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PVC Pipe Sizes: A Guide To Sizes and Dimensions

3/19/21 - Zoro Staff

Depending on the project at hand, you may need to buy new PVC pipes. PVC pipes vary in size and are broken down into three main categories: schedule 40, schedule 80, and schedule 120. To avoid misuse, plumbing malfunctions, or pushing back a piping project, it’s helpful to do your research and find the right product fit. It could save you and your team time and money from reordering materials or fixing future pipe issues. 

PVC pipes are measured on a nominal system. This means all measurements are based on the types of structures versus specific measurements. For instance, 0.84 inches measured from one pipe's end to another is classified as a one-inch pipe. There are also different uses for each type of pipe schedule. Keep reading to understand each PVC pipe's size and uses for your next job. 

How to Measure Your Current PVC Pipe Size

Measure from one outside edge of the pipe to the other outside edge illustration

Your Measurement Average Outer Diameter (OD)
Diameter PVC Pipe Size Translation
0.84” ½”
1.05” ¾”
1.315” 1”
1.66” 1 ¼”
1.9” 1 ½”
2.375” 2”
3.5” 3”
4” 3 ½”
4.5” 4”
5.563” 5”
6.625” 6”
8.625” 8”
10.75” 10”
*Works for Schedule 40 and Schedule 80 PVC pipes.

Pipe measurements are calculated on a nominal scale. This means their measurements reference structures at hand over true scale measurements. To help translate the correct size of pipes you need, we included a helpful guide above. 

Here’s a step-by-step guide to using the chart: 

  1. Place your pipe on a hard surface and face one end towards you.
  2. Grab a tape measure or ruler to measure your pipe’s right outer edge to its left outer edge. Keep your ruler as level as possible while measuring.  
  3. Now, pair “Your Measurement” with the “Average OD” referencing the chart above. 
  4. Pick out your pipes based on the Average OD your measurement paired with. 

Keep in mind, these measurements refer to the outer edge of the pipe, not the inner. Depending on the schedule of pipe you need, your inner measurements may fluctuate. 

Schedule 40 PVC Pipe Dimensions

Nominal Pipe Size (Inches) Outside Diameter (OD) Min. Wall Thickness Inside Diameter (ID) Linear Weight Density (Wt. / Ft.)
1/8 0.405 0.068 0.249 0.051
1/4 0.540 0.086 0.344 0.086
3/8 0.675 0.091 0.473 0.115
1/2 0.840 0.109 0.602 0.170
3/4 1.050 0.113 0.804 0.226
1 1.315 0.133 1.029 0.333
1 1/4 1.660 0.140 1.360 0.450
1 1/2 1.900 0.145 1.590 0.537
2 2.375 0.154 2.047 0.720
2 1/2 2.875 0.203 2.445 1.136
3 3.500 0.216 3.042 1.488
3 1/2 4.000 0.226 3.521 1.789
4 4.500 0.237 3.998 2.118
5 5.563 0.258 5.016 2.874
6 6.625 0.280 6.031 3.733
8 8.625 0.322 7.942 5.619
10 10.750 0.365 9.976 7.966
12 12.750 0.406 11.889 10.534
14 14.000 0.437 13.073 12.462
16 16.000 0.500 14.940 16.286
18 18.000 0.562 16.809 20.587
20 20.000 0.593 18.743 24.183
24 24.000 0.687 22.544 33.652

Schedule 40 pipes are typically white or silver but can be found in other colors. These pipes are thinner than schedule 80s and 120s. This allows fluids to pass through faster than other pipe schedules. This style upholds great pressure, even for cold water systems. In hot temperatures, all three schedules are able to withstand up to 140 degrees. 

Schedule 40 pipes are commonly used for drainage around buildings and for gas and water lines. The pressure rating for this pipe schedule is 120 to 810 pounds per second inch (PSI). As a result, schedule 40 pipes are commonly used for potable water systems, golf course construction, or pools and spas.

Schedule 80 PVC Pipe Dimensions

Nominal Pipe Size (Inches) Outside Diameter (OD) Min. Wall Thickness Inside Diameter (ID) Linear Weight Density (Wt. / Ft.)
1/8 0.405 0.095 0.195 0.068
1/4 0.540 0.119 0.288 0.110
3/8 0.675 0.126 0.407 0.153
1/2 0.840 0.147 0.546 0.225
3/4 1.050 0.154 0.742 0.305
1 1.315 0.179 0.957 0.450
1 1/4 1.660 1.191 1.278 0.621
1 1/2 1.900 0.200 1.500 0.754
2 2.375 0.218 1.939 1.043
2 1/2 2.875 0.276 2.290 1.594
3 3.500 0.300 2.864 2.132
4 4.500 0.337 3.786 3.116
6 6.625 0.432 5.709 5.951
8 8.625 0.500 7.565 9.040
10 10.750 0.593 9.493 13.413
12 12.750 0.687 11.294 18.440
14 14.000 0.750 12.410 22.119
16 16.000 0.843 14.213 28.424
18 18.000 0.937 16.014 36.487
20 20.000 1.031 17.814 44.648
24 24.000 1.218 21.418 36.341

Schedule 80 pipes are thicker than schedule 40 pipes, but still not the thickest. These pipes are usually dark gray in color but may vary. Schedule 80 PVC pipes are built thicker and stronger than schedule 40s, and can handle higher pressures with a rating of 210 to 1230 PSI. They’re often used for chemical processing, industrial plating, deionized water lines, and wastewater treatment management. 

Keep in mind, the thicker the pipe does not equal pipe security. Depending on the solutions you’d be transporting and the flow rate you’d like, mishaps can happen if you don’t choose the correct size and fit. For instance, if you use a heavy pipe for general solution purposes, your flow could be slower than needed. 

Schedule 120 PVC Pipe Dimensions

Nominal Pipe Size (Inches) Outside Diameter (OD) Min. Wall Thickness Inside Diameter (ID) Linear Weight Density (Wt. / Ft.)
1/2 0.840 0.170 0.480 0.236
3/4 1.050 0.170 0.690 0.311
1 1.320 0.200 0.891 0.464
1 1/4 1.660 0.215 1.204 0.649
1 1/2 1.900 0.225 1.423 0.787
2 2.380 0.250 1.84 1.111
2 1/2 2.880 0.300 2.239 1.615
3 3.500 0.350 2.758 2.306
4 4.500 0.430 3.574 19.000
6 6.625 0.532 5.434 36.390
8 8.625 0.719 7.189 60.440
10 10.750 0.844 - 98.290
12 12.750 1.000 - 125.490
14 14.000 1.094 - 150.790
16 16.000 1.219 - 192.430
18 18.000 1.375 - 244.140
20 20.000 1.500 - 296.370
22 22.000 1.625 - 353.610
24 24.000 1.812 - 429.390

Schedule 120 pipes are one of the thickest pipes on the market. With their density, they’re routinely used for non-corrosive or general corrosive projects with less reactive ingredients. Automotive and construction establishments frequently use these materials for maximum durability. Schedule 120’s pipe thickness helps slow down mild to high-pressure systems with a rating of 380 to 1,010 PSI.

Depending on the construction site you’re working on, contact your state for building code regulations. To avoid miscommunication, ensure you find out pipe schedules needed to properly meet local requirements. 

Once you have your pipe sizes figured out, you’ll be able to move onto the next step: ordering pipe values. To help control your pipe flow, figure out which size valves you may need. When you’re ready to install your pipes and valves, be sure to reference our guide. As your team needs more materials or installation information, be sure to reference Zoro’s site for expert tips, tricks, and product needs. 

Sources: Hunker

Product Compliance and Suitability

The product statements contained in this guide are intended for general informational purposes only. Such product statements do not constitute a product recommendation or representation as to the appropriateness, accuracy, completeness, correctness or currentness of the information provided. Information provided in this guide does not replace the use by you of any manufacturer instructions, technical product manual, or other professional resource or adviser available to you. Always read, understand and follow all manufacturer instructions.