.

Get Advice

You will want to talk with a  plumber in Ashville before making changes yourself, no matter what type of pipes and fittings you currently have.

At Four Seasons Plumbing, we will be happy to answer your questions and make sure your hot water heater is in top operating condition. We can handle repairs or replace parts and piping or complete systems.

Our technicians are the best in the business, and we have ongoing training and certification programs to help them further develop the skills that will help you keep all your plumbing working smoothly.

When you need an  Ashville plumber, you can rely on Four Seasons Plumbing to answer your questions and handle all your plumbing issues.

Customer Service is our touchstone, and we want to make sure that when we leave, your plumbing is working, but your home is also as clean as when we arrived. You can easily identify our technicians by their uniforms, badges, and the colorful Four Seasons truck.

Our company is family-owned and operated, so we’re your neighbors and homeowners ourselves. We know plumbing problems can disrupt life for the entire family. We guarantee to fix it fast and fix it properly, and we promise to care for your house as if it were our own.

Whatever type of fittings you choose for your hot water heater, at Four Seasons, we can install or replace them, and we take pride in our customer service, so we’re happy to answer any questions you may have about plumbing for your home. We make sure our technicians stay up to date on the latest developments in code compliance. Incorrectly installing your hot water heater could lead to a code violation, and with Four Season, you never have to worry about that.

Max Rose - Owner of Four Seasons Plumbing

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Max Rose

Max Rose is the owner of Four Seasons Plumbing, a plumbing company in Asheville, North Carolina.