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Types of Pipes Used in Home Plumbing

Types of Pipes Used in Home Plumbing

When it comes time to install or replace plumbing in your home, there are more than a few pipe materials to choose from. Some jobs and home might need pex piping, while others will find that PVC pipes are better suited to their needs.

This blog post will give an overview of the most common types of pipes used in home plumbing, their similarities, and their differences.

Pex Piping

Pex piping is one of the most versatile and useful pipes used in home plumbing. It is one of the newer models on the market and is usually confined to water supply lines. They are color-coded for the water temperature that is going to be used (red for hot and blue for cold).

PEX piping is one of the most common Types of Pipes Used in Home Plumbing.

This type of piping is made from plastic to prevent the corrosion and some ill-effects of aging that plagues many other types of metal pipes and plumbing materials. Plastic is also a very malleable substance, lending itself to installation anywhere in the home.

However, pex piping always needs to be underground and inside. The material is sensitive to UV rays and can breakdown when exposed to sunlight.

Copper Pipes

Copper pipes work the same way pex pipes do but are made out of copper, hence the appropriate name. These are sturdy and classic pipes for water lines that have been used for eons, but they are not as user-friendly as other materials.

Copper pipes are commonly used in Types of Pipes Used in Home Plumbing.

Unless you are a certified plumber, or have plumbing training, replacing on installing any copper pipes should be left to a professional. Copper piping needs to be soldered from end to end. Only a trained professional knows the proper amount of heat to apply to the pipe and how to properly put it together.

These are very durable pipes, and they also avoid the dreaded rusting that happens to other metals after years of decay.

PVC Pipes

These pipes are made out of polyvinyl chloride, and they are typically used for sewage drainage. In a home, this would mainly include toilets and other low-pressure piping situations.

If you use PVC pipes for other situations, you will risk them breaking because the material simply can’t hold up to the rush of water coming through.

PVC pipes are increasing in popularity.

Something that should not be overlooked is that PVC pipes are not legal to install in every area of the world, so check with your local officials before going ahead and putting this pipe all over your home. This is possibly due to the safety standards involved. Similar to pex piping, sunlight can age PVC and cause dangerous breakdowns if not monitored regularly.

ABS Piping

ABS stands for acrylonitrile butadiene styrene and is also used in much the same way that PVC pipes are. This means you can count on it to work well for drainage of sewage and other similar functions.

ABS piping is ideal for sink plumbing.

We’re still plagued with that pesky sunlight problem. Just like pex and PVC, ABS piping is very sensitive to sunlight. And when exposed, due to the distinctive black color of the pipe wears down quicker than PVC piping does.

Ask your professional plumber whether this type of piping is suited for your home or not. It is durable, perhaps more so than PVC, so it is a good replacement piping.

Galvanized Steel

Galvanized steel is no longer in vogue for new homes and construction projects. This is because the steel will rust over time, but it used to be popular as an alternative to lead.

Galvanized Steel pipes are used in a number of home plumbing jobs.

You will still find many of these pipes in older houses, and plumbers may suggest keeping with this type of pipe if it is already in use throughout your home.

Cast Iron

This is one of the heaviest pipes there is, and in modern years it has been mostly replaced with plastic pipes like pex and PVC. The sturdiness of the pipe may still be popular with some professionals, but the pipes also rust because iron doesn’t do well with excessive water running through it for years.

You should decide whether it is worth it financially to keep these in your home if you are looking to renovate, and it would be wise to ask a plumber or similar professional for their opinion.

Know When to Call in the Pros

If you do your research and consult a professional before making any pipe installation decisions in your home, you should be well prepared for any complications that arise related to plumbing maintenance.