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Thread: ABS vs PVC piping - anyone with ABS success stories?

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    ABS vs PVC piping - anyone with ABS success stories?

    Looking at replumbing our solar panel to a new location this summer on the first level overhang at the rear of our house. A moderate lift and some extra piping will obviously be required.

    I know PVC is the "usual" pipe that should be used, but it's proving tough to find around here in appropriate sizes with all the matching appropriate fittings I'll need...and what is available costs 6 arms and 8 legs, and all the fittings, even more. I might have to sell a child..

    ABS on the other hand can be found almost anywhere (Home Depot, Lowes, etc etc etc), and all the fittings I could possibly want are readily available and cheap, as are the long runs of 2" pipe that I'll be wanting to use.

    So, who's got the "been there done that" Tshirt with ABS on pressure lines, and what's your thoughts? Yes, I'm aware of the UV issues but honestly if it becomes brittle a few years down the road (on what little will be directly exposed to the sun, not much in the grand scheme of things) I can easily replace it.

    I've seen all sorts of stories ranging from "OMG disaster waiting to happen" right through to "My entire system is plumbed with PVC and it works just fine", up to and including solar plumbing, so I'm specifically looking for insight from those who have used and their experiences.

    Thanks.
    Mark
    -- Courtice, Ontario, Canada. "Cabo San Backyardo"
    12x16 3/4 inground - Hayward 3400VSP, Sand Filter, Rooftop 4x20 solar w/ Hayward GL235 automation.
    Previously installed at a neighbors, before, during & after photos HERE!

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    duraleigh's Avatar
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    Re: ABS vs PVC piping - anyone with ABS success stories?

    Really??? Are you saying they don't stock PVC pipe in Canada. I am struggling with that.......it IS the common pipe in the US.
    Dave S.
    42k vinyl and concrete pool, 1.5hp pump, 140gpm filter
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    JasonLion's Avatar
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    Re: ABS vs PVC piping - anyone with ABS success stories?

    ABS is never used for pools in the US, but it is very common to use ABS to plumb pools in Canada. You shouldn't have any problems.
    19K gal, vinyl, 1/2 HP WhisperFlo pump, 200 sqft cartridge filter, AutoPilot Digital SWG, Dolphin Dynamic cleaning robot
    Creator of PoolMath and Pool Calculator. Other handy links: Support this site, TF Test Kits, Pool School

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    Re: ABS vs PVC piping - anyone with ABS success stories?

    Quote Originally Posted by duraleigh View Post
    Really??? Are you saying they don't stock PVC pipe in Canada. I am struggling with that.......it IS the common pipe in the US.
    It's available in smaller sizes, but the larger 2" stuff isn't common, usually only available at pool places at stupid markups. It's not commonly used in household plumbing up here so it's not everywhere (in a wide variety of sizes) like it is in the USA where it's commonly used in housing.

    Quote Originally Posted by JasonLion View Post
    ABS is never used for pools in the US, but it is very common to use ABS to plumb pools in Canada. You shouldn't have any problems.
    I used it to plumb my drain from my filter last year without problem, but a drain line to the street is one thing versus an active pressure line. Like I said, I've read more than a few stories where people said they had no problems, but there seem to be more than a few stories where people bring up stories of potential (but not actual, at least that I could find) woe. I just don't want to opt for it if I'm going to blow out a line in the middle of the summer or something.

    My usual line pressures are around 14, although with the solar plumbed in this year on the primary pump I would expect to see 20+ (maybe 30) given the lift to the roof. I don't see any actual evidence that ABS can't handle those sorts of pressures even though technically ABS isn't pressure rated at all.
    Mark
    -- Courtice, Ontario, Canada. "Cabo San Backyardo"
    12x16 3/4 inground - Hayward 3400VSP, Sand Filter, Rooftop 4x20 solar w/ Hayward GL235 automation.
    Previously installed at a neighbors, before, during & after photos HERE!

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    Charlie_R's Avatar
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    Re: ABS vs PVC piping - anyone with ABS success stories?

    15'x48" 4500 gallon Intex pool, buried 1.5 ft. Pac-Fab Dynamo 3/4 hp pump. Hayward S180T sand filter, bought used. Taylor K-2006 test kit. Rocket mass heater based wood fired pool heater.

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    JasonLion's Avatar
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    Re: ABS vs PVC piping - anyone with ABS success stories?

    Just get schedule 40 pressure rated ABS, use the appropriate glue, paint any ABS exposed to sunlight, and you will be fine. In the US pressure rated PVC is everywhere, and pressure rated ABS is difficult to find. In Canada it is the other way around.

