The Advantages of Using Different Types of Plumbing Pipes
Many types of pipes are used for your home’s plumbing system, and it’s important to familiarize yourself with them to ensure your home has the best ones for your specific needs.
Pipes are made from many different materials and have various purposes, so it’s good to know which type to use in particular places. Below, we discuss different types of pipes and their respective uses.
Galvanized Steel Pipe
For as long as gas has been directly supplied to residences, galvanized steel pipes have been used. These pipes feature a zinc coating that protects them from corrosion in wet environments. They are designed to be the strongest type of pipe available!
Unfortunately, the zinc coating won’t last forever, and these types of pipes will eventually be met with corrosion that will wear them down. When this happens, these pipes will no longer be effective and will need to be replaced. As such, using them for water supply isn’t the best solution.
Copper Pipe (Rigid)
Mainly used for water supply lines, a rigid copper pipe is a more common option for residences. The rigid design allows these pipes to withstand a heavy flow of water, heat, and cold, and they are environmentally friendly!
These pipes aren’t the greatest choice for a DIY project, as they require expert equipment to cut them, they need to be soldered, and parts should be fitted professionally. They are also one of the pricier options.
Copper Pipe (Flexible)
These pipes are typically used in small, tight spaces and aren’t meant to span long distances, meaning they aren’t used for drainage or main supplies. Their flexibility makes them ideal for retaining heat and acting as final runs to things like boilers and water heaters; however, their flexibility may also result in breaking if not properly taken care of.
Made from cross-linked polyethylene, PEX pipes are perfect for supplying water due to their combination of rigid and flexible properties. They can be bent to fit through walls and ceilings without sacrificing their overall structure, and they will still be able to withstand heavy water pressure.
These types are popular among both professionals and DIYers. They are a more affordable option, and the ability to easily mold them makes them a breeze to work with. Considering they are a relatively new material, their long-term benefits are undetermined for now.
PVC, or polyvinyl chloride, is a lightweight material widely used for venting or drainage purposes and can be cut and fitted easily. All it takes is glue and solvents! Once they have been joined together, though, they cannot be taken apart, and they have a higher tendency of leaking due to being bound by glue. They may also shatter if not properly handled.
ABS pipes, or acrylonitrile butadiene styrene, are often used for drainage or venting. They are lightweight and easy to bend like PVC pipes, although they are more durable. ABS pipes can be used internally, underground, and for exterior use, as they won’t crack when met with cold temperatures. Warm temperatures, however, can warp the pipes and may cause unpleasant smells.
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