Last Updated on October 19, 2022 by Griselda M.
An important part of any aquaponics system is pipes. If you want to know how to use paint for Pvc pipe UV protection, you have come to the best place!
Pipes are a very valuable piece of hardware for your aquaponics system. This is because it is the thing that moves the water back and forth into your system. Most often, people use PVC pipes to do this.
However, a lot of plastic is susceptible to degrading if not cared for properly. When pipes are left outside in the sun, they can quickly become ruined. Not only does this waste your time because you have to replace the piping, but it also is costly.
You do not want to be in the habit of constantly buying piping because you didn’t take proper care of it. One way to protect your pipes from UV damage is to paint them.
Read on to find out how to use paint for PVC pipe UV protection.
How To Protect PVC Pipe From Sunlight
PVC pipe stands for polyvinyl chloride. When this was invented, it was a great tool for replacing metal or lead pipes. Now, PVC pipes have become the most commonly used pipes for plumbing and drainage.
One of the benefits of using PVC pipes is that it is very versatile, lightweight, and cheap. This makes it easy to do construction. That is why you will be using PVC pipes for your system.
PVC pipes come in many different diameters and all different lengths. You can easily cut them to fit the exact size you need.
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If PVC pipes sit in the sun for a long time, they will begin to change color. You can notice this by seeing some lighter grey to white spots forming on your pipe.
Over time, these spots could completely break down and cause your pipe to be unusable. Although they can tolerate some UV rays they are not 100% UV tolerant.
Luckily, humans invented another useful tool to go with PVC. There is special paint available that you can use to coat your PVC pipes to protect them from the over-exposed sun.
This paint is called PVC primer paint. It is water-based latex paint and can be easily found at any hardware store.
Before painting, you need to make sure your PVC pipes are clean from any debris. Wipe them down with a towel ensuring no spots are missed.
You also need to make sure your pipes are completely dry. If there are any wet spots, the paint will not be applied consistently. After you use the primer paint, you have to add another additional layer of paint for protection.
Second Paint Layer For PVC Pipe Protection
After you have applied the primer, you can move to your second and final layer of paint. This is a similar process to when you paint a wall. The primer makes it so the next layer of paint will stick to the wall properly without flaking.
It is highly recommended to use the primer in this case, so you do not have to waste time repainting your pipes. Make sure you apply all of these paints outdoors or in a well-ventilated area.
Set up your painting station to prepare for the second layer. For your second layer of paint, you can use any regular latex-based paint.
However, if you want to have the highest amount of UV protection for your PVC pipes, choose a light color. Darker colors attract the sun. The sun is powerful and can destroy paint as well.
It is best to stick with a white or light grey color for this purpose. Some people who want even more protection for their pipes will cover the pipes with any material that blocks the sun.
You can use a tarp for this purpose. But remember, do not pick a dark-colored tarp or else you will continue to attract sunlight.
The sun is super powerful! Do not underestimate the damage it can do. According to Science Direct Magazine, “UV radiation causes photooxidative degradation which results in breaking of the polymer chains, produces free radical and reduces the molecular weight, causing deterioration of mechanical properties and leading to useless materials, after an unpredictable time.”
This means that no matter what, UV radiation will cause things to break down and become unusable. Protecting your pipes is very important.
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Is There a UV-Resistant PVC Pipe?
In general, we could argue that all PVC pipes are UV resistant to an extent. However, just because they are resistant does not mean that they will survive under long amounts of exposure to the sun. They can last a few hours but once you do this daily, the stress continues to build on the pipe, causing it to break.
Some companies may try to claim their PVC pipes will be fine in the sun. But we say, rather be safe than sorry. Taking the time to prime and paint your pipes at the beginning will guarantee that you will not have any problems with UV exposure.
If your aquaponics system is indoors, you don’t have anything to worry about in terms of UV exposure to your pipes. But for anyone doing an outdoor system, use paint for PVC pipe UV protection.
When you go to the hardware store to purchase your pipes, talk to the staff to find the right paints to protect against UV rays. Buy everything together so once you are ready to install your pipes you can do it all in one go.
With aquaponics, we always stress having a good plan and taking all the necessary precautions before installing your system. If you take the time before you start to avoid any problems, it will save you time, money, and headaches in the future.
Using paint for PVC Pipe UV protection is one of the best things you can do to set yourself up for success.
Feel free to comment and ask questions!
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Candace is an aquaponics expert with over 5 years of experience in the field. She has a degree in environmental science from the University of California, Berkeley and a degree in aquaponics from the University of Florida. She is passionate about sustainable agriculture and has a deep knowledge of aquaculture and hydroponics. She has worked on numerous projects and has been involved in the development of aquaponic systems and fish farms. She also has experience in designing and constructing aquaponic systems. With her expertise, Candace is able to advise clients on the most effective and efficient way to construct and manage their aquaponic system. She is an active member of the aquaponic community, often speaking at conferences and seminars. Candace is dedicated to helping others understand the importance of aquaponics, and she is a strong advocate for sustainable food production.