How to Buy New Plastic Pipe

When buying plastic pipe and components it is wise to stick to one brand only Pipes and fittings from different makers, though of the same size, are not necessarily interchangeable Most suppliers stock the systems of only one manufacturer, although the same manufacturer may make both PP and either PVC or ABS systems.

It is worth asking the supplier if there is an instruction leaflet supplied by the maker. There are slight variations in the methods of using each particular make of pipe and fitting. The manufacturer’s instructions, if available, should be followed to the letter.

Existing waste pipe is likely to be imperial in size – 1 1/2in internal diameter for a sink or bath and 1 1/4in internal diameter for a wash basin.

plastic pipe How to Buy New Plastic Pipe

Metric sized plastic pipes are normally described – like thin-walled copper tubes -by their external diameter, though at least one well-known manufacturer adds to the confusion by using the internal diameter. Both internal and external diameters may vary slightly – usually by less than one millimetre between makes. This is yet another reason for sticking to one make of pipe for any single project.

The outside diameter of a plastic tube that is the equivalent of a 11/4in imperial sized metal tube is likely to be 36mm and the inside diameter 32mm. The outside diameter of the equivalent of a 11/2in pipe is likely to be 43mm and the inside diameter 39mm. If in doubt, it is usually sufficient to ask the supplier for waste pipe fittings for a basin waste or – as the case may be – a bath or sink waste. Plain-ended plastic pipe is usually supplied in 3m (10ft) lengths, though a supplier will probably cut you off a shorter piece.


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