Different Types of Plumbing Pipes

Many different types of plumbing pipes can be used in a residential home or commercial building. Some of those choices are PEX, copper, and PVC. How to determine which type of pipe should be chosen? Well, that depends on where they’re used and where they need to be installed. The purpose of this article is to educate our customers and to discuss all different types of plumbing pipes and their use.

Cast Iron Plumbing Pipes

Cast iron piping can be found in older homes, and despite an aged appearance, this is a viable type of piping that can be used until it rusts through completely. It’s usually used in sewer lines and is more substantial than other pipes. The smallest size of this pipe is 4 inches. Since cast iron is extremely heavy, it has to be supported while the joint is assembled.

Galvanized Steel Plumbing Pipes

Galvanized steel pipes aren’t used as frequently even though they are extremely strong. Each end of the pipe is threaded and screwed into one another with connecting joints. A downside of galvanized steel pipes is that they are heavy, which makes it difficult to work with. They’re also prone to internal rusting, caused by the zinc coating. Plus, lines can clog over time, which creates reduced water pressure. If the pipes become corroded, lead can be released into the tap water, and the water can become discolored.

Copper Plumbing Pipes

The most traditional plumbing pipes that are used are copper pipes. They are durable and reliable. They are corrosion resistant and they can be managed efficiently. They are good to use for both hot and cold water. Copper pipes aren’t prone to leaking and will stay fitted tightly. Copper piping also won’t pollute the water that runs through it. This type of pipe is heat tolerant, has a long life span, and can be recycled. The major con of copper pipes is the price. These types of pipes need to be soldered together and could require additional fittings, so you’ll need a plumber who is experienced at soldering.

Polyvinyl Chloride (PVC) Plastic Plumbing Pipes

PVC pipe is lighter to work with than galvanized steel. It’s used for hot and cold potable water, and also for sewage. PVC pipes that are used for sewer pipes are not the same ones that are used for pressure water pipes. PVC plastic plumbing pipes don’t corrode, degrade or rust over time. This type of pipe is excellent for toilets, bathtub drain lines, sinks and vent stacks. It also stands up to high water pressure.

CPVC Plastic Plumbing Pipes

CPVC is easy to work with. It can be used for both hot and cold water supply. These pipes also contain extra chlorine, ensuring safer drinking water. They are also more flexible than using PVC pipes. However, CPVC pipe will split if frozen, and old pipes can’t be recycled.

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