PVC Pipes vs. GI Pipes for water supply

Water supply is the process of general requirement for supply of water from public water supply system to individual building and subsequent distribution of water to various parts of the building. The water from public water supply system to individual buildings is supplied through pipes. A large proportion of capital is invested on pipes while designing water supply distribution system. The following factors should be considered in selection of pipes:

  • Strength of pipe
  • Water carrying capacity
  • Life and durability of pipe
  • Expenditure on transportation
  • Jointing process, maintenance and repairs.

Galvanized Iron Pipes (GI Pipes) and Non Plasticized Poly Vinyl Chloride Pipes (PVC Pipes) are most commonly used for internal plumbing system for residential homes.

Specifications of GI pipes

  • G.I. pipes are made of hot and rolled coils of specified thickness.
  • They are available in light, medium and heavy grades depending on the sheet.
  • Thickness of 15 mm GI pipe of light, medium and heavy grade is 2.00 mm, 2.65 mm, and 3.25 mm.
  • Corresponding weight of 15 mm GI pipe of light, medium and heavy grade is 1.00 kg, 1.28 kg and 1.50 kg.

Specifications of Non Plasticized PVC pipes

  • These pipes are of light weight but strong and rust resistant.
  • These pipes are easy to install and in handling.

A quick comparison:

More Durable – PVC Pipes are durable as compared to GI pipes. This is because GI pipe are not corrosion resistant and so they eventually rust. PVC pipes are corrosion resistant pipes.

Compatible to hot & cold water – PVC pipes are not affected by warm water unlike GI pipes.

Low Bacterial growth – As observed, bacterial growth in PVC pipes is very low as compared to GI pipes.

No scale & pit formation – As PVC pipes are non-corrosive and resistant to scale formation, there’s no build up or any formation that causes loss of water pressure.

Chemical Resistance – PVC pies are excellent chemical resistant pipes. They also are unaffected by chlorine if present in water supply.

Easy Installation – PVC pipes can easily be installed through cold wielding. GI requires more man hours and if not installed correctly can cause breakage and leakage problem. PVC pipes are easier to handle then GI pipes. Care needs to be taken while cutting and joining PVC pipes.

Cost effective – Having PVC plumbing system is cost effective affair. You save on extra fittings, loops, anchors, insulation and labor charge too. Furthermore it lasts for more than 50 years.