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What Is IPS Pipe?

Are you curious to know what is IPS pipe? You have come to the right place as I am going to tell you everything about IPS pipe in a very simple explanation. Without further discussion let’s begin to know what is IPS pipe?

In the realm of infrastructure and plumbing, you may come across various terms, and “IPS pipe” is one of them. IPS stands for “Iron Pipe Size,” and IPS pipes are a crucial component in plumbing and water distribution systems. In this blog, we’ll explore what IPS pipes are, their significance, and their various applications in the world of plumbing and infrastructure.

What Is IPS Pipe?

IPS, or Iron Pipe Size, is a standardized system used to designate the nominal size of pipes in North America. This system is based on the outside diameter of the pipe, rather than the inside diameter, which is the case in the more common NPS (Nominal Pipe Size) system. IPS pipes come in a variety of materials, including metal, plastic, and composite materials, and are used for conveying water, gas, and other fluids in plumbing and industrial applications.

Key Characteristics Of IPS Pipes:

  1. Nominal Size: IPS pipes are labeled with a nominal size, typically ranging from 1/8 inch to 12 inches or more. This size designation is based on the outside diameter of the pipe.
  2. Materials: IPS pipes can be made from various materials, including steel, copper, PVC (Polyvinyl Chloride), and more, depending on their intended application and the specific requirements of the project.
  3. Threaded Ends: Many IPS pipes feature threaded ends, which allow for easy connection to fittings and other pipe components.
  4. Schedules: Like NPS pipes, IPS pipes are available in different schedules, which denote the wall thickness of the pipe. A higher schedule number indicates a thicker wall.

Applications Of IPS Pipes:

  1. Water Distribution: IPS pipes are commonly used in water distribution systems for both residential and commercial applications. They can transport potable water from the source to various points of use.
  2. Gas Lines: In natural gas distribution, IPS pipes are used to transport gas from supply sources to homes and businesses. Steel and polyethylene IPS pipes are often employed for this purpose.
  3. Industrial Applications: IPS pipes are essential in a wide range of industrial settings for conveying various fluids, chemicals, and gases. Their durability and compatibility with different materials make them versatile in such environments.
  4. Drainage Systems: Plastic IPS pipes, especially those made from PVC, are frequently used in drainage and sewage systems due to their resistance to corrosion and their smooth interior surfaces that prevent clogs.
  5. Fire Protection: In fire sprinkler systems, IPS pipes made of steel or other suitable materials are used to distribute water to fire suppression outlets.

Significance Of IPS Pipes:

The use of IPS pipes is essential for the proper functioning of plumbing and infrastructure systems. The standardized sizing system ensures compatibility with fittings, valves, and other components, simplifying installation and maintenance. Moreover, IPS pipes can handle a variety of fluids and are designed to withstand the rigors of different applications, making them integral to the safety and functionality of our built environment.


IPS pipes, denoted by their Iron Pipe Size system, are a fundamental component of plumbing and infrastructure systems. Their standardized sizing, versatility in material choices, and wide range of applications underscore their importance in the conveyance of fluids and gases. Whether in water distribution, natural gas lines, or industrial settings, IPS pipes play a pivotal role in ensuring the smooth and safe operation of our plumbing and infrastructure networks.


What Does IPS Mean In Piping?

What Does IPS Stand For? IPS is short for “iron pipe size” and refers to a system that was used for most pipes until the early 1900s. It also forms the basis of the sizing specification for ABS and PVC pipe in North America today.

Is IPS And Npt The Same?

IPS is Iron Pipe Straight thread. It’s meant to seal on a washer (like the threads the hose for your toilet or faucets attach to). NPT is a tapered thread, designed to seal on the threads, which is why you put pipe tape on them – to lubricate them and help the threads deform and create a seal.

Is IPS The Same As Schedule 40?

IPS (Iron Pipe Size) is a standard that matches Schedule 40 (plumbing) iron pipe or stronger Schedule 80 iron pipe and is larger than PIP (Plastic Irrigation Pipe), a standard that is most commonly used today in agriculture.

What Type Of Pipe Is IPS?

IPS (Iron Pipe Size) PVC plastic pipe is most commonly produced in either different “Schedules” (i.e. IPS Schedule 40, 80, 120, etc.) that have different pressure ratings for each size or in different SDR for “Standard Dimension Ratio” that has the same pressure rating for all sizes within a given SDR value.

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