ABS Piping vs PVC Piping

ABS drainpipe
  • 1-100 hours
  • Intermediate
  • 50-5,000

When it comes to doing work around your home you may be faced at some point with making a decision between PVC and ABS piping. If you are new to working with either one of these types of pipes, you are going to want to do your research so you can determine which one is going to be best for the job and which one you think has the best type of material for you to work with.

One thing you want to keep in mind is you may not want to mix and match the materials together when you are working. They should not be connected together, and you do not want to mix and match the fittings as well. Everyone has their own opinion on which type of pipe they would prefer to use. Depending upon where you live you may find that you will not be able to use the ABS pipe and that PVC is the only pipe you will be able to use.


ABS is a black pipe, while PVC is usually a white or blue pipe.

There are glues that should be used for each type of pipe, but you could find glue that can be used for both if you search.

ABS is a flexible type of pipe; PVC is stiffer and unbending.

ABS Pipe

The first thing you need to know is ABS pipes can be hard to find. It can be a quick fix to your problem but whether or not it is a permanent fix is an entirely different question. You also need to make sure it has been approved in your area and for the work you are doing as well.

One of the things about ABS is it can generally be installed in one step as opposed to two. You will need to have the appropriate glue for using this type of pipe for the job. There are some glues that are interchangeable with different sorts of pipes so you will need to read the label. Another thing about ABS is it is flexible and very light which makes this an easier type of pipe to work with.

PVC Pipe

stacks of PVC pipes

PVC is a white pipe as opposed to the black pipe of ABS. It is a stronger, more durable type of pipe but it is stiffer and less flexible than the other type of pipe as well. You will find that the glue for PVC pipe can come in both a clear liquid and a purple dye as well. Either one will work perfectly for any job you are doing so all you have to do is make the choice of which one you want to use.

Again, it is not a great idea to connect this pipe with ABS. You do not want to have fittings and pipe coincide for both PVC and ABS as this is not to be done. It is also important to check into the local codes that are in your area so that you do not use the wrong type of glue or glue primer for the type of pipe that you are using.