Polypropylene pipes and their area of application. Pros and cons of plumbing from this material. Varieties of products and their properties. Symbols on the surface of pipes.
Polypropylene pipes for water supply are products from a modified polymer, the properties of which allow them to be used in household systems. The existing varieties are suitable for indoor and outdoor use. The properties of various brands of polypropylene pipes for water supply systems will be discussed in our article.
Features of polypropylene pipes for water supply
In the photo there are polypropylene pipes for water supply
Polypropylene is one of the types of plastic that is obtained during the processing of petroleum products and their gaseous fractions. Pipes from this material are produced under high pressure with the presence of a catalyst. They are made from isotactic polypropylene and its copolymers, which have the necessary properties to create water supply systems for various purposes. There are several varieties of plastic with high density and strength, differing in physical properties and field of application. To highlight them, manufacturers have introduced the designations PP-H, PP-B, PP-R.
Types of plastic for the manufacture of polypropylene pipes for water supply:
- RR-N… Polypropylene in its pure form (homopilimer), which is also called type 1 polypropylene. The molecules of a substance consist of units of the same type and form high-molecular compounds. The material has a fairly high strength, but has a low temperature resistance. In severe frosts, it can crumble, so it is not used outside. It is able to withstand a fairly large bending load.
- PP-B… It is a copolymer of polypropylene, in which the main structural units are not molecules, but blocks of propylene and polyethylene molecules in a complex sequence. This material is called type 2 polypropylene. In terms of strength, it does not differ from PP-N, but its thermal stability and thermal conductivity are higher, which makes it possible to use products at low temperatures. Plastic has some elasticity. It acquires such properties after the introduction of polyethylene additives into its composition. Despite its good performance properties, it is rarely used in plumbing systems and often in ventilation systems. The reason lies in the high thermal expansion of the pipes due to the presence of polyethylene in its composition.
- PP-R… A static copolymer of polypropylene (random copolymer) with a special structure. Molecules of propylene and polyethylene alternate in a certain way and form a crystalline structure that ensures an even distribution of the load on the pipe walls. The random copolymer is referred to as type 3 polypropylene. Its strength and thermal stability is much higher than that of PP-N and PP-V. There is also a modification of this material - PP-RC, characterized by a 5 times reduced coefficient of thermal expansion.
Dimensions of polypropylene pipes for water supply
The sizes of polypropylene pipes for water supply are standardized and range from 16 to 500 mm. Their choice is influenced by the length of the structure (see table).
|Pipe||System length, m||Diameter, mm|
|more than 30||32 and more|
|Riser||for all sizes||32|
The connection of the cuts is performed thermally using fittings, also made of polypropylene.After welding, the joints cannot be disassembled.
In home constructions, two types of plastic pipes are used - from one material and multilayer. Monolithic products contain only plastic. They are used in structures for cold water supply. Multi-layer reinforced with a layer of another material. They are designed for hot water lines.
Advantages and disadvantages of polypropylene pipes
Polypropylene pipes are popular among users, so on the Internet you can always find the pros and cons of water supply through a plastic line. The popularity of such products is not accidental, because this type of plastic has many advantages.
The main advantages of polypropylene pipes for water supply are:
- Ability not to collapse at pressures up to 20 bar, although pressures below 10 bar are rarely found in domestic systems.
- Long-term resistance to aggressive impurities when used in outdoor structures.
- The system is not afraid of corrosion. The cavities are not clogged with salt deposits and build-ups.
- Pipes do not burst when liquid freezes.
- With the help of fittings, they are easily connected to metal products.
- Structures made of such plastic have been functioning without repair for decades and will outlive analogues made of other materials.
- The methods of joining the cuts are very reliable and provide a high tightness of the route.
- The plastic is environmentally friendly and does not pollute drinking water.
- The price of polypropylene pipes for water supply is low, so it is very profitable to build a pipeline from such material. You can also save money thanks to favorable prices for the transportation of the product, low labor intensity, savings on components and no additional costs for maintenance during operation.
- The hydraulic resistance in the products is minimal, so the pressure loss is insignificant.
- The weight of the workpieces is small, which makes installation and repair work easier.
- Assembly work is simple, because workpieces are easy to cut and fit.
