It has already been said but sch 40 PVC if used right will last forever without problems. Use the thin stuff and yup it will have problems.
PVC if glued right the joints are stronger than the pipe itself.
This is the best way,
Clean both fitting and pipe with primmer. Then add glue to cover every place the pipe and fitting will have contact meaning the while socket and enough pipe. Push the pipe in and twist it 1/4 turn all in one movement. If you wait to long to do the twist it will cause a problem.
Let dry at least 30 min before adding pressure to the line.
I have ran countless water lines for homes and commercial buildings without a single problem with any of them as long as they are done right.
Where I live, PVC is the way to go.....coud be different where you live.
If your PVC is breaking, either it's not deep enough, bad pipe, or was exposed to the sun too much before it got buried.
If it's separating, it may not have been glued properly, or it's just crummy glue. Sometimes a bad batch of PVC comes out of the factory, too, as in, the formulation is off, and it doesn't react to the bonding agent properly.
I use schedule 80 PVC threaded with brass couplings at the joints for submersible pump applications. I would expect this combination to last in any application. Stainless steel couplings are too costly or I would use them.
PEX is the way to go in my opinion. Just run it like wire. Very fast compared to PVC and then there's the benefit of no solvents & glues. Most of the PEX I've seen has been rated for as long as 70 years. And (most importantly) PEX has the most amazing resistance to freeze damage of any other plumbing material I've worked with. We've had exposed PEX lines pressurized to 40 psi survive repeated hard freezes (down to as low as -12F) for 2+ years without failing. Try to do that with PVC.
As far as PVC goes, the only times I've ever seen PVC separate at joints is when someone has been convinced that they really didn't need the primer. When cleaned, primed and glued properly I've NEVER seen PVC separate at the joints.
If you decide to go with PEX I've found the prices at PexSupply.com to be the best available for tubing & fittings. They also do free shipping on orders of $300 or more (which isn't that hard to do). You can even get 1000 foot rolls of tubing if you have runs that long. I've been using them for 3 years now and been real happy.
beeman, i would use the black polly you can get it 200psi lil harder to put the connections in it "use a small torch to warm it" but well worth it in long run. i have about 500 feet of just the 100psi that was put in 1956 and still working fine, i dont think any thing else will come close to lasting that long.
I tend to use 1" black poly pipe, the higher pressure rated version. I have not had any problems with critters chewing on it. I know they don't has I've dug up major lengths of it nearly 20 years later and it looked fine.
I have also had >1.5 miles of it on the surface for 20 years now and that looks fine too. No damage from animals although there is one spot where it looks like a pig mouthed it but then dropped it. Generally even they leave it alone - just not interesting.
To make joints, put fittings on, I carry a thermos of hot water. Dip the end of the pipe in the thermos and then fittings slip right in. When they cool the pipe tightens up nicely to make for a strong joint.
I also have some 2" black poly pipe that we use for our whey feeding. Works great, very stiff to handle. Much harder to work with the fittings but the same heat trick works.
In our climate I am wary of PVC because of it breaking. It is more rigid and I worry that it will not handle frost activity well. However, this summer I buried electric in about 300' or so of 3" electrical grade PVC conduit with glued joints. In fifty years we'll see how that holds up...
I use 200 lb poly CTS (copper tube size) pipe. I use the inserts (not the ribbed inserts) with the compression fittings. Get the compression fittings that have the rings at the ends that grip the pipe once you tighten a bolt. There's nothing on the inside to rot and cause a leak.
Is your experience with thin-wall schedule 80 pipe, or thick-wall schedule 40 pipe. The schedule 40 pipe used for our well has been in the ground for 20 years without a single problem.
That's what I would recommend you use.
Need to make a small correction here. Schedule 80 has a heavier wall thickness than schedule 40. You may be thinking of the lightweight schedule 20 material which should only be used for tomato stakes.
Schedule 40 is standard for most plumbing applications. Schedule 80 is a thicker grade that handles a higher pressure, and also has a higher tensile strength.
PVC is heavy wall, I didn't install it just get to repair it. The ground moves a lot around here and has a lot of rock. It has pulled joints apart and broken T fittings. I did some research and everyone throws the word poly around. I called municipalities to see what they use and then called the manufacturer to get more info. Endopoly is the brand name and it's High density poly etheylene HDPE. The best is a blue pipe with a clear liner that has a lifetime guarantee, the black is the next step down. I haven't seen the fittings but it takes brass compression fittings.
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