Pipe Schedules: What do they mean?
How pipe is measured
Before we can get into the differences between different schedules of pipe, we first have to understand how pipe is sized and learn the jargon of the industry. In the plumbing industry, pipes of a certain size are referred to by their NPS, or nominal pipe size. The outside diameter for all pipes of the same NPS is the same, despite what their schedule may be. The inner diameter of a pipe will change across different schedules for the same NPS; the schedules are a measure of the pipe thickness. Using both the NPS and the schedule, we can fully designate what type of pipe we have. As an example, 2" Schedule 40 PVC pipe has an NPS of 2" and a schedule of 40.
Pipe Schedules: Explained
Now that we've explained what NPS and OD are, we can review what pipe schedules are and how they relate to your jobs. As we mentioned in passing in the last section, a pipe's schedule is a measure of the thickness of its walls. While the schedule does tell you about the thickness of the pipe, it is not uniform across pipe sizes; smaller diameter pipes and fittings will have a thinner wall than larger diameter pipes and fittings of the same schedule. Despite the varying thickness of different nominal pipe sizes across the same schedule, fittings and pipes do not have the same pressure rating, even within the same schedule. You can view the charts below to see the OD, NPS, wall thickness, and pressure rating for the Schedule 40 and Schedule 80 PVC carried by Drainage Connect
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