- The finished designs have an attractive appearance.
- Lines and branches can be hidden in strobes.
However, even such products have disadvantages. Users need to know not only the pros, but also the cons of plastic pipes:
- Single-layer products strongly change their dimensions with temperature changes, and have low heat resistance. It is not recommended to use unreinforced workpieces in hot water supply systems.
- Before connecting multilayer pipes, it is necessary to rework the joints. It consists in trimming the edges with a file or special reamers.
- Polypropylene structures are very rigid, so fittings must be used even for a slight deviation from a straight line.
- To connect the cuts, you will need special equipment - a soldering iron, which will also need to be spent.
- Often, such products immediately after operation show disadvantages associated with their production. In order to choose the right polypropylene pipes for water supply, be sure to check for a product quality certificate when buying.
How to choose polypropylene pipes for plumbing?
Polypropylene pipes are used in households for pumping drinking and industrial water, for organizing irrigation of the site, drainage, etc. They can be buried in the ground or embedded in grooves, placed under plaster or behind drywall. In order to choose the right pipes for use in various conditions, it is necessary to know the pros and cons of water supply in each specific case, the characteristics of the products and the signs by which the properties of the goods are easily determined.
Construction of polypropylene pipes
Products made of polypropylene are made monolithic (from one layer of material) or multilayer (reinforced).
In the photo, single-layer polypropylene pipes for water supply
Single-layer samples include samples marked PP-H, PP-B, PP-R.They are designed to be used in a variety of conditions:
- PP-N homopolymer pipes are used to supply cold water inside the building.
- Products made of PP-B copolymer are rarely used in water supply systems, more often in ventilation systems.
- Pipes made of random copolymer PP-R are considered versatile and retain their properties in cold and hot lines.
Symbols with useful information about them are applied to the surface of single-layer products. They are understandable even to inexperienced users and allow you to quickly determine which polypropylene pipes for water supply will function best in your case.
Example of marking polypropylene pipes for water supply
It is not difficult to understand them. Let us study the designation of the pipe Contour PPR GF PN20 20x1.9 1.0 mPa TU 2248.002 14504968-2008:
- "Circuit" - manufacturing company or trade mark.
- PPR - material type. The designation must contain the letters PP - the accepted marking of polypropylene. The following letters indicate the presence of additives in the plastic that change its properties. The applicability of products depends on them.
- Gf - Product Name.
- PN20 - nominal pressure. The PN value is given in bars. It indicates at what nominal pressure the pipe will serve the warranty period at a temperature of 20 degrees. This characteristic is considered one of the most important in the product description.
- 20x1.9 - the outer diameter of the polypropylene pipe for water supply and its thickness.
- 1.0 MPa - maximum fluid pressure.
- TU 2248.002 14504968-2008 - production standards.
Other information is often applied to the surface. For example, on the confirmation of the compliance of the characteristics with the requirements of the production standard and the specified parameters; information about the technology used, release date, etc. The information is encrypted in one and a half dozen digits, of which the last two are the year of the product's release.
In the photo, multilayer polypropylene pipes
In multilayer pipes, in addition to plastic, there is aluminum foil up to 0.5 mm thick or fiberglass, which are closed on both sides with PP-R polypropylene. The inner layer forms a pipe, the outer layer protects the layer from damage
Aluminum foil can be placed outside or inside. It is clearly visible on the cut. The tape reduces oxygen access and reduces the linear expansion coefficient of the structure. It strengthens the product without increasing its weight. The interlayer is connected to the plastic with glue.
In terms of properties, such pipes resemble metal-plastic ones, but they are very stiff. They are able to withstand high pressure and temperature. However, the foil complicates the bonding process because you have to clean the ends of the blanks before welding them.
In the photo, polypropylene pipes reinforced with fiberglass and aluminum (from left to right)
Fiberglass is an alternative to aluminum foil. It is made from a mixture of plastic and fiber. The layer is welded with plastic and forms a single whole, therefore, the strength of the structure is higher, and the price is practically the same. Pipes with such reinforcement do not need to be cleaned of foil before brazing, which speeds up the installation process. Fiberglass increases the rigidity of the product. Examples of designation of a polypropylene reinforced pipe: product with aluminum foil - PPR-AL-PPR, product with glass fiber - PPR-FB-PPR.
