Choosing a pipe for a water supply line is hard. It’s especially true if the supply line has obstacles in its path.
In that case, we use a combination of flexible and non-flexible pipes such as poly pipes, PVC pipes, and funny pipes.
For the uninitiated folks, it can be a bit hard to distinguish poly pipe from funny pipe since they all look the same.
Not only that but they are also made of the same material, polyethylene.
If you’re someone who has a tough time differing between the types of pipes, this should be a good read. We’re going to talk about funny pipe vs poly pipe, and how they are different.
What Is a Funny Pipe?
A funny pipe is a polyethylene pipe that is flexible with a thick wall. It’s a high-strength tubing with a great level of impact resistance. It’s also referred to as swing pipe thanks to its flexible nature.
Why is it called a funny pipe? No one actually knows the inside story. But it has many other names, such as swing pipe and silly pipe. Is it because it moves a bit funny?
The most common use for funny pipes is sprinkler installation. It’s also used extensively in irrigation systems. When the pipeline path isn’t straight, you need to use a flexible pipe to connect the lateral pipelines of PVC and poly pipes. That’s where funny pipe shines.
One distinguishing feature of funny pipes is their small diameter. No matter how long they get, the diameter remains between ½ inch and 1 inch.
Advantages of Funny Pipe
The greatest advantage of using a funny pipe is its great degree of flexibility. You can position and bend your supply line in any way you feel comfortable. The flexibility lets the pipe easily avoid obstacles and squeeze through spaces where a PVC or poly pipe can’t.
2. Long Coil
When you go to the home depot to buy funny pipe, you have the freedom to choose almost 100-feet long funny pipe coils. Again, the flexibility of the pipe allows it to happen since storing it doesn’t take up much space.
3. Freeze Friendly
Another useful advantage of funny pipes is the freeze-friendly characteristic. If and when water gets caught inside and freezes within the walls, the pipe won’t burst. Again, it’s the flexibility that becomes the savior.
4. Impact Resistance
It can withstand a large amount of both internal and external force. This degree of impact resistance makes it an even better choice as a connector between lateral lines.
Disadvantages of Funny Pipe
It’s flexible, which means it’s also soft. And that is the weak point. You can easily poke and make holes in it. Although it can resist impact forces, it can’t prevent cuts from damaging it. This is something to keep in mind when you’re placing it in your irrigation system or any water supply system.
2. Limited Dimensions
The structure of funny pipes does not allow them to be longer than a fixed limit. And the diameter of these pipes is also limited.
What Is a Poly Pipe?
It’s a pipe made of high-density polyethylene (HDPE). This thermoplastic polymer is produced from ethylene.
The pipe was developed in Europe and the USA in the first half of the 1930s. Back then, it was used actually as a coating for underwater cables in World War II. But the modern types of poly pipes that we use came into the market only after 1950.
Poly tubing has more than enough flexibility and impressive impact resistance.
The uses for poly pipes have now spread to many different sectors such as sewerage, rising mains, treatment plants, methane collection, etc.
Dimensions of poly pipes aren’t limited to a small range. It can sometimes be a few feet wide, and it can also come with a few inches of width.
Advantages of Poly Pipe
1. Easily Fixable
The material of the pipe is weldable, meaning you don’t have to use glue or something like that to seal any leaks. This takes off lots of tension since leaks and breakage are pretty common occurrences.
Thanks to the polymer, the pipe is supposed to be bendable. That makes it a suitable option where you have to avoid lots of obstacles by going around them.
3. Size Range
A poly-pipe can be found with a length ranging from 12 meters to 20 meters. There shouldn’t be any trouble buying a large coil of pipes.
Along with the length, the diameter will also increase by a great amount. There are poly pipes with a diameter ranging from inches to feet.
4. UV-Stable and Freeze-Resistant
Bad weather? It shouldn’t worry you if you used poly pipes in your pipeline. HDPE pipes are known to withstand below-freezing temperatures and high heat. It can withstand freezing temperatures down to -94 degrees Fahrenheit.
Disadvantages of Poly Pipe
2. Vulnerable to Chemicals
Since it’s made of a chemical polymer, it can be easily affected by corrosive chemical compounds; such as oxidizing acids, chlorinated hydrocarbons, and ketones.
Know the Actual Differences Between Funny Pipe vs Poly Pipe
You already know that these two pipes are made from the same material. So, how different can they be? There couldn’t be anything worth mentioning, right? Yes, but there are characteristic differences between them. Here they are:
When it comes to length and width, a clear difference is easily observed. In the market, you’ll find funny pipes with small inside diameters, with the widest being 2 inches. The moment you look for funny pipes with more width, you won’t find any. It’s because after that it’s a poly pipe.
This is a distinguishable difference between the two.
Poly pipes and funny pipes of the same diameter will flex the same way depending on the wall thickness. But poly pipes with large diameters aren’t as flexible and mostly act like PVC pipes. So, as width increases, it loses a large amount of flexibility.
Frequently Asked Questions
1. Which pipe is best for a sprinkler system?
Pipes made of polyethylene are more suitable for setting up sprinkler systems thanks to their flexibility and resistance to freezing temperature. Both poly and funny pipes are being used in such systems.
2. Can we use poly pipes for drinking water?
Yes, you can poly pipes in the drinking water supply line. But you have to make sure it’s made from PE100 or HDPE.
3. How long can you run funny pipe?
The maximum you can go is 24 inches. If you use a pipe longer than that, you can expect a considerable amount of loss in water pressure.
Hopefully, the discussion above about funny pipe vs poly pipe has been fruitful. As you have seen, both of the tubings are made from the same material and feature the same physical characteristics. The only difference is in their sizing chart and flexibility.
Lastly, you should know that these pipes won’t be enough to finish the sprinkler irrigation system. You’ll have to combine PVC pipes with funny and poly pipes to get an efficient system. These are only there to fill in the gaps.