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Choosing CPVC Pipe: When Cost is Everything, What Counts?

Choosing a building material always carries with it the question of whether to take a “lowest-cost” perspective or to broaden one’s sights by taking the long view. The latter depends greatly on consideration of a total cost of ownership (TCO) analysis that may not be readily available.

Commercial applications of water pipe always have a heavy focus on minimizing the labor costs to install it. But the cost and risk avoidance factor is just as meaningful as the actual outlay of dollars for specific expenditures.

In 1958, Lubrizol was the first to formulate CPVC into a compound that could be used to manufacture pipes and fittings. Corzan® CPVC is a thermoplastic capable of withstanding prolonged exposure to high heat and elevated pressure while offering superior corrosion resistance. How does Corzan fare in such a total-cost analysis? Ponder this:




… The risk of corrosion posed by copper in plumbing and steel in HVAC which in turn may lead to system failures

Since Corzan CPVC is non-metallic, it will never pit, scale or corrode. Unlike copper and steel, Corzan Piping Systems will maintain water quality even if the pH of the potable water source falls below 6.5. 

… An environment where legionella can flourish, and the associated health concerns

A chlorinated material like Corzan CPVC can withstand ASHRAE 188 Guideline decontamination procedures requiring very high temperatures and/or highly chlorinated water. Its smooth, nonporous internal pipe surface also inhibits bacteria and biofilm growth.

… Lengthy downtime from scheduled alterations and retrofits

Not only can Corzan CPVC be installed using solvent welded joints, it can be joined with mechanical grooving systems, the result of a years-long process to respond to customers’ requests for a portable, fast installation method that reduces system downtime without sacrificing long-term performance of the pipe and joints.

... Environmental stress cracking due to the chemical incompatibility of ancillary products in direct contact with the piping system such as thread sealants, firestopping materials and pipe insulation

Lubrizol’s FBC System Compatible Program can verify the chemical compatibility of Corzan Piping Systems with ancillary products tested and added to the program following testing and manufacturer adherence to certain quality standards.

… Excessive costs in plenum applications

Corzan CPVC pipe and fittings meet the 25/50 flame spread/smoke developed requirements of the International Mechanical Code and the Uniform Mechanical Code for installation in plenums. Reference ICC-ES PMG-1264 and IAPMO UEL-5002. No extra insulation is required, nor are channel costs that may be associated with other plastics.

… Project delays and cost overruns

Because we stand with our customers as a reliable partner, we offer installation, field support and troubleshooting guidance as a standard practice.

… Copper theft and/or the cost of protecting copper at the job site

CPVC’s price stability and comparatively low scrap value make these products unattractive to thieves.


Cost savings is important, but it is vital to steer well clear of the threshold where lower cost will carry with it more headaches and higher liability potential. 

Looking for assistance on switching Corzan CPVC for your next project? We’re here to help with training and support. Contact your Corzan representative through the button below.


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