What is Flexible PVC Pipe?

Malcolm Tatum
Malcolm Tatum

Flexible polyvinyl chloride, or PVC pipe, is a bendable form of pipe that is ideal for situations where the utilization of rigid pipe is not practical or desirable for some reason. Strong and long-lasting, flexible PVC pipe can be used as part of water systems, for running hookups to washing machines, or as part of a system for ponds and winter gardens. The pipes can be purchased at any hardware or home supply store, as well as at many building supply outlets and online venues.

PVC pipe fittings.
PVC pipe fittings.

There are a number of advantages associated with using bendable PVC pipes. One has to do with simplifying the process of plumbing installations. Because the flexible pipe can easily routed in any direction necessary, this form of PVC piping can be used in areas where space is very limited or that simply would not accommodate a rigid pipe. Flexible PVC pipe fittings are much like the fittings for any type of pipe, so no special tools are needed for the installation.

Copper pipes experience more heat loss than PVC pipes.
Copper pipes experience more heat loss than PVC pipes.

Flexible PVC pipe is sometimes thought to be unsuitable for situations where there is a need to keep water warm. However, that is not necessarily the case. A PVC water pipe will actually experience less heat loss than many forms of steel or copper piping. This makes the pipe an ideal selection for a number of indoor and outdoor projects.

Cost is another benefit of using flexible PVC pipe. Compared to the prices of other types of pipe, this bendable solution is often the least expensive option. This can be an important factor when a plumbing task must be done using quality products, but the funds to purchase sections of pipe are somewhat limited.

Another advantage to PVC pipe is that the product is resistant to mildew. Pipes of this kind also are somewhat resistant to sunlight, although it is usually not recommended to leave the pipe exposed to direct sunlight for long periods of time. Still, the ability to resist the development of mildew makes the pipe an ideal solution for use in water systems of all types.

Storing flexible PVC pipe for future use is an easy task. The configuration of the pipe makes it possible to coil any unused portion and secure it in just about any type of storage container. The pipe is considerably less awkward to store than rigid lengths of pipe and can be retrieved with relative ease when required.

One final benefit to the use of flexible PVC pipe is the ease of trimming the pipe to fit into the desired space. Simple shears or clippers can be used to shorten a section to any length required for the job. The trimming can be accomplished in a matter of seconds and does not require the effort needed to trim a piece of rigid pipe, allowing the job at hand to be completed quickly and efficiently.

Malcolm Tatum
Malcolm Tatum

After many years in the teleconferencing industry, Michael decided to embrace his passion for trivia, research, and writing by becoming a full-time freelance writer. Since then, he has contributed articles to a variety of print and online publications, including wiseGEEK, and his work has also appeared in poetry collections, devotional anthologies, and several newspapers. Malcolm’s other interests include collecting vinyl records, minor league baseball, and cycling.

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Discussion Comments


I would like to use flexible PVC pipe for a portion of my main water line. I have been told that there may be problems. I want to extend my main water line 3/4" copper throughout the backyard with constant pressure applied.

What problems should I consider? --Jerry

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