Varieties of pipes for water supply according to the design pressure of the liquid
Products are designed for a specific water pressure. Below we have written what polypropylene pipes are and their purpose:
- PN10 - a single-layer pipe with an outer diameter of 20-110 mm for cold water with a temperature not exceeding + 20 ° C. Withstands water pressure up to 1 MPa.
- PN16 - single-layer pipe with an outer diameter of 16-100 mm for use in systems with temperatures up to + 60 ° C. It is rarely found on sale.
- РN20 - a three-layer pipe with an outer diameter of 16-100 mm for water heated to + 80 ° C. Withstands water pressure of 2 MPa.
- PN25 - a three-layer pipe with an outer diameter of 21, 2-77, 9 mm for water up to + 90 ° C. The most commonly used pipe for highways with pressures up to 2.5 MPa.
What does the color of polypropylene pipes mean?
Polypropylene pipes are painted in various colors that remind of the manufacturer's recommended field of application.
- White… Products of this color tolerate the pressure of the working environment well, and are quickly assembled by welding. Not intended for outdoor use due to the risk of crystallization of the structure in frost. It is not even recommended to transport them outdoors in winter, as they can be damaged even with a slight impact.
- Green… Pipes can be buried in the ground to organize irrigation of the site. The use in such conditions makes it possible to neglect the instability of the system to internal pressure.
- Gray… Versatile products that can be used in indoor systems for any purpose.
- Black… Such pipes do not deteriorate from sunlight, so the water supply can be collected directly on the surface of the earth.
The presence of blue stripes on the surface of the pipes means that the pipes are for cold water, red for hot water.
Price of polypropylene pipes for water supply
The use of polypropylene pipes in the plumbing system is considered the best way to save on installation work. The price of the product fluctuates within a fairly large range, depending on many factors. Let's consider the main factors that affect its value.
The cheapest pipes for water supply are made from homopolymers (PP-H), which do not have high performance characteristics. In other modifications (PP-B, PP-R), the cost increases due to the introduction of various additives into polypropylene and the use of a more complex production technology. The most expensive are multilayer pipes reinforced with aluminum and fiberglass.
Polypropylene pipes are connected to each other by welding, which requires greater precision in manufacturing the surfaces to be joined. Their cost is reduced by the following errors:
- The pipe is not round.
- The walls of the product have different thicknesses.
- There are thickenings and roughness on the surface.
- The inner diameter does not meet the standards for polypropylene pipes.
- The characteristics of the products differ from those stated.
- Pipes do not mate with fittings.
Polypropylene pipe manufacturers
Polypropylene pipe diagram
These products are produced by a huge number of companies, but it is not always possible to find information about the pros and cons of specific pipes. According to users, good pipes are made by Italian and German companies, so their price is maximum. Turkish manufacturers sell their goods cheaper, but their quality is worse. Expensive pipes from the companies HENCO, Rehau, Valtec, but on the other hand, there will be no problems with them during installation. Users most often prefer the average price level offered, for example, by the Turkish company Firat.
At what price the products are sold in Ukraine and Russia, you can find out from the tables below. The values are given for various types of pipes with a diameter of 20 mm.
Average price of polypropylene pipes for water supply in Ukraine:
|Pipe designation||Price for 1 m, UAH|
|Firat pipe PN 20 d20||50|
|Firat Composite pipe 20 mm - 3.4 mm, fiberglass reinforced||24|
|Firat pipe reinforced with aluminum Composite 20 mm - 3.4 mm||29|
Price of polypropylene pipes for water supply in Russia:
|Pipe designation||Price for 1 m, rub.|
|Firat pipe PN 20 d20||51|
|Firat Composite pipe 20 mm - 3.4 mm, fiberglass reinforced||84|
|Firat pipe reinforced with aluminum Composite 20 mm - 3.4 mm||104|
Note! It must be remembered that manufacturers always indicate the price per meter.
Polypropylene pipes or metal - pros and cons
More recently, the plumbing was assembled exclusively from metal pipes, made mainly of steel. Billets made of copper, stainless steel, aluminum were not popular due to their high cost. In order to get rid of numerous shortcomings, the steel pipes were modernized. For example, they were galvanized to reduce corrosion. But the improvements increased the price, and not all users could buy them.
