Drainage Pipe - FAQs

Manufactured in PVC-U, our drainage pipes are strong and easy to work with. It is suitable for high temperature discharge. 

All of our underground drainage pipes and the majority of our fittings are manufactured from UPVC, and all pipe, bends, gullies and connectors in the drainage system are commonly manufactured in a Golden Brown colour.

What are drainage pipes made of?

Most domestic drainage pipes are now made from plastic, or PVC-U to use the proper term. PVC-U pipes are lighter and easier to handle than traditional clay drains. Clay drainage is still used on some commercial installations.

Plastic drainage pipes can be either plain ended or socketed on one end. One of the major advantages of plastic drainage pipes is that they are much easier to cut and join than clay pipes, this can be done using a standard fine toothed handsaw. A rasp or file should be used to chamfer the end of the pipe when it has been cut to avoid any damage to the seal when a joint is made.

Can I use PVC pipe for drainage?

Most domestic drainage installations in the UK use PVC pipe, due to its excellent flow rate, light weight and relatively low cost compared to other materials. PVC Drainage pipe is easily recognisable by its colour – terracotta orange. Drainage pipe in the UK is generally manufactured to BS 4660 or BS EN 1401 – most underground drainage pipes manufactured to this standard are interchangeable.

How long do PVC pipes last underground?

Whilst this depends on the exact composition of the surrounding soil, any PVC underground drainage pipe manufactured to BS4660 or BS EN 1401 should last in excess of 50 years.

The life of any drainage system will be prolonged by a good installation and maintenance when required – slow flows, gurgling sounds from the sink, bath or shower or foul odours in the house or garden are all symptomatic of a blocked drain and should be investigated as soon as they occur.

What sizes of PVC pipe are there?

PVC Pipe is manufactured in a wide variety of sizes depending upon the intended use. Overflow pipe is 21.5mm. Kitchen and bathroom waste pipes are made in three sizes – 32mm, 40mm and 50mm. PVC rainwater downpipes are generally 65mm to 68mm in diameter. PVC soil pipe and underground drainage pipe for domestic housing is usually 110mm, although 160mm is frequently used for larger underground installations.

Larger plastic pipes are also found underground – 225mm, 300mm and 450mm are fairly common but these are usually made from twinwall HDPE (high density polyethylene). In commercial applications 600mm, 900mm and 1200mm twinwall pipes are also often used.

Why is drainage pipe perforated?

Perforated drainage pipes are used to collect excess ground water from boggy areas and transport it elsewhere – usually to a soakaway, river or watercourse.

The perforated pipe is laid in a bed of shingle inside a trench. Water enters the pipe via the may perforations and flows in the direction of the pipe fall. Perforated pipes are commonly found below sports fields and golf courses, but they are also regularly installed in domestic gardens. When correctly installed, they are an extremely efficient way of draining a boggy section of ground. Both rigid and flexible perforated pipe options are available.