There are many different types of pipes available for use in your home. Each is constructed of different materials and each serves a specific purpose. This article will take a look at all the options you have for transporting gas, hot and cold water, or any other liquids you may need to move from one place to another in your home.
Sinks, toilets, showers, and bathtub drain lines are all places where the use of plastic piping can be incorporated. Known in the industry as PVC pipe or polyvinyl chloride, this type of pipe is a very lightweight and durable product that will not rust or corrode. It also is able to withstand high pressure so it is ideal for use as piping to feed your main water supply. It has the added benefit of being resistant to clogs which makes it a great choice for drain lines. There are drawbacks to installing PVC pipes such as their limited available sizes. Additionally, they are unable to withstand high water temperatures and will begin to break down if exposed for long periods of time. The typical 140 degrees of most homes’ hot water is about the maximum temperature PVC pipe can tolerate. There is some concern over research that suggests toxicity issues are present with PVC pipes. The research shows some chemicals from the pipe’s surface are transferred to the water running through them and may contribute to respiratory and reproductive issues.
Also known as cross-linked polyethylene piping, this type of pipe is primarily used for water supply lines. They too are corrosion and rustproof but, unlike PVC, they are flexible and easy to weave