Analysis Tools for Plumbing, Pipes and Pumps

Tools to analyze plumbing for solar systems, including pipes and pumps.



Note that some of the companies listed under  "Solar Suppliers" provide extensive technical data on pumps.

Pipe Properties
Endot Industries

Specifications, material properties, application data, pressure loss tables, ... for various flavors of Polyethylene  pipe.

The pressure loss for poly pipe pdf ...

CPVC and PVC pipe temperature/pressure ratings

More CPVC pressure/temperature ratings...

Plastic Pipe Pressure Ratings...

Plastic Pipe Termperature Ratings...

PVC Properties...

Lots of information on PVC and CPVC pipe.  Includes temperature ratings.

As a side note, this company offers a clear version of PVC pipe.

PEX Pipe

PEX pipe properties, design, and usage guide...

Handy table of PEX properties (dimensions, pres drop, bend radius...)...

Rehau PEX pressure drop tables (very complete)...


The first is a very complete guide on using PEX and PEX properties.


The 2nd is a one page table from PEXUniverse giving a lot of helpful info.

This one has large range of volumes and covers both water and anitfreeze.


Search for "The Copper Tube Handbook" -- 7mb of more than you will ever need to know about copper tubing/pipe size,  geometry, ratings, ...
Boedeker Plastics

Plastics properties and selection guides

Material properties and selection information for a wide variety of plastics.
Pumps and Turbines

Arthur Williams

Nice combination of understandable physics and sensible economics.

2003 ITDG Publishing

Piping Analysis (pressure drop, flow measurement, pipe sizing, temperature drop...)
Pressure drop tables for various pipe types

Pressure drop for copper pipes...

PEX pipe pressure drops...

CPVC Household Plumbing Pipe dimensions and pressure drops ..

And, CPVC Household Plumbing Pipe dimensions and pressure drops...  (look for the "CTS" tables)

Black polyethylene pipe pressure drops...

CPVC/PVC pipe pressure drops...


Hazen-Williams Pipe Friction Head Loss Calculator...
(covers a very wide variety of pipe sizes, materials, flow rates)

The tables give pipe friction head losses per 100 ft of pipe.

Pressure Drop Units
You will find several units used to express pressure drop in pipes and in pump specs.  Here is how to convert between them:

1 psi  = 2.3 ft of water = 27.6 in of water = 6894 Pa

1 ft of water = 12 in of water = 0.433 psi = 2985 Pa

You would think that all the pipes would have about the same pressure loss per 100 ft for the same nominal pipe size, but not so.  The difference is mostly due to differences in actual pipe ID's for the same nominal pipe size for the different types of pipe.  For example, CPVC "3/4 inch" pipe has about the same ID as PEX "1 inch" pipe.

Copper Pipe Pressure Drop


Handy pressure drop table for copper pipe.

Note: 1 psi = 2.3 ft of head

Other pressure drop tools on this site:
Engineering Toolbox -- Pipe Flow

Pipe Flow Calculations


Nice set of calculators for pressure drop, airflow calculations, ...

Also includes venturis, orifices, Pitot tubes,...


Pipe flow and Duct Flow Calculators

Mike Rocchetti


Calculators for pressure loss in pipes and ducts, steam tables, and a Psychrometric Calculator
Temperature Drop Calculator for Water Plumbing...

This calculator estimates the temperature drop for pipes that carry heat as hot water as a function of flow rate, insulation level, pipe size, and the temperatures of water in the pipe and the ambient temperature. It is for pipes suspended in air.

Pump and Plumbing Sizing for Solar Water/Space Heating Systems
Pump and Plumbing Sizing for Solar Water or Space Heating System

Details on solar pump/pipe sizing...

This page covers the details of sizing the pump and the plumbing for a solar space or water heating system so that the system efficiently transfers heat from the collector to the storage tank without being excessively large.

Details on solar pump/pipe sizing...

How to Determine Collector Flow Rates This page takes you through how to determine flow rate for your collector, and what the tradeoffs are ...
Pumps and Solar Pumping
Grundfos HVAC Technical Guide

 HVAC Technical guide  (6 MB pdf)

Specs for Grundfos 3 speed series...

The HVAC Technical guide provides a lot of good design information on selecting the right pump for your requirements.   Explains pump curves, flow relationships, static head requirements, ...

 A Graphic Guide to Solar Water Pumping

Windy Dankoff


Home Power Magazine article, issue 46

Very good article on designing and selecting the components for a solar electric water pumping system.  Covers a wide variety of pumping head requirements, flow requirements, and system types.

Dankoff Pumps Solar Pumps for Space Heating Guide


Information on pumps used for space heating fluid circulators.
Solar Pump Selection Guide

PV powered pump sizing information.
Vanguard Piping Systems


Lots of data on PEX tubing, including some test results.


Pump Curves for Some Common Pumps


Pump curves for some common Taco and Grundfos pumps ...