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Thread: PVC vs ABS

  1. #1
    Sponsor - Ottawa Inverts
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    Sep 2004

    PVC vs ABS

    I was wondering if there was a big advantage to using PVC tubing to ABS or if it made any difference.

    Where do you get the PVC from anyway? I know Ivan carries some of the fittings and seems very competatively priced but what about all the tubing? I was at the home depo on bank near south keys and they seemed to only have the ABS.

    I also read on another thread in the diy section about using the primer, but what glue do you use to bond PVC to ABS??

    This may seem like a dumb question but i picked up a couple bulkheads from Ivan. they are a black plastic, so are they ABS or PVC?

  2. #2
    ToX is offline
    Senior Member ToX's Avatar
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    Sep 2005
    abs is not for pressure, but the pressure for are return pump is so low that it doesn't matter... I used flex pvc!!!

  3. #3
    Senior Member pwall's Avatar
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    Nov 2004
    Hey Pat.

    You can get most of the PVC you'll need in the electrical department at Home Depot.
    Ottawa (Orleans), Ontario
    Yahoo IM: pwallnfld

  4. #4
    liv is offline
    Former Moderator liv's Avatar
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    Dec 2003
    I remember someone stating that ABS glue is toxic and may leach unwanted junk in the water. pvc is available just about everywhere like Pat is saying.

  5. #5
    Senior Member
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    Apr 2003


    ABS and its glue is fine.
    ABS has less available parts and no good bulkheads or valves.
    PVC has a ton of different fittings and great bulkheads and valves but very $$$$$$ you can mix and match stuff as well. I use ABS for drains and PVC for returns and thing like that.
    CANUS PLASTICS and PVC plus have whatever you need but be prepared to spend a few bucks. also, PVC looks cleaner when done.

  6. #6
    Senior Member
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    Jul 2004
    I saw a glue specifically made to bond PVC and ABS at home depot. I wouldn't do it myself, but if you choose to go that way, you should probably use the right glue.


  7. #7
    Senior Member
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    Nov 2003
    My tank plumbing is a mix of both and 3 different Adhesives ( PVC, ABS and PVC/ABS Transition adhesive). No problems to date. ABS is not pressure rated only because it is not intended for pressure uses. It however will not be a issue on my tank... unless you intend to run your pumps with valves closed and even if you did I doubt there would be a problem. ABS is a lot easier to find .. even on a weekend, is a lot cheaper and if done neatly dose not look bad. Check the plumbing part of my thread " my new 225 has arrived"

  8. #8
    Moderator cres's Avatar
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    Jul 2004
    What? Good old ABSD -- er OSD -- responded endorsing ABS ? ;-)

    "pressure" in this terminology typically means more than 50 PSI. Very little aquarium plumbing hits 10 PSI (that's enough to pump 23 feet verical).

    When people suggest using schedule 80 PVC it is because it is robust and can handle abuse at the hands of the aquarist, not for it's pressure rating.
    Sarchasm: The gulf between the author of sarcastic wit and the person who doesn't get it.

  9. #9
    Senior Member tang_man_montreal's Avatar
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    Jun 2003
    Gluing ABS to PVC is perfectly fine. The special glue is called "Transition cement". I've used this on my Dart's closed loop intake line with no problems.

    I have a mix of ABS and PVC used throughout the plumbing of my system which now includes over 400gal of running water. Coral and fish are all thriving.
    I am Homer of BORG... Prepare to be..OOOO!! DONUT!!!!!!

  10. #10
    Senior Member atlantic's Avatar
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    Jan 2004
    when you guys are talking ABS...are you refering to black ABS as apposed to schedual 80 which is PVC is that correct?

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