PVC vs ABS for Hydroponics Systems: Which Is Better?

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By Alex Harris

PVC (polyvinyl chloride) and ABS (Acrylonitrile Butadiene Styrene) pipes are two of the most popular choices for hydroponics systems. PVC is actually a lot cheaper, but ABS will last longer and is more durable due to phthalates.

These pipes can be used to create your own DIY hydroponic system or you can purchase pre-made systems from many different companies online.

In this post, I’m going to discuss the differences between these two materials and help you decide which one would work better for your needs!

What is PVC material?

PVC stands for polyvinyl chloride. While PVC is not the most durable material, it does have its advantages. For example, it’s extremely cheap and can be easily cut with a saw to fit your specific needs.

There are a number of different sizes and styles that a PVC pipe can come in. PVC is also lightweight, which makes it easy to move around if necessary – especially since you need to assemble your own system.

What is ABS Material?

ABS stands for acrylonitrile butadiene styrene plastic or alloy.

This material is very durable and can withstand temperatures of up to 120 degrees. ABS will not crack or break under high pressure, which makes it a popular choice for hydroponics systems that need to be moved often.

Both PVC and ABS are widely available at many different hardware stores online. Just make sure you purchase your pipe from a reputable source, who will make sure it’s a food-grade plastic, which is ideal for growing plants that you want to eat.

Is ABS pipe safe for hydroponics?

ABS is one of the safest materials for hydroponics. This material will not release any harmful chemicals into your plants’ water supply, which makes it ideal if you are growing edibles or medicinal herbs indoors.

The downside to ABS is that it’s more expensive than PVC. It also doesn’t have as many different styles and sizes available.

It’s considered one of the safe plastics to use as it won’t contaminate your nutrient solution or reservoir container with harmful chemicals.

Is PVC safe or bad for hydroponics?

Not all PVC is harmful, only plasticized PVC. PVC is usually plasticized with lead, which can contaminate the water.

ABS on the other hand does not contain any toxins and it won’t leach into or contaminate your hydroponics system.

Good to know: Vinyl chloride is a hazardous chemical that is a major component of PVC plastics and has been linked to cancer in humans.

What plastic should I use for hydroponic gardening?

ABS tubing are stronger than PVC but they’re much more expensive as well. This makes them a poor choice for homemade hydroponics systems.

However, if you want to build your own DIY hydroponic system then ABS is the best option because of its superior strength and durability! You will be able to get it in any length that you need as well.

What different types of ABS plastic are there?

ABS plastic comes in two types; high impact and regular.

High impact ABS is extremely durable, but it’s more expensive than the other kind of ABS plastic. The main difference between these two types of plastics lies in their physical appearance; the high impact has a glossier finish while regular doesn’t have any shine to it at all!

There are also different colors that you can choose from. ABS comes in black, white, and clear.

What different types of PVC plastic are there?

  • Plain or regular PVC – Used for most hydroponics systems. It’s a cheap material and it’s widely available, but the downside is that it will leach into your water supply over time.
  • CPVC – Has a higher temperature tolerance than others and is mostly used in boilers and hot water heating systems.
  • PVC-C – Has a higher corrosion resistance than others but it’s more expensive so this makes it impractical for hydroponics purposes.
  • PVC-M – Comes with a chlorinated interior which makes it perfect for hydroponics systems.
  • PVC-O – Made for chemical resistance so it’s great for applications like wastewater treatment.
  • SDR-35 – Has a higher impact resistance than others and is often used in industry because of its toughness. This makes it an excellent choice if you want to build your own DIY hydroponic system!

How To Choose The Right Plastic Hydroponic System

best plastic for hydroponics

There are a few things to keep in mind when choosing the right plastic pipe for your system, like durability, ease of use, and price.

Plastic is affordable but it has a shorter lifespan than other materials like metal or wood. However, if you’re on a budget then this may be the best option for you!

ABS will last much longer than PVC because it’s more durable. It won’t leach into your system either, unlike PVC which will leach into your system over time.

Choosing between ABS and PVC is all a matter of what you need in a hydroponics system, if it’s for commercial applications then I would recommend going with ABS because it has superior strength and durability to give you better performance! You can get pre-made systems or build your own with ABS.

However, if you’re on a budget then PVC is the way to go! It’s cheaper but it will leach into your water supply over time which makes it less ideal for hydroponics systems.

Can you glue PVC pipes in hydroponic systems?

You can glue it together but it’s not recommended because water will quickly degrade the bond. If you want to build your own DIY hydroponic system then ABS is a much better option.

Can you glue ABS pipes in hydroponic systems?

Yes, ABS pipe can be glued together and it’s recommended by the manufacturer.

Conclusion: What are the main differences between PVC and ABS pipes?

The biggest differences are price, durability, and ease of use. ABS is more expensive but it’s also stronger and more durable than PVC which makes it a better option for hydroponics systems.

PVC on the other hand does not contain any toxins, unlike plain PVC which can contaminate your water supply over time because of lead plasticization.

It’s cheaper but you’ll have to replace it more often than ABS if you want your hydroponics system to last. You can still glue PVC pipes together for a DIY hydroponic system!