Polypropylene pipes are devoid of most of the disadvantages of metal products, therefore they very quickly squeezed them out in such a household sector as the plumbing system. In addition, the price of polypropylene pipes for water supply is lower than that of metal ones.
The main reason for the popularity of plastic products lies in the properties of the material from which they are made. Polypropylene is obtained from petroleum products and their derivatives. There are several types of material for use in specific conditions.
The most popular are pipes made of static propylene copolymer (PP-R). They belong to the products of the middle price category and are most often used in plumbing systems. These are single-layer pipes used in cold water supply systems. For supplying hot water, monolithic products cannot be used, only multilayer ones, in which other materials are present. But they cost much more.
Why users prefer polypropylene pipes to metal pipes can be found out by comparing the characteristics of polypropylene (PP-R) pipes and metal (steel) pipes
|Polypropylene||Flexible enough to regain shape after deformation||Do not tolerate sunlight|
|Withstand high temperature and pressure||Not used in hot water systems|
|Resistance to aggressive chemical elements||Strongly change their size when the temperature changes|
|No special skills required for installation||It is impossible to clean the line because of the one-piece joints|
|No salt build-up on the surface|
|Can be mounted in a closed way|
|Good at absorbing sounds from water flow|
|Long service life|
|The pipe connections are one-piece and very reliable|
|Supplied in large cuts to reduce the number of seams|
|When water freezes, they do not burst|
|Low cost||Dirt and deposits build up on the walls|
|Very low coefficient of linear expansion||The joints are made detachable, they require constant monitoring|
|Reacts actively with various chemical elements|
|Heavy weight, which complicates installation and transportation|
|Supplied in small pieces|
|Installation requires highly qualified specialists|
|High thermal conductivity|
|Relatively short service life|
The most popular are pipes made of static propylene copolymer (PP-R).
Reviews of polypropylene pipes for water supply
Users often postpone plumbing repairs due to unwillingness to spend large sums of money. For a rough calculation, they take the cost of metal products, which until recently were used everywhere. However, the cost of repairs can be significantly reduced if you assemble the water supply from polypropylene pipes, the cost of which is affordable for everyone. Below are reviews of polypropylene pipes from professional plumbers and ordinary apartment residents.
Vadim, 45 years old
During the repair of the sewerage system, I realized all the advantages of polypropylene plumbing. All the metal pipes in the line were half filled with salt deposits, which made water poorly flowing to the tap. Plastic branches, which were also present in the highway, on the contrary, remained empty. In order not to spend money, I replaced only metal parts with polypropylene.I bought the blanks in the brand store of a well-known manufacturer, excluding the fake that would come across in the markets.
Denis, 39 years old
I manage a construction team that assembles plumbing systems in new buildings. Our customers often thank us for the absence of pipes on the surface of the walls - they are all hidden in the grooves. Such installation is possible only when working with polypropylene products, because it is possible to connect the cuts to each other using a soldering iron. The joints are airtight and reliable, they do not need to be checked, as is the case with metal products. Even after many years, their reliability does not deteriorate.
Oleg, 39 years old
I work as a foreman in the housing office, and I often have to restore plumbing systems in apartments. Rusty metal pipes have to be repaired very often. It is good if you manage to replace the areas that have served their time. Sometimes you just have to seal the cracks with clamps and hope that they will not appear elsewhere. I have never been summoned to apartments in which the plumbing is made of polypropylene pipes. My advice as a plumber: make the system out of plastic and you will never see us.
Nikita, 22 years old
I inherited an apartment with plumbing problems. Calculated how much should be spent on replacing it. It turned out that with my quick means I can only buy polypropylene pipes, there was not enough money for a specialist to assemble the system. But the installation work was so simple that I did it myself. I spent a little only on renting a soldering iron. I can also say that I would not undertake the installation of metal pipes.
How to choose polypropylene pipes for water supply - watch the video:
Polypropylene pipes successfully replace metal pipes of a similar purpose due to their lower cost and long-term operation. The range of products is huge, therefore, before you buy polypropylene pipes for water supply, find out their parameters, properties and manufacturer's recommendations for use. The correct choice will allow you to operate the system for a long time without repair.