Tomatoville® Gardening Forums


Notices

General discussion regarding the techniques and methods used to successfully grow tomato plants in containers.

Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
Old January 24, 2008   #1
rnewste
Tomatovillian™
 
rnewste's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2007
Location: Campbell, CA
Posts: 4,065
Default ABS or PVC Pipe - Which is Less Toxic to Use in an Earthbox?

Am building out several Earthboxes now, and according to a recent edit by "josho" to his excellent instruction sheet, he is strongly urging against the use of PVC pipe as the filler tube due to toxicity issues, he claims.

Based on this advise, I am using a more expensive, black ABS pipe for the watering tube. However, I can't find a recycle number of 1, 2, 4, or 5, as josho recommends. He states to NOT use any plastic with numbers 3, 6, or 7.

Can someone tell me if ABS pipe is safer to use as compared with PVC?

thanks,

Ray
Attached Images
File Type: jpg IMG_3696.JPG (141.5 KB, 30 views)
rnewste is offline   Reply With Quote
Old January 24, 2008   #2
amideutch
Tomatovillian™
 
amideutch's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Location: Germany 49°26"N 07°36"E
Posts: 5,041
Default

Ray, now you made me dig out my hydroponic books. Either PVC or ABS are both suitable for your application. As far as PVC is concerned, it's the plasticised PCV you don't want to use. How do you tell the difference? Plasticised is flexable.
__________________
Life's journey is not to arrive at the grave safely in a well preserved body, but rather to skid in sideways,
totally worn out, shouting ‘...Holy Crap .....What a ride!'
amideutch is offline   Reply With Quote
Old January 24, 2008   #3
robin303
Tomatovillian™
 
robin303's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Austin, TX Zone 8b
Posts: 531
Default

Being in the building field for 35 yrs I love PVC. Everything is real cheap. For less than $10 you can get hand held PVC cutters and your cuts are dead on each time. You can buy bags of fittings of every type real cheap also. By the way like your wood work seen in a few of your pictures.
robin303 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old January 24, 2008   #4
rnewste
Tomatovillian™
 
rnewste's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2007
Location: Campbell, CA
Posts: 4,065
Default

Thanks for the answers. Then what is the difference with ABS as compared with PVC? It is about a dollar per 10 ft section more than PVC, so I thought it would be "better" to use.

Ray
rnewste is offline   Reply With Quote
Old January 24, 2008   #5
robin303
Tomatovillian™
 
robin303's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Austin, TX Zone 8b
Posts: 531
Default

I might be wrong half the time I am LOL but I think ABS is 1 1/2" and up. PVC you can get 1/2" and up. You just can't use PVC for hot water supply. I seen guys make chairs, tables and even TV stands out of PVC. Another thing you also can use the electrical 90 deg couplings for more of an radius if need be or use the elec pvc for underground use. Little bit stronger.
robin303 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old January 24, 2008   #6
rnewste
Tomatovillian™
 
rnewste's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2007
Location: Campbell, CA
Posts: 4,065
Default

Robin,

Any insight into the "chemistry" of ABS versus PVC. I see a lot of companies like REI no longer selling PVC hiking water bottles, etc. Does ABS contain less of the "bad stuff"?

Ray
rnewste is offline   Reply With Quote
Old January 24, 2008   #7
robin303
Tomatovillian™
 
robin303's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Austin, TX Zone 8b
Posts: 531
Default

Ray to be honest I don’t know. Never looked into it. I use ¾ PVC for sprinkler systems and you can use Schedule 40 for cold water supply in a house. Personally when I remodel my house I use ridged copper. I do know they are using ABS for Industrial use and in new Mobile Homes. I just called my plumbing contractor and he will call me later on today hopefully.
Anything you particular want me to ask him Ted.
Is this a water supply for your plants???
robin303 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old January 24, 2008   #8
rnewste
Tomatovillian™
 
rnewste's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2007
Location: Campbell, CA
Posts: 4,065
Default

Ted,

That's correct, the pipe is for the water supply in the Earthbox, and Josho was concerned that some of the chemicals in PVC could cause "endocrine damage" as the water is ingested by the tomato plants (and then we eat the tomatoes). Not sure his source of scientific data - - but since I am building 12 of these Earthboxes, I want to select the safest components to use.

Ray
rnewste is offline   Reply With Quote
Old January 24, 2008   #9
robin303
Tomatovillian™
 
robin303's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Austin, TX Zone 8b
Posts: 531
Default

Sorry didn't mean to call you Ted< Ray.
Personally I would use PVC without question. Living in Central TX we have no factories but you ought to see what the acid rain does to decks and that cheap Vinyl Siding here. LOL. Sorry I couldn’t be more help Ray
Robin
robin303 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old January 24, 2008   #10
Patapsco Mike
Tomatovillian™
 
Patapsco Mike's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: Ellicott City, MD
Posts: 62
Default

Where I live, the vast majority of houses built in the last 20 years are all PVC. So it would seem a bit silly to those of us who directly drink water stored and carried in PVC to worry about uptake in fruit that we'll subsequently eat.

There's plenty in life to be worried about. My advice to you as a scientist (who used to do chemical research) would be to cross this "worry" off the list.
Patapsco Mike is offline   Reply With Quote
Old January 24, 2008   #11
rnewste
Tomatovillian™
 
rnewste's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2007
Location: Campbell, CA
Posts: 4,065
Default

Mike,

Thanks for your input. I just found a link regarding ABS composition, and it has a Recycle number of "9" (which Josho's website doesn't even mention). From what I read, ABS is more of an oil based composition, but I will limit my "expertise" at that. Further info on ABS at:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Acrylon...adiene_Styrene

Ray
rnewste is offline   Reply With Quote
Old January 25, 2008   #12
dice
Tomatovillian™
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: PNW
Posts: 4,743
Default

Wikipedia has detailed information on the chemical
composition of abs and pvc.

ABS:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Acrylon...adiene_styrene

PVC:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Polyvinyl_chloride

I seem to recall reading elsewhere that ABS degrades
faster in sunlight than PVC. In applications where sunlight
exposure is expected, it is usually painted or coated with
something else (mylar, etc). If you decide to paint ABS
(or PVC), you need a "bonding primer" (adhesive primer):

http://www.specifypaint.com/APL/pain...r.asp?ID=69000

If you want to be really safe, use glass, pyrex, stainless steel,
or a piece of bamboo of the right diameter. I doubt that either
pvc or abs tubing is likely to be any more toxic than the plastic
containers that people make earthboxes out of, which after all
is quite a bit softer than either.

(FYI, people along the Gulf Coast commonly use CPVC for
hot water, too. It is rated up to 180F water temperature,
and unlike copper, it does not corrode from brackish water.
I do not know what they do about brass or bronze fittings
inside faucets. I looked for faucets with stainless steel interior
passages and valve shafts once. I did not find any.)

Edit:

(People who have brackish water probably use water filters
that remove the salt to protect their faucets. But they
want those filters easily accessible under sinks, and so on,
which leaves their pipes exposed.)
__________________
--
alias

Last edited by dice; January 25, 2008 at 07:34 PM.
dice is offline   Reply With Quote
Old January 16, 2013   #13
Stvrob
Tomatovillian™
 
Stvrob's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2013
Location: Jacksonville, FL
Posts: 1,413
Default

PVC pipe is safe, it carries NSF-61 certification
Stvrob is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump


All times are GMT -4. The time now is 11:04 PM.


★ Tomatoville® is a registered trademark of Commerce Holdings, LLC ★ All Content ©2019 Commerce Holdings, LLC ★