One of the most frustrating elements of having and maintaining a pool are leaks. Not only are they difficult to find and fix, but they can also be quite costly to manage. The best way to avoid leaks from occurring is to ensure that the pool pipe materials used are durable and of high quality. The overall quality of your pool is greatly dependent on the pool pipes used during installation. Good pipe material can increase the longevity of your pool and can prevent leaks. These are a few of the pipe material types that you can consider:
Polyvinyl Chloride Pipes
When it comes to a pool’s plumbing, the most common type of pipes used are PVC pipes. There are two types of PVC pipes: rigid PVC pipe and flexible PVC pipes. Both are similar in their chemical makeup, PVC fittings, tools, and solvents. However, rigid pipes don’t bend on their own and have to be cut and fitted at every turn. Flexible PVCs, on the other hand, are made with plasticizers and are much more flexible around bends and turns. One thing to note, though, is that while flexible pipes may be easier and quicker to install, they are not recommended for in-ground pools, as they are not as strong as rigid pipes and can easily be damaged by rodents or insects, including termites. That is why using rigid PVC pipes is advisable, as they are more durable. For maximum effectiveness, it is best to use a minimum schedule 40 PVC, as schedule 80 could be a bit too thick and schedule 20 would be too thin.
CPVC Pipes, or Chlorinated PVC pipes, have higher heat resistance as compared to PVC pipes. They are mainly used for the inlet and outlet ports on the pool heaters to help prevent the pipes from melting. CPVC pipes are also used in commercial settings where it is mandatory to use heat-resistant pipes. It is generally recommended that pools should have 36″ CPVC pipes on the inlet and outlet sides.
Before PVC pipes came along, poly pipes were commonly used for pool plumbing. There are two main types of poly pipes: high-density polyethylene (HDPE) and low-density polyethylene (LDPE). While PVC pipes are now more common, poly pipes still exist on pools that were installed years ago. Poly pipes are generally black. Those with no stripes are non-pressure-rated draining pipes, which are not recommended for use in swimming pools. White stripe poly pipes are also not suitable for pool installations. Red stripe poly and green stripe poly pipes can be used in both swimming pools and hot tubs.
Acrylonitrile butadiene styrene pipes (ABS) are also used for pool installations mainly because they are easily available. However, the quality of this pool pipe is not very high, as the length of the glue joint for ABS is quite short compared to the PVC. This pipe is also not considered ideal for the pressure of the closed loop of the pool’s plumbing system.
Overall, these are commonly used pipe materials for swimming pool construction. Generally speaking, copper or steel plumbing systems should be avoided for both swimming pools and hot tubs.