What is the difference between green and white sewer drain pipes?

Monday, June 18, 2018

The green sewer drain pipe is used for the final underground run from a house to the municipal sewer or septic tank. It is manufactured to be compliant with “ASTM D 3034” standard and is often referred to as “3034” pipe. It is PVC, but a lighter weight than white Schedule 40 DWV (Drain-Waste-Vent) pipe. The pipe is intended for gravity-feed waste drain systems and not designed to be pressurized.

    “The green 3034 is thinner and also has a smaller outside diameter than schedule 40,” according to plumber James Freeman, of J.W. Freeman Plumbing in Gainesville, Florida. “It is easily collapsed (pinched closed) or cracked by tree roots in the area. In my opinion, it is not a good pipe and we do not ever use it. We see a lot of it on new construction projects where the builder was looking for the lowest price possible, but I would never recommend using it. It’s always better to just pay a little more for the good stuff in the beginning than to pay a lot more to replace it later.”

    The standard wall thickness of 3-inch nominal size green 3034 pipe, according to United States Plastic Corp., is 0.070”. When compared to the 0.216” wall thickness for white Schedule 40 PVC, a quick math calculation tells you that the wall thickness of white PVC is three times the green PVC.

    For the chemical names behind the acronyms for plastic plumbing pipes, visit our blog post What do the ABS, PVC, CPVC, PB, and PEX plumbing pipe names mean?

    Also, see How can I tell what type of plumbing pipe I have? and What is the difference between water pipe and sewage (waste) pipe?  

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Here’s links to a collection of our other blog posts about PLUMBING PIPES:

How can I protect my pipes to keep them from bursting during a hard winter freeze in North Florida?

Can galvanized steel pipe still be used for new water lines in a house? 

How can I tell if I have cast iron pipes in my house? 

Why can't a sanitary tee be used for a horizontal-to-horizontal drain pipe connection? 

Is a washing machine drain hose required to be secured at the standpipe?

What are the abandoned pipes sticking out of the wall in my house?  

What are the code requirements for plumbing vent terminations?

What are the code requirements for layout of drain piping under sinks?

What causes a gurgling sound when a bathtub or sink drains? 

What is a "combination waste and vent" in a plumbing system? 

What is a building trap?  

What is a galvanized nipple?

What are the pipes sticking out near my water valves?

How do you accurately find a broken water pipe leak under the floor slab?

What is the difference between water pipe and sewage (waste) pipe? 

Are plastic pipes (PVC, CPVC, and PEX) safe for drinking water? 

Is a hot water faucet handle required to be on the left? 

What is a dielectric union? 

What's that powdery crust on the pipe connections at the water heater? 

If all the plumbing drains have water in them and you can still smell sewer gas, what's causing the problem?  

How can I tell what type of plumbing pipe I have?

Why is there a flexible accordion pipe under the sink? 

What is the difference between PVC and ABS plumbing pipe?

What is the difference between water service pipe and water supply pipe? 

What are the pipes on my roof? 

• How can I find out what type of water pipe runs underground from the water meter to the house (service pipe)?

What is a P-trap?

Why is old galvanized steel water pipe a problem for homebuyers?

What does polybutylene pipe look like? Why is it a problem? 

• Which water pipes are an insurance problem and possibly uninsurable?

• Can you connect CPVC pipe directly to a gas water heater?  

     Visit our PLUMBING page for other related blog posts on this subject, or go to the INDEX for a complete listing of all our articles. 

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