Business is piping hot for Charlotte Pipe. Among the largest makers of drain, waste, and vent (DWV) pipe and fittings in the US, Charlotte Pipe melts scrap metal into pipe via one of the largest fittings molding facilities in the world. The company's cast-iron and plastic pipes and fittings are used in commercial and residential plumbing, and, under its ChemDrain brand, for chemical waste. The company runs a foundry in the Queen City as well as a division in neighboring Monroe, North Carolina, that produces thermoplastic plumbing pipes and fittings. Satellite extrusion plants operate in Pennsylvania, Florida, Alabama, Texas, and Utah. Founded by W. Frank Dowd in 1901, the company is owned by the Dowd family.
Charlotte Pipe has over the last century developed a competitive portfolio of products, made in the US and designed to seamlessly work together. A virtual one-stop-shop, it offers a slew of cast iron, PVC (polyvinyl chloride), CPVC (chlorinated polyvinyl chloride), ABS (acrylonitrile butadiene styrene), and GlowGuard Gold® pipe and fittings suitable for almost any application.
The company has evolved globally, too. Responding to low-cost producers in China and other countries, it has expanded its manufacturer of plastic PVC pipe, which now accounts for approximately two-thirds of sales.
It also is diversifying its business by capitalizing on the worldwide mantra to reduce, reuse and recycle. Charlotte Pipe has manufactured its cast iron pipe and fittings from 100% recycled content for decades. It reportedly uses more than 350 million pounds of scrap iron and steel, diverting it from landfills, annually. (Cast iron pipe is, moreover, recognized for its myriad green construction advantages.) The company introduced ReUze® to capture demand for using non-potable water (in such applications as laundry, toilet, and cooling towers). A less expensive more water-efficient alternative, ReUze pipe is made with a purple CPVC compound -- the universal color code for "do not drink," which is usually painted onto copper pipe that distributes non-potable water inside of buildings. In early 2010, the company launched the first PVC pipe made with recycled material. Branded RePVC, its center layer is 100% recycled material; the inner and outer skins of the pipe are made from virgin materials.
Expanding its footprint, Charlotte Pipe in 2006 acquired Utah-based Standard Pipe. The Standard deal brought new sales territory and extrusion plants in Salt Lake City and Las Vegas (the later shuttered and consolidated into the Salt Lake City plant in 2007). In 2008, the company opened a Cedar City, Utah, plastic pipe manufacturing plant complete with high-output extrusion lines, energy-efficient lighting, and chilled water systems. – less