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Comparative physical properties of ABS & PVC plastic pipe materials. 

The following figures reflect some of the most significant physical properties of the two of the most widely used plastic pipe products for condensate drain lines: 
Test Temperature ABS (1208) Material PVC (1120) Material
72 degrees F 7.0 4.0
40 degrees F 5.0 1.5
20 degrees F 3.0 less than 1.0
-40 degrees F 2.0 0.0
The illustration below shows the results of impact tests on ABS and PVC pipe at 32 F. Note, the ABS pipe has a good ductile impression resulting from the impact test. The PVC pipe shattered under the same test conditions:

TOP:  ABS PIPE 
BOTTOM:  PVC PIPE
The impact strength of PVC is only one-half that of ABS at 72 F. And, one-third the strength of ABS at 40 F. The low temperature value of PVC is only 32 F. That is, it has lost its impact strength at this temperature. By comparison, the low temperature value of ABS is minus 40 F.

A great deal of our ABS is installed in attics where it is exposed to elevated temperatures during the summer months. The following figures reflect the heat deflection properties of both materials. That is, the point at which the pipe will sag under load:
Material ASTM Heat Deflection Temperature
ABS (1208) D648 190 degrees F
PVC (1120) D648 158 degrees F
        
The heat deflection properties of the materials is also significant if the condensate drain line is installed on a combination heating/cooling unit. Again, in an environment of elevated temperature. With both materials, the pipe should be supported with clamps on three foot centers. Plastic clamps will work best allowing for the same rate of expansion and contraction. 

ABS solvent-weld connections set-up in seconds. The installer can complete the drain line without concern of disturbing the connections just completed. The cementing of PVC is a two step operation. First, primer should be applied to both the pipe and fitting to "etch" the surfaces so the cementing will work. Secondly, the solvent cement is applied to complete the joint. Since PVC requires more time to set-up, care must be taken not to pull out previously made connections before they have set up. 

We trust this information will help in you evaluation of these piping materials. Without reservation, we feel ABS pipe offers the best in physical properties for condensate systems. THIRTY YEARS of ABS pipe performance confirm our position!