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Ductile Iron vs PVC – PVC Pipes Corrosion Free

In this third part in our debate about some of the claims of the benefits of Ductile Iron over PVC, we compare the durability of pipes as well as the quality of the pipes.

CLAIM 1 - Utilities throughout the US know that property designed modern ductile iron pipe will serve in excess of 105 to 120 years

CLAIM 2 - By contrast, those same utilities derived an expected service life for PVC pipe of as low as 55 years, with an average of just 70 years

The Truth About PVC

What isn’t stated  is that the average lifecycle of Ductile Iron pipes can be on average 109 years WHEN there was NO corrosion AND the pipe was installed correctly. However studies and history shows that utilities derive Ductile Iron with corrosion at a 51% loss of service life on average at 55 years.

What wasn’t mentioned at all is that PVC pipes average at 70 years with NO corrosion and therefore utilities will see NO deterioration of service. Indeed recent reports and studies show PVC pipes life expectancy is more like 110 years (1) – showing that PVC pipe is a proven and extremely durable alternative to traditional corrosion-prone pipe materials. 

Unlike metal piping, PVC won’t rust or corrode over time because it does not react with air and water.


1.Burn, S. et. Al., Long-term Performance Prediction for PVC Pipes, AwwRF Report 2879, May 2006.

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