How Long Will PVC Pipe Last Underground UK?

How long will PVC pipe last underground UK

There are a number of things you can do to prolong the life of PVC pipe. UV rays from the sun are one of the main causes of breakdown of this type of pipe. It is also important to store and handle this type of pipe properly. In addition, proper installation techniques can reduce the risk of leaks.

UV rays from the sun can break down PVC

If you’re looking for ways to extend the life of your PVC pipe, you may be concerned that exposure to ultraviolet rays from the sun will cause it to break down. However, studies have shown that UV exposure actually doesn’t cause a significant effect on the performance of PVC pipe. Exposure to ultraviolet rays does affect the color of the surface of the pipe, but this is not a sign of deterioration.

However, the sun can cause damage to underground PVC pipes. UV rays from the sun can cause cracking and breakage. UV rays can also weaken the structure of the pipe and make it brittle.

Proper handling and storage

Handling and storing PVC pipe properly is crucial to its safety and durability. The pipe should be stored under a ventilated cover and supported by a firm surface. It should not be handled roughly or thrown because this can cause damage and deterioration of the pipe. In addition, proper handling and storage can reduce the risk of human injury or damage to the pipe.

Underground PVC pipe should be properly protected from freezing and thawing cycles. The temperature may be as low as five degrees Celsius, but any movement of the ground can cause the pipe to break down.

Installation methods

PVC pipe is one of the most popular piping materials for underground burial. It is versatile, durable, and easy to install. However, it is important to follow the right installation methods for this material, especially when working underground. This is because problems can be harder to detect underground. As such, installing PVC pipes according to the ASTM standards and local building codes is essential.

It is also important to lay out the ducting on a flat surface, with bends and access chambers as required. Ducting pipes should be laid with 90-degree bends every 1m, to avoid kinking and snagging.


If you notice leaks in your PVC pipe, it’s important to fix them immediately. You can use silicone repair tape or rubber repair tape. However, these products only work temporarily and may not be effective for larger leaks. Another option is to use hose clamps to stop the leak.

If the leak is in the ground, you can use sensitive acoustic equipment to locate it. You can also dig a trench to expose the leak.

UV rays from the sun

PVC pipes are not coated, so the UV rays from the sun can affect their life. These rays can cause discoloration and brittleness, which can affect the structural integrity of PVC pipes. In addition, long-term exposure to the sun can cause the pipe to lose its tensile strength and elasticity.

The AWWA Water Research Foundation (WRF) developed a report that identifies the types and causes of failure in PVC pipe. This report also details the requirements for joint designs and pressure design recommendations for underground water distribution systems. To ensure the performance of these pipes, manufacturers must follow qualification tests and quality controls.

UV rays from deterioration

Exposure to ultraviolet rays from the sun causes PVC pipe to lose its luster and turn a dull, chalky color. It also reduces the impact strength of the pipe, which makes it more likely to crack under impact. This problem occurs in both PVC and CPVC pipe.

The UV rays affect the PVC pipe at a depth of 0.001 to 0.003 inch. However, this degradation is minimal and is not visible when the pipes are not exposed to sunlight. In addition, increased exposure to sunlight reduces the impact strength and resistance of the pipe. Fortunately, there are UV-resistant PVC pipe fittings available that do not change color under sunlight.

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