If a plastic PVC pipe is totally covered with cement? Does a minor crack/s in the concrete will also crack PVC pipe or damage it? I mean cracks such as due to very minor seismic movements?

  • Hello, and welcome to Home Improvement. Interesting question; what size pipe, and what type of cement? And, you should probably take our tour so you'll know how best to participate here. – Daniel Griscom Aug 30 '19 at 12:06
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    Covered by or encased in? – isherwood Aug 30 '19 at 13:42
  • One approach to minimize problems from minor movement is to wrap the pipes in thin closed-cell foam before pouring concrete around them. "Sill-seal" is a convenient material, available at most building supply places. – Ecnerwal Aug 30 '19 at 14:16
  • Pipe used for sanitation, 6 inch in diameter, and encased. – Syed Aug 30 '19 at 15:26

If the pipe is totally encased in concrete small surface cracks would not affect. If the cracks go all the way through, like a total crack in a foundation, it could also damage the pipe. If the concrete has shifted along the crack line then the pipe is going to be damaged. The amount of damage will depend on the type of re- enforcement done when laying the concrete. What is the pipe used for?

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  • Pipe used for sanitation, 6 inch in diameter. – Syed Aug 30 '19 at 15:25
  • The purpose of asking was that should the pipe be encased with cement or just be buried if there are very minor seismic movements in the area? – Syed Aug 30 '19 at 15:31
  • This might depend on location and type of construction but in the residential areas where I have lived the pvc is direct buried with the slab poured on top. – JACK Aug 30 '19 at 16:01

California building code requires to insulate sewer pvc pipes that will touch concrete if has potential to condensation. This is to prevent pipe cracks. I would recommend insulating since its involves little labor and cost to avoid future problems.

Piping subject to operation at temperatures that will form condensation on the exterior of the pipe shall be thermally insulated.

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