About ProfitDig

Sign Up

No contract. Cancel any time. Starts at $99/mo.


Learn what ProfitDig can do for you.

About Us

Country boys from Tennessee with a dream.



We publish a TON of articles about building a successful construction company.


Over 300 videos on being a successful contractor.


Listen to the ProfitDig Radio Show on major streaming platforms or right here!

Construction Calculators

Calculators for concrete volume, percent of fall and more.


Sign Up

Let’s go!

Contact Us

Got any questions?

Easy job bidding and costing for construction contractors just like you.

The Best Pipe for Underground Water Line Installation: A Guide for Construction Industry Professionals

Aug 9, 2023 | Blog, Plumbing, Utilities

Choosing the best pipe for underground water line applications is crucial. But with a plethora of options available, it can get overwhelming for contractors and construction professionals to make the right decision. This article demystifies the various pipe options for underground waterlines and offers insights on which type is best suited for particular applications.

Types of Pipes

  • PVC (Polyvinyl Chloride) Pipes
    Features: PVC pipes are lightweight, corrosion-resistant, and durable. They’re available in different pressure ratings and sizes.
    Best For: Non-potable water supply, irrigation, and drainage systems.
    Advantages: Resistant to most chemicals and roots; relatively easy to install; cost-effective.
    Limitations: Can become brittle over time; not recommended for hot water supply.
  • CPVC (Chlorinated Polyvinyl Chloride) Pipes
    Features: CPVC pipes share many features with PVC but can withstand higher temperatures.
    Best For: Hot and cold potable water supply.
    Advantages: Resistant to corrosion; can handle hot water; long lifespan.
    Limitations: More expensive than PVC; requires careful installation to avoid leakage.
  • PEX (Cross-Linked Polyethylene) Pipes
    Features: Flexible, durable, and can handle freezing temperatures without cracking.
    Best For: Potable water supply systems, radiant heating, and cooling systems.
    Advantages: Resists scale and chlorine; less likely to burst from freezing; easier installation due to flexibility.
    Limitations: UV-sensitive; not suitable for outdoor applications without protection.
  • Ductile Iron Pipes
    Features: Strong and durable, these pipes are often coated to prevent corrosion.
    Best For: Main and distribution water lines; potable water supply.
    Advantages: Long lifespan; robust and resistant to wear and tear.
    Limitations: Heavy and requires specialized equipment for installation; can be more expensive than plastic pipes.
  • HDPE (High-Density Polyethylene) Pipes
    Features: Flexible, lightweight, and resistant to chemicals and UV radiation.
    Best For: Potable water, sewage, drainage, and natural gas distribution.
    Advantages: Durable, resistant to corrosion, and has a long lifespan.
    Limitations: Connection joints need specific fittings and expertise.
  • Copper Pipes
    Features: Metallic pipes that are resistant to corrosion and bacteria.
    Best For: Potable water supply.
    Advantages: Long lifespan; safe for drinking water; recyclable.
    Limitations: Expensive; not flexible, requiring more fittings.

What to Consider When Choosing Pipes:

  • Purpose: Is it for potable water, drainage, or sewage? Some materials are better suited for drinking water, while others are ideal for waste.
  • Soil Type: Acidic or alkaline soils may react with certain pipes, leading to corrosion. It’s important to understand the soil chemistry.
  • Water Temperature: Not all pipes can handle hot water. Ensure the material chosen can withstand the water’s temperature.
  • Budget: While some pipes are cost-effective upfront, they might have higher maintenance or replacement costs in the long run.
  • Longevity: Consider how long you expect the pipes to last. Some materials, like ductile iron or copper, have an extended lifespan compared to others.
  • Installation: Some pipes require specialized equipment or fittings. Always consider the installation process and associated costs.

Choosing the best pipe for underground water line installation is a blend of understanding the project’s specific needs and having insights into the benefits and limitations of different pipe materials. PVC and HDPE remain popular choices for their versatility and cost-effectiveness, while ductile iron and copper offer longevity and reliability, especially for main water lines.

Always keep local regulations and standards in mind, as these can influence the materials you’re allowed to use. By making an informed decision, construction professionals can ensure the longevity, efficiency, and safety of underground waterline systems.