You don’t have to be a plumber or a weekend DIY warrior to be interested in plumbing pipes. After all, plumbing is a part of your daily life so it helps to understand how it works, even if only a little bit.
Knowledge about different types of plumbing pipes will also come in handy when you have to replace your pipes or if you’re in the process of having your house built.
As you’ll see, plumbing pipes aren’t made equal and they each have unique advantages and disadvantages. The most important thing is to learn enough about them to figure out which option would work best for you and which do plumbers use mostly.
What Are the Most Common Plumbing Pipes that Plumbers Recommend?
Plumbing pipes typically come in the following varieties:
Cast Iron Plumbing Pipes
Cast iron pipes are very common in homes that were constructed many years ago and many of them are still in use to this day due to how durable they are.
These pipes can stay in place until completely rusted and their long-lasting construction is what makes them a popular option in sewer pipes.
To install these types of pipes, one has to thread or spigot the joints together and this can be a pricey exercise. The pipes themselves are really heavy and they require a lot of support during the installation process.
Cast iron pipes can come in as small a size as 4 inches.
Copper Plumbing Pipes
Copper pipes are the most popular types of plumbing pipes because they have been in use for centuries. They are known for their durability, as they are resistant to corrosion and they can tolerate both cold and hot water equally well.
The great thing is that a well-installed copper pipe will never leak and when you have a water pipe you can rest assured that the water you’re using isn’t polluted in any way. Copper pipes are made to last and can be recycled when needed.
However, all of these incredible benefits come at a price. Copper pipes don’t come cheap. To purchase 100 feet of copper pipe can cost you $285.
Then you have the cost of additional fittings which are required to install and solder the pipes together. You should also ensure to hire an experienced plumber who knows what they’re doing and they don’t come cheap.
If you’ve purchased an older home with copper pipes, you might need to change the soldering to something more modern than the lead-based solder that they were installed with.
Stainless Steel Pipes
Stainless steel pipes are another popular option despite being the most expensive one on this list. But, that’s only because stainless steel pipes are made to last and they’re resistant to corrosion which means that they work well in a variety of different environments including high-humidity coastal areas.
Another benefit of working with stainless steel pipes is that they’re available in rigid and flexible versions as well as different sizes. To install stainless steel pipes, couplings must be utilized to attach them.
Galvanized Steel Plumbing Pipes
It’s not every day that you see the use of galvanized steel pipes, despite the fact that they’re as durable as copper pipes. Installing them requires that you thread and screw the pipes together using their connecting joints.
But, galvanized steel pipes lose points for being too heavy and hard to install as a result.
Also, because they have an internal zinc coating, they tend to rust quite a bit and they also tend to get clogged up over time, thus affecting the amount of water that comes out.
Pipe corrosion can lead to lead seeping into your drinking tap water, causing discoloration and an unpleasant taste.
CPVC Plastic Plumbing Pipes
CPVC is a versatile type of pipe that can be utilized for cold and hot water applications alike.
They’re also easy to work with and contain extra chlorine which enables them to put out cleaner and safer drinking water.
The only issue with CPVC pipes is that its flexibility doesn’t help with freezing water, which can split it right in two. And you can’t recycle them either.
Polyvinyl Chloride Plumbing Pipes
PVC pipes are extremely common and popular because they are lightweight and versatile. They can tolerate cold and hot potable water as well as sewage. PVC pipes also come in different thickness levels.
For instance, PVC pressure water pipes are different from PVC sewer pipes. Typically, if a PVC pipe is made for potable water then it’ll come with a “NSF-61” OR “NSF-PW” mark. This is to show that it meets the NSF/ANSI Standard 6 health requirements.
The great thing about PVC plastic pipes is that they’re corrosion, rust, and degradation resistant. They’re also very tolerant of high-water pressure levels and can be utilized for vent stacks, sinks, bathtub drain lines, and toilets.
The only issue with PVC pipes is that they don’t tolerate hot water very well and will tend to warp when processing very hot water.
Cross-Linked Polyethylene Plumbing Pipes
Also referred to as PEX piping, this type of pipe is mainly utilized in water supply lines. It’s really easy to work with because it’s lightweight, flexible and it comes color-coded.
It’s also a leak-free material that’s easy to install and once you’ve got your pipes in, you don’t have to worry about maintenance at all. It’s also worth noting that these pipes are resistant to heat and can be utilized for really cold water without a problem. The best part is that you can install them all throughout the house thanks to their cross-linking capabilities.
The only caveats to using CPVC is that they’re more expensive and cannot be utilized outdoors because they don’t tolerate UV rays very well.
Conclusion on most used 7 Different Types of Plumbing Pipes
Well, there you have it! Those are the different types of pipes that you have available when it’s time to change your own pipes or are constructing a new home.
PEX or Cross-Linked Polyethylene Plumbing Pipes are the most popular options because they’re easy to install, they don’t leak and they’re low cost.
PVC is another common option because of its versatility and the fact that it can handle both hot and cold water pretty well. Plus, you have different pipe grades and sizes to choose from here.
As you can see, each type of pipe comes with its own benefits and caveats. The one you choose will always depend on your needs. If you need help deciding on which pipes to use, you can always give the certified plumbing team a call.