    Both PVC and ABS are available in pressure rated and non-pressure rated variations. Typical drain/waste/vent pipe is not pressure rated, while pool plumbing should always be pressure rated.
    19K gal, vinyl, 1/2 HP WhisperFlo pump, 200 sqft cartridge filter, AutoPilot Digital SWG, Dolphin Dynamic cleaning robot
    Creator of PoolMath and Pool Calculator. Other handy links: Support this site, TF Test Kits, Pool School

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    mas985's Avatar
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    Re: ABS vs PVC piping - anyone with ABS success stories?

    Just be aware that most of the ABS you find in the home stores is DWV foam core and is NOT pressure rated.

    Have you tried any irrigation supply outlets?
    Mark
    Hydraulics 101; Pump Ed 101; Pump/Pool Spreadsheets; Pump Run Time Study; DIY Acid Dosing; DIY Cover Roller
    18'x36' 20k plaster, MaxFlo SP2303VSP, Aqualogic PS8 SWCG, 420 sq-ft Cartridge, Solar, 6 jet spa, 1 HP jet pump, 400k BTU NG Heater

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    Re: ABS vs PVC piping - anyone with ABS success stories?

    The cellular core ABS is the common stuff around here. I can plumb my entire solar system for probably <$50 including all the fittings. To do the same in PVC would probably be 3 (maybe 4) times that cost.

    That said, I haven't seen any that's stamped with any pressure ratings....but...

    Quote Originally Posted by Charlie_R View Post
    Interesting...so, plain old cellular core drain/stack/vent ABS pipe appears to be "Schedule 40" based on some searches. According to that chart, a 2" schedule 40 ABS pipe at 23 degrees will hold slightly more than 100PSI.

    Now, on a hot july day on the shingled roof in the sun temps will probably reach more than twice that so that's something to keep in mind, but even if capacity drops in half (unfortunately there's no scale based on temperature), it would still sustain 50PSI which should still be sufficient.
    Mark
    -- Courtice, Ontario, Canada. "Cabo San Backyardo"
    12x16 3/4 inground - Hayward 3400VSP, Sand Filter, Rooftop 4x20 solar w/ Hayward GL235 automation.
    Previously installed at a neighbors, before, during & after photos HERE!

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    Charlie_R's Avatar
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    Re: ABS vs PVC piping - anyone with ABS success stories?

    Do note that the numbers on that link to engineers toolbox (1210, 1308, etc) are NOT referring to DVW cellcore. Check the printed numbers on your pipe before using it for your plumbing.
    15'x48" 4500 gallon Intex pool, buried 1.5 ft. Pac-Fab Dynamo 3/4 hp pump. Hayward S180T sand filter, bought used. Taylor K-2006 test kit. Rocket mass heater based wood fired pool heater.

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    Re: ABS vs PVC piping - anyone with ABS success stories?

    Looks like I may need to dig around some more. The standard black flexible PVC would probably be the easiest in the end (commonly available in rolls of various lengths) but it looks like **** compared to a nice clean hard pipe installation. Much of my hidden (under the deck) plumbing is done in flex PVC, but the key is, it's all hidden, so all the fittings, pipe clamps, etc etc etc don't look like an eyesore like they would running up the size of my house to the roof, and then back down the other side.
    Mark
    -- Courtice, Ontario, Canada. "Cabo San Backyardo"
    12x16 3/4 inground - Hayward 3400VSP, Sand Filter, Rooftop 4x20 solar w/ Hayward GL235 automation.
    Previously installed at a neighbors, before, during & after photos HERE!

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    mas985's Avatar
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    Re: ABS vs PVC piping - anyone with ABS success stories?

    Also, schedule 40 is a size not a rating. That just ensures that O.D. and I.D. are a certain size. The pressure ratings are separate from the size.
    Mark
    Hydraulics 101; Pump Ed 101; Pump/Pool Spreadsheets; Pump Run Time Study; DIY Acid Dosing; DIY Cover Roller
    18'x36' 20k plaster, MaxFlo SP2303VSP, Aqualogic PS8 SWCG, 420 sq-ft Cartridge, Solar, 6 jet spa, 1 HP jet pump, 400k BTU NG Heater

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    Re: ABS vs PVC piping - anyone with ABS success stories?

    One of my customers at work which is also a large pool installation company helped me out big time yesterday and I picked up everything I needed in proper PVC for about $100 a considerable savings versus what it would have cost me to buy it piece by piece elsewhere. It's amazing when you sit down and actually look at the required routing of the pipes how many little fittings and adapters etc. are required, and when each one of those can be two or three dollars each and can really add up fast.

    Now, if the weekend weather would just cooperate I was hoping to get the installation done this weekend and open the pool, however it's not looking great.

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    Charlie_R's Avatar
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    Re: ABS vs PVC piping - anyone with ABS success stories?

    Glad to see you were able to get a good deal on what you needed!
    15'x48" 4500 gallon Intex pool, buried 1.5 ft. Pac-Fab Dynamo 3/4 hp pump. Hayward S180T sand filter, bought used. Taylor K-2006 test kit. Rocket mass heater based wood fired pool heater.

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