Plumbing device made of polyethylene pipes. Advantages and disadvantages of the highway from this material. Product modifications and their properties. Selection rules, the price of polyethylene pipes for home use.
Polyethylene pipes for water supply are products made of modified plastic for laying highways in an apartment and in a house area. The material is produced in various modifications, which significantly expands the possibility of its use at home. You can find information on the characteristics of polyethylene pipes, allowing you to choose the right blanks for creating a water conduit in a specific place, in this article.
Features of polyethylene pipes for water supply
Photo of a polyethylene pipe for cold water supply
Classic polyethylene consists only of ethylene molecules. The material is very light and elastic, which distinguishes it from similar plastic products.
The first polyethylene pipes were made from it, which were designated PE63. Possessing numerous advantages, they also have significant disadvantages, so manufacturers began to modify the material. As a result, several varieties of products have appeared with different characteristics that increase the scope of their application.
Due to their properties, they are used to create cold and hot water pipes. They can be used to pump drinking water. Pipes have become competitors to traditional metal structures.
The table below shows the comparative characteristics of metal and polyethylene water pipes:
|Options||Steel||Cast iron||Polyethylene (HDPE)|
|Weight of a pipe with a diameter of 16 mm, 1 r.m.||17, 5||28, 1||3, 77|
|Lifetime||15-25 years old||About 80 years old||About 50 years|
|Reaction to chemical elements||Average||Average||Weak|
|Interaction with microorganisms||The average||High||Weak|
|UV resistance||Does not react||Does not react||Very sensitive|
Note! Polyethylene pipes for water supply with a diameter of up to 50 mm are sold in coils, the rest in 12 m lengths.
In the photo, the types of polyethylene pipes for water supply
The water supply system is collected from the following types of polyethylene pipes:
- PE pipes … Designed for water up to +45 degrees.
- PEX cross-linked polyethylene pipes … Compared to traditional polyethylene, linear sections of the material are cross-linked with a three-dimensional network structure. The acquired qualities make it possible to operate PEX in hot water systems.
- PEX-based multilayer pipes … They have three layers - two of polyethylene and the third of aluminum foil or fiberglass, placed between them. Structures for pumping hot liquid are assembled from them.
The service life of the products depends on the storage conditions. Manufacturers have developed recommendations to preserve the characteristics of polyethylene pipes for water supply for a long time:
- They can lie for a long time in a warehouse or outdoors with a canopy. Cover them with a sturdy tarpaulin.
- Keep the products on a level surface.
- There should be no sudden temperature fluctuations in a closed warehouse.
- Store the pipes on gaskets, which are placed in increments of 1 m.
- When transporting in pallets, place boxes in a maximum of 4 tiers.
- Leave the distance from the heaters to the workpieces more than 1.5 m.
Pros and cons of plumbing from polyethylene pipes
Plumbing made of polyethylene pipes has many beneficial characteristics. Users highlight the following properties:
- The service life of a water conduit can be up to 50 years.
- The price of polyethylene pipes is low, which ensures the cost-effectiveness of the structure.
- The material has a low density (within 0.95 g / cm2), therefore very lightweight. It can be installed using a trenchless method.
- The line is resistant to water hammer due to the material's ability to stretch when the pressure rises.
- Polyethylene does not corrode or undergo an electrochemical reaction. It does not react to chemical elements present in the soil.
- When laying in the ground, the line does not require insulation.
- The material can withstand temperatures down to -110 degrees. After defrosting, the pipes are reduced to their original size.
- Polyethylene is environmentally friendly and is often used for drinking water supply.
- Installation is very quick due to the low weight of the workpieces and the availability of aids. Due to this, no special equipment is required during stacking, and at one time it is possible to transport 5-7 times more products than steel ones.
- The highway can be quickly repaired.
- The workpieces are of considerable length, which reduces the number of joints.
- The cost of water supply from polyethylene pipes is 40% less than from other materials.
- No limescale build-up on the walls when hot water is dispensed.
- Condensation does not form on the surface of the structure due to the low thermal conductivity of the material.
- Polyethylene has sound-absorbing properties.
Users should also be aware of the disadvantages of polyethylene plumbing pipes. There are not many of them, but they can create problems:
- Polyethylene burns, some species emit toxic substances when burning.
- Products are afraid of sunlight, because of which they quickly fail, but cross-linked polyethylene is devoid of such a drawback.
- Some modifications are afraid of frost, therefore, when used outside the building, the pipes should be insulated.
- Some modifications are capable of lengthening 8-10 times, therefore, thermal expansion compensators are installed in the systems.
How to choose the right polyethylene pipes for water supply?
Polyethylene pipes are used to collect hot and cold water pipelines, watering systems for the garden, drainage, etc. The track can be easily hidden in the ground, in a wall, or left open. In order for the water supply system to function properly for a long time, it is necessary to select the right products for each specific case.
Material of polyethylene pipes for water supply
Layout of a multilayer polyethylene pipe for a water supply system
Polyethylene pipes are monolithic or multilayer. Single-layer products include products from ordinary polyethylene brands PE63, PE80, PE100 and cross-linked PEX-A, PEX-B, PEX-C, PEX-D. Multilayer ones usually consist of three layers - between the inner and outer there is a layer of metal foil or fiberglass.
Let us consider in more detail the properties of each type of polyethylene pipes for water supply:
- PE63 pipes … They have a fairly low density, because molecules are located at a great distance from each other. Therefore, they break when the pressure changes and after prolonged use. Cold water (no more than 45 degrees) is pumped through them, supplied without pressure. PE63 pipes are produced up to 6 cm in diameter, with wall thickness up to 4.5 mm. They can withstand a pressure of 1 MPa.
- PE80 pipes … Installed in structures with a maximum pressure of 16 MPa. Blanks are made with a diameter of up to 90 mm. Can be used indoors and outdoors.
- PE100 pipes … Produced with a diameter of 110-1200 mm. These are the most durable models due to their thick walls and high density. Withstand 21 MPa. PE100 compares favorably with PE80: it has a higher throughput and small pressure losses; pipes are lighter, and the rate of cracking is 5 times higher than PE80; PE100 has increased frost resistance and good resistance to mechanical damage.
- PE-RT pipes … They are used in hot water supply structures. In fact, this is polyethylene PE80, PE100, which were supplemented with additives that allow the line to withstand high temperatures. However, hot water can only be passed through them for a short period of time.
- PEX cross-linked polyethylene pipes … They tolerate hot water with a temperature of +95 degrees well, without a time limit. The products are very durable and resistant compared to other brands of plastic. There are several types of cross-linked polyethylene, which differ in the method of manufacture - chemical or physical. Modifications differ in the degree of ductility and strength. PEX-A can be operated in the temperature range from -100 to +100 degrees. Possesses shape memory and restores its original shape. PEX-B, PEX-C have limitations due to some elasticity and strength problems. XLPE pipes melt at a temperature of +150 degrees and burn at +400 degrees. Some brands can stretch up to 800%. One of the main disadvantages is the need to use PEX pipes with an anti-diffusion coating in water supply systems. It is very delicate, so you should be very careful with them during operation and transportation.
- Multilayer pipes … In addition to polyethylene, such products contain aluminum foil or fiberglass. They are placed between layers of cross-linked polyethylene. The metal layer prevents the structure from expanding when heated, so there is no need for a thermal expansion joint. They are identified by the PEX / AL / PEX marking. The three-layer pipe with fiberglass increases the rigidity of the line, but at the same time increases its strength. A product of this kind is marked with the designation PEX-FB-PEX.
Technical characteristics of polyethylene pipes for water supply
All information about the pipe can be found in the product passport and on its surface. What you need to pay attention to is written below.
Similar products are classified by indicators long-term minimum strength (MRS) … Abbreviated product names MRS6, 3, MRS8, MRS10. They go on sale under a different marking: PE63, PE80 and PE100. These modifications are ideal for creating home water pipes. Working pressure range - 10-25 atmospheres.
Polyethylene pipes are also characterized by Standard Dimension Ratio (SDR) … It is the result of dividing the outside diameter (nominal) by the wall thickness (nominal). This value shows that the SDR value increases with decreasing wall thickness. It determines the operating conditions of the highway from this material.
Features of the use of polyethylene pipes for water supply with different SDRs are shown in the table:
|PE63SDR11||Low density, tears when suddenly heated or cooled||For cold water without pressure|
|PE63SDR17, 6||Permissible internal pressure - up to 10 atm||For cold water with low pressure|
|PE80SDR13, 6||The density is higher, but also breaks with temperature changes||For cold water systems|
|PE80SDR17||The density is higher, but also breaks with temperature changes||For indoor use and for irrigation of areas|
|PE100SDR26||High density, withstands temperature changes well||For use in any cold water pipelines|
|PE100SDR21||Increased wall thickness||For use in any pipeline|
The main performance characteristics of polyethylene pipes for water supply also include:
- Water temperature and pressure … Cold water pipelines have an upper limit of +40 degrees. The bottom reaches 0 degrees. Despite the existing limitations, products can perform their functions in a wider temperature range without destruction.
- Operating pressure … The parameter depends on the composition of the material, wall thickness and product diameter. The strongest PE100 pipes. Domestic water pipes must withstand 6-16 atmospheres.
- Dimensions of polyethylene pipes for water supply … Home systems are usually assembled from pipes with a diameter of 20 mm.
- Specific gravity … The characteristic allows you to determine the weight of 1 running meter of the product. Depends on the density of the polyethylene. For example, if the specific gravity is 200 kg per running meter, then it will not be possible to mount the water supply without a crane.
- Bandwidth … Depends mainly on the roughness of the inner surface.
- Strength factor … For water pipes, it is 1.25 compared to the declared value.
- Relative extension … The parameter determines the degree of ductility of the track. Pipes, even under the influence of a significant lateral load, do not break, but stretch. Ultimate loads for PE80 are 16 MPa, for PE100 - 21 MPa. The maximum elongation is 3%.
Price of polyethylene pipes for water supply
The price of a polyethylene pipe for a water supply depends on the following factors:
- Preparation method … There are several types of polyethylene products, each of which is manufactured using a specific technology. The cheapest are obtained from traditional material. For cross-linked polyethylene, special units are needed, so they are more expensive.
- Applicability of pipes … Products that are used only for cold water supply are cheaper.
- Place of production … The further the distance from the manufacturing plant to the place of use, the greater the cost of transportation.
- Material quality … The price of a recycled polyethylene pipe is lower due to the low quality of raw materials. Therefore, it is recommended to buy polyethylene pipes for water supply in company stores in order to exclude fakes.
- Withstanding pressure … The strongest pipes are more dense and more expensive.
Note! The wall thickness affects the amount of polyethylene that goes into the manufacture of the pipe. The thicker it is, the higher the cost of the product.
Price of polyethylene pipes for water supply in Ukraine:
|Pipe type||Outside diameter, mm||
for 1 r.m.
|PEX / AL / PEX||16-32||29-152|
Price of polyethylene pipes for water supply in Russia:
|Pipe type||Outside diameter, mm||
for 1 r.m.
|PEX / AL / PEX||16-32||53-288|
How to choose polyethylene pipes for water supply - watch the video:
Polyethylene pipes are widely used in various designs, so it is important to be able to choose products for home plumbing. The information given in the article makes it possible to determine the types of polyethylene blanks for the construction of a water supply system in a specific case.