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Old 08-03-2013, 01:17 AM   #1
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Plumbers, Help ! PVC fittings with ABS pipes

I'm finally getting to the plumbing phase of my shell-off !! Went to install the tub and realized I need to get ready for drain/vent plumbing before I rivet it all back in. I did a bit of reading here on the PVC vs ABS debate, and after checking all 3 local big box stores I cannot find ABS anywhere, except in 1 1/2" only. Most the connecting elbows, wyes, and tees I need are not available in ABS and some portions of my plumbing are also 1 1/4" and 2" so no ABS there either.
While at the stores tonight I thought, what about using the readily available PVC fittings with the ABS straight pipe for the "give/flex" Most the plumbing is 1 1/2" so the majority of the straight sections would be ABS. I would of course use the glue that is compatible with both.
Any plumbers out there have any thoughts on the viability of a hybrid set up like this ? Best of both worlds (cost/availability/some flex) or just asking for leaks buried in my walls ? (different coefficients of expansion, hot drain water ruining PVC ) ?
Worst case scenario, I can try to finish work early next week and see if a local plumber can order what I need in ABS, but figure the cost will go up a bit as their time is worth something too.
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Old 08-03-2013, 06:49 AM   #2
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If you have a local mobile home dealer or supply house they should have all the ABS fittings you need. I ran into the same situation here with the local ACE and big box stores when I was trying to find ABS pipe and fittings. I went to a local mobile home dealer who also has a repair service and they had everything I needed at a fair price.
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Old 08-03-2013, 07:02 AM   #3
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Go with PVC and where you need to tie into existing ABS, use one of the rubber transitions with hose clamps on either end.

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Old 08-03-2013, 07:22 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by aquinob View Post
...the rubber transitions with hose clamps on either end.
They're called Fernco Couplings.
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Old 08-03-2013, 07:29 AM   #5
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I just got done re-plumbing the drainage on me 68 AS project mostly with PVC. I located ABS at a mobile home supply, but the cost was substantially more, and it is not that much lighter for weight savings. I went with pvc on the interior, you can use the rubber couplers, but they also sell transition glue at most stores(abs to pvc- it's green). A tip: Buy WAY more fittings than you think you need, I'm glad I went with pvc, because 3-4 times I needed a certain fitting and was stopped dead, had to go back to the store, and the MH (ABS) store would have been much further away.
I am going to go with ABS on the exterior for factory looks.
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Old 08-03-2013, 07:32 AM   #6
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Originally Posted by luvoldstuff View Post
I just got done re-plumbing the drainage on me 68 AS project mostly with PVC. I located ABS at a mobile home supply, but the cost was substantially more, and it is not that much lighter for weight savings. I went with pvc on the interior, you can use the rubber couplers, but they also sell transition glue at most stores(abs to pvc- it's green). A tip: Buy WAY more fittings than you think you need, I'm glad I went with pvc, because 3-4 times I needed a certain fitting and was stopped dead, had to go back to the store, and the MH (ABS) store would have been much further away.
I am going to go with ABS on the exterior for factory looks.
Forgot to say: save your reciept, the bigger stores will take back the unused fittings.
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Old 08-03-2013, 09:20 AM   #7
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It is funny, in Idaho the big box stores only cary the black stuff, and those in Montana the white stuff. There must be some state code restrictions is all I can figure. I live about half way between the white stuff stores and he black stuff stores, and have to remember which way to go when I need fittings.
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Old 08-03-2013, 09:25 AM   #8
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May I chime in?

IMHO, as stated elsewhere, I believe ABS marginally better than PVC for the robust solvent-weld aspects of the fittings. However, PVC will likely be as durable if solvent-welded correctly and with care.

A downside to ABS is that the pipe usually develops a bowed "set"; care should be taken to orient the bow sideways rather than humping or "bellying". PVC pipe is straighter.

I'd suggest staying away from ABS-PVC transition cement for a mobile application. Likewise, if you choose to use mechanical joiners -- be they Fernco, Cantex, or even No-Hub couplings (bandaids, in the vernacular), as they are going to be subjected to vibration and the bumps and grinds of 'streaming, be prepared to make those connections a part of your regular inspections to ensure they don't become compromised. Liberal applications of baling wire, duct tape, and used chewing gum may help.

Side note: I believe most plumbing parts wholesalers will still have the requisite ABS fittings. Sometimes they get grumpy when Joe Blow off the street walks in. Don't show up very-first-thing, and it may help to bring doughnuts ....

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Old 08-03-2013, 05:37 PM   #9
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Well since I have zero plumbing of any sort in or under the AS right now I don't have to use fernco or rubber to connect to any existing pipe Currently I could build a system where most 1.5" is black but any other size would have to be white, almost the opposite of Aquinobs pic. Sounds like the transition cement and primer will not be ideal connection ?
While a great idea, I fear a rubber joint between every pvc elbow and abs straight would drive cost up 2-3x ! , I will see how the ABS search goes next week, I have a feeling my choice is not a "choice" unless I find ABS in multiple sizes !
Anyone have experience with PVC shattering due to cold or road flex ?
Anyone experience ABS sag between joints making drainage an issue ?
Anyone experience bad solvent welds from ABS to PVC ?
Obviously I'm still on the fence, wait don't they make fences from PVC now too !?
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Old 08-03-2013, 07:46 PM   #10
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I don't see a problem using PVC for DWV. Since it is a non pressurized system.
PVC is used on all sorts of domestic fresh water systems, with pump pressures in excess of 50psi. Much of it is schedule 40, some schedule 80.
The water supply line to my home is PVC with glued joints. It runs 50psi.
Never had a problem.
I would not hesitate to us PVC in a travel trailer. Especially in the DWV system.
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Old 08-03-2013, 11:17 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by alumascoupe View Post
Anyone have experience with PVC shattering due to cold or road flex ?
I've had problems with it shattering in stationary applications due to age, cold, and UV exposure.

Quote:
Anyone experience ABS sag between joints making drainage an issue ?
Not in the distances typical in an RV.

Quote:
Anyone experience bad solvent welds from ABS to PVC ?
Obviously I'm still on the fence, wait don't they make fences from PVC now too !?
I stick with one system to the extent I can and prefer ABS for both my stick house and RV projects. Around here the codes allow both. ABS doesn't require primer and I've had fewer problems with bad solvent welded joints.

Amazon.com, Tweety's, Grainger, VintageTrailerSupply.com, and Dyer's all sell ABS fittings and pipe via mail order.
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Old 08-04-2013, 01:32 PM   #12
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using pvc for waste lines.

Quote:
Originally Posted by alumascoupe View Post
I'm finally getting to the plumbing phase of my shell-off !! Went to install the tub and realized I need to get ready for drain/vent plumbing before I rivet it all back in. I did a bit of reading here on the PVC vs ABS debate, and after checking all 3 local big box stores I cannot find ABS anywhere, except in 1 1/2" only. Most the connecting elbows, wyes, and tees I need are not available in ABS and some portions of my plumbing are also 1 1/4" and 2" so no ABS there either.
While at the stores tonight I thought, what about using the readily available PVC fittings with the ABS straight pipe for the "give/flex" Most the plumbing is 1 1/2" so the majority of the straight sections would be ABS. I would of course use the glue that is compatible with both.
Any plumbers out there have any thoughts on the viability of a hybrid set up like this ? Best of both worlds (cost/availability/some flex) or just asking for leaks buried in my walls ? (different coefficients of expansion, hot drain water ruining PVC ) ?
Worst case scenario, I can try to finish work early next week and see if a local plumber can order what I need in ABS, but figure the cost will go up a bit as their time is worth something too.
It is just fine to use pvc in place of abs, well I don't know code in your area but probably OK It will work just as well, abs is less expensive is the main purpose for using ags.
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Old 08-04-2013, 01:33 PM   #13
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It is just fine to use pvc in place of abs, well I don't know code in your area but probably OK It will work just as well, abs is less expensive is the main purpose for using abs.
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Old 08-20-2013, 03:00 AM   #14
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Just to update... I finally found ABS locally !! Box store sent me to big commercial plumber, who sent me to big residential plumber, who sent me to small residential plumber, who didn't sound willing to drive back to shop to deal with "just a few fittings" (23 to be exact) so he referred me to a small hardware store in town, they had everything but one reducer, which I will use a rubber coupler reducer for thanks to Aquinobs advice ! Thanks for the input everyone ! Turns out ABS can be a real hunt depending where you are.
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