PVC vs. Poly: Which One is Right For You?

PVC vs. Poly: Which One is Right For You?

 Irrigation piping is an important part of any irrigation system, whether it is used for agricultural, residential, or commercial purposes. The two most common plastic materials used for irrigation piping are PVC and Poly. In this article, we will compare PVC and Poly to help you decide which one is better for your specific needs.


 PVC (polyvinyl chloride), is a rigid pipe made of a thermoplastic material. It is strong, rigid and lightweight. It is commonly used in high-pressure applications such as water pipes, swimming pool piping and irrigation systems.

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 PVC pipe is resistant to corrosion and chemicals. It is ideal for use in agricultural environments where fertilizers and other chemicals are frequently used.The difference in the thickness of the pipe's inner wall represents the difference in the pressure it can withstand. PVC pipe can withstand pressures of up to 140 psi and temperatures of up to 140°F. The average residential irrigation system typically does not exceed 80 psi.

 However, PVC pipe can become brittle over time, especially in colder climates, and can rupture or break if subjected to impact.


 Poly is a flexible plastic pipe made of polyethylene resin. They are flexible, durable and lightweight. Because they bend easily, they adapt well to the contours of the land and are commonly used in low-pressure applications such as irrigation systems.

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 Poly pipe is resistant to UV light and is ideal for use in areas with high sunlight intensity.It can withstand pressures of up to 100 psi and temperatures of up to 110°F.Poly tubing is resistant to corrosion and is ideal for use in wet environments.

 However, Poly is less tolerant of chemicals and may not be suitable for use with certain fertilizers and other agrochemicals.

PVC vs Poly


 PVC pipe is typically more expensive than Poly pipe, especially for larger diameter and higher pressure applications. However, the cost of PVC pipe can be offset by its longer service life and resistance to corrosion and chemicals.

 Poly pipe is cheaper than PVC pipe and is lighter, more flexible, and easier to install and transport, making it a good choice for low-pressure applications where flexibility is more important than strength.

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Installation and Maintenance

 PVC pipe is easy to install and can be easily cut to size and glued together using solvent cement. Once installed, PVC pipe requires little maintenance and can sit for years without any problems.

 Poly pipes are also easy to install but require more maintenance than PVC pipes. They may need to be replaced every 10-15 years and may require periodic cleaning to prevent clogging.

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Environmental Impacts

 Both PVC and Poly pipes have an environmental impact. PVC pipes are made of non-biodegradable materials that release toxic fumes when burned. Poly pipes are made of recyclable materials, but recycling can be difficult due to the need to separate different grades of polyethylene. In addition, Poly pipes can lead to greenhouse gas emissions during the manufacturing process.


 In conclusion, the choice between PVC and Poly depends on a variety of factors. PVC pipe is strong, tough, and resistant to corrosion and chemicals, making it ideal for high-pressure applications. Poly pipe is flexible, lightweight, and UV resistant, making it ideal for low-pressure applications. Please consider all factors and choose the pipe material that best meets your needs and specifications.

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