HDPE Vs PVC ; What is Best for Use?

You might know that there are different types of pipes that you can use for plumbing work in your house. Hence you will have to select the appropriate type of pipe. Among various pipes, this blog will significantly focus on HDPE vs PVC. 

HDPE stands for High-Density Polythene, while PVC stands for Polyvinyl Chloride. Usually, when constructing a house, plumbing is one of the important tasks that will require some effort, and you will have to do it perfectly to avoid frequent repairs. Most people hire a professional plumber to handle the house’s plumbing system.

The plumber will design the water supply to the required places and check the drainage system. When choosing the right type of pipe, if you hire a plumber, they will have adequate knowledge about the pipe and where to use them. If you are confused between HDPE and PVC, then by understanding the comparison between them, you will be able to differentiate each. 

What is HDPE Pipe?

The HDPE is also a type of polytene, and the specialty of this pipe is that it is capable of withstanding high pressure due to the strong molecular bond, and since it is highly impermeable. This is one of the popular types of pipes many people use worldwide. Another major advantage of choosing HDPE is that the pipe will not be affected by rust because of its thermoplastic property.

When you take most of the traditional plumbing systems, you will encounter repair due to corrosion or rust, but if you use the HDPE pipe, you don’t have to worry about rust issues. This pipe is also considered waterproof and will be flexible and lightweight. If you wonder what type of pipe will suit an acidic environment, you can also consider the HDPE pipe. Suppose you are searching which pipe to choose, HDPE vs PVC, then continue reading the article as it will help to understand the differences.

What is PVC Pipe?

Let’s also briefly look at what PVC pipe is. The manufacturers produce this type of pipe using the chlorinated hydrocarbon polymer while combining it with plasticizers. Most people use PVC pipes for water supply, irrigation, and plumbing systems. You can also use this pipe for other applications, such as medical tubing, flooring, electrical insulation, etc.

Hence depending on the application, you will have to choose which variant of the PVC pipe will be most suitable. PVC pipes are not only used for residential purposes. You will also notice this pipe in commercial uses. There are a lot of benefits that you can obtain by using PVC pipes.

HDPE vs PVC ; What is Best for Use?

Now you might have a brief understanding of the HDPE and PVC pipe. Let’s also compare HDPE vs PVC, which will help you choose which of these two types will be appropriate for a certain task.

If you are finding it difficult to choose the right type of pipe that will be best suitable for the project you are handling, then you don’t have to worry since this is a common issue that most people face. In such a situation, you will have to search for the items and have a clear idea, so it will be helpful to differentiate them and select the relevant item. 


One of the factors that you will consider when purchasing a product is its durability. Before spending on the product, checking the durability will help you understand how long you can use it. Similarly, when considering the durability of PVC and HDPE, which one will be more durable? As already mentioned in the article, by using vinyl polymer, they manufacture PVC pipes which are more durable when compared to the HDPE pipe made using petroleum. The PVC pipe is stronger and will last long, whereas the HDPE is flexible.

In contrast, the most suitable type is HDPE if you are searching for a pipe that can withstand heat and abrasion. The durability of the pipe will also depend on its usage and maintenance. Hence it is important to use the correct type of pipe since when you select the least preferred option, you cannot expect it to perform well or last for a prolonged period.


When bonding or joining the pipe, you must use a suitable adhesive to bond the pipe strongly. Suppose you plan to join the PVC pipe together, then you can use the PVC glue, which will be a great option. Hence you will need to use any gluing sealant or gasket when joining the PVC pipe. In contrast, if you are working on a project where you have to join the HDPE pipe then try bonding them using heat fusion.


The installation process of PVC and HDPE will also be different hence by considering the project, you will have to install them appropriately. Suppose you are handling a complex project, then it is better to get the support of a professional who will help to install it properly. Although you can DIY the PVC pipe installation when handling the HDPE pipe, it is better to seek help from a trained operator.

Irrigation System

You might know that mostly when it comes to irrigation purpose, using PVC pipes are common. That does not mean you cannot use the HDPE pipe for the irrigation system. Recently there have been places where they use the HDPE pipe for irrigation, especially if it is impossible to dig the ground. In contrast, PVC pipe will be a suitable option for underground installation.

Thermal Performance

When the temperature of the environment changes to hot or cold the pipe will expand slowly. Suppose you are searching which pipe among HDPE and PVC will expand more, then it is HPDE since this pipe will be able to expand four times greater than the PVC pipe.


When selecting a pipe, you will have to check the applications since you can decide whether it suits your project. You can use PVC pipe mostly in industrial applications, drains, irrigation, and sewer. You can also use this pipe for residential purposes. Whereas when you consider the HDPE pipes, there are various applications such as distribution of petroleum, natural gas, and chemicals. Hence depending on the purpose, you can decide which pipe will be appropriate.

These are some differences between the HDPE and PVC pipes. Apart from the differences, there are also some similarities, like lightweight, corrosion proof, made of plastic, and resistant to bacterial/ chemical buildup.

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