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Old 01/08/2008, 12:30 AM   #1
Jamie1210
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PVC vs. tubing?

Hi, I'm in the midst of planning to drill a 22 gal tank for a drain and a return, but what would most people recommend for the piping--plastic tubing or PVC? What would the pros and cons be for each?

TIA!
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Old 01/08/2008, 12:45 AM   #2
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I think they are one in the same. Tubing is more flexible though.


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Old 01/08/2008, 01:06 AM   #3
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Mine is a combination of both. Flexible tubes are good for curved connections and is way easier to route wherever you want it to. It's also good if you tend to move things around since it's flexible. Its drawbacks are: They get hard and brittle over time, the clear ones can have algae growth inside, and they can be punctured. Also with flexible tubing you will have to use metal clamps and these can get corroded with salt creep.

PVC is obviously more rigid, more professional, uses almost NO metal clamps that can corrode and you have the choice of slip or threaded. the CON for PVC is that once settled, it's fixed and cannot be moved around.

Whatever you do, make sure you put UNIONS on pumps, valves, etc. for easy maintenance.


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Old 01/08/2008, 04:15 PM   #4
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Really personal preference. You can get plastic clamps, so that shouldn't persuade you from the flexible tubing. IMO flexible tubing is easier and quicker. Downside for me is algae grows inside it.


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Old 01/08/2008, 04:18 PM   #5
Roy G. Biv
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I find that you will always get the same gph throung pvc. Hoses can kink at bends and restrict flow. One day it will be what you want, then the next time you mess with something, the hose can kink in a different way and the gph is off.


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Old 01/08/2008, 04:19 PM   #6
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Straight pipe generally has less flow restrictions than flexible. But for such a short distance it might not be too much of a concern. I would get flexible PVC if you're going with tubing. If you have straight shots I would go with hard pipe.


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Old 01/08/2008, 05:22 PM   #7
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Right angles create a lot of head loss, use flex PVC.

For 1" Pipe a right angle creates 2.25 feet of extra head. If you have 4 right angles on your return you're adding 9 feet of head to the actual head in pump pressure.


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Old 01/09/2008, 07:29 AM   #8
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PVC with no 90 degrees flow changes - if you sure, that this will be permanent.

I'm using mostly transparent vinyl tubing for a temporary or experimental settings - they do not restrict flow and reusable.

Even with permanent PVC plumbing, the short piece of flexible tubing is used right after return pump - to lesser vibration.


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Old 01/09/2008, 04:24 PM   #9
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I personally use all PVC for all my plumbing with very few exceptions. I am considering using flexible PVC but I don’t like flexible tubing. I have never had a leak with PVC and way too many with flexible tubing.

I have found the best way to connect a pump is with PVC and a fitting with Silicone on the threads. The Silicone flexes with the pump and no leaks. Plus it is removable and last so much longer than Teflon tape or the PVC to tubing method.


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Old 01/09/2008, 04:25 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally posted by not_sponsored
Right angles create a lot of head loss, use flex PVC.

For 1" Pipe a right angle creates 2.25 feet of extra head. If you have 4 right angles on your return you're adding 9 feet of head to the actual head in pump pressure.
I have always read that for every 90 degree angle you add 1 foot to the total head. Where did you read this?


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Old 01/09/2008, 04:59 PM   #11
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Yes - 90 elbow is more like 1 foot to the total like mcrist said.

If you play around with the head loss calc on the home page you can see the cost for certain.


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Old 01/17/2008, 11:59 PM   #12
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thanks for the replies everyone. Tubing would actualy be a LOT easier for me, but I think PVC looks a lot better .... here's the catch: I know absolutely NOTHING about how to put all that piping together. Plus, there's so much jargon about elbows, fittings, etc etc, that I am very, very confused! I would love to do this myself (I'd like to learn how to), so if anyone could please point me to some beginner-friendly sites about how to connect the pipes, how you seal them, etc. that would be GREATLY appreciated!!

Thanks,
Jamie


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Old 01/18/2008, 01:24 AM   #13
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Connecting the pvc is easy. You need some primer and pvc cement. You cant go wrong with the direction on the can. The thing that I have found is that doing it neatly is the problem. I end up with purple primer all over the pipes. A pvc cutter is also very helpful because it make nice clean non burred cuts.

A good book that covers this topic (plumbing options, fittings, procedure) and many other things extensively:

The Reef Aquarium: Science, Art, and Technology, Vol. 3

http://www.amazon.com/gp/offer-listi...&condition=new


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Old 01/18/2008, 10:23 PM   #14
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flexible pvc tubing(spa tubing) doesnt transfer pump vibration like hard pvc does. you be suprised but the light buzzing might get on your nerves.


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Old 01/18/2008, 10:27 PM   #15
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the pvc tubing everyone is mentioning is made for spas and jacuzzis and does not grow algae, and is about 1/4" thick. In 5 years have never had a clamp rust.


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Old 01/19/2008, 07:43 AM   #16
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Usually flexible PVC is glued and not clamped. What clamps do you use with flexible PVC?

The corrugated tubing is one of the worst types of tubing that I have tried over the years. I never get a clamp to hold well enough that it doesn’t leak.

I have used pool hoses with relative success over the years but they can still leak and are more expensive than PVC. Not to mention harder to find the exact size that you may need.


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