From what I read, "regular" PVC is not for food applications. You have to get uPVC or Rigid PVC (same thing I believe.) But I can't find it anywhere. Is Schedule 40 the same across Rigid and on Rigid? I'm asking can Schedule 40 sometimes be food grade NSF-51 or other non-toxic and other times refer to regular PVC with plasticizers?

Edit: Sorry. This is for Hydroponics and growing food.

  • What is it, exactly, that you're planning on doing with this piping? That may help us answer your question better. As it stands, this feel very much like an XY Problem.
    – FreeMan
    Jan 20, 2021 at 18:20

2 Answers 2


Schedule 40 is a thickness standard. Schedule 40 is thinner than schedule 80 and they are considered rigid with pipe. When you are discussing food grade it actually can be affected by the type of food. I know in some cases plastics were not allowed only stainless (years ago there may be modern plastics that can handle high acid then base ph levels other than stainless ) You would not want to use schedule 40 conduit or soil pipe for example. Knowing the type needed would help. Provide a better answer but schedule 40 is basically a pipe thickness.

  • I wanted to use the right pipe for hydroponics, especially if I want to give or sell to someone. Lots of people use any PVC pipe, rain gutters, or something like that (all PVC). It does not sound ideal.
    – johnny
    Feb 3, 2021 at 15:00

Your correct. Any PVC pipe should not be used for potable water supplies. There is a potential for chemicals to leach into the water over time. Also PVC doesn't stand up to hot water very well.

CPVC is what to use when plumbing a water line for potable water. It's a schedule 40 sized pipe and isn't effected by hot water.

  • I found CPVC that said it is schedule 80. Is that ok too? Does 40 vs 80 matter for potable water?
    – johnny
    Feb 3, 2021 at 16:17
  • 1
    @johnny-as long as it is labeled CPVC it is safe for consumption. The difference between 40 and 80 is the thickness of the pipe walls (80 being twice as thick as 40).
    – ojait
    Feb 3, 2021 at 16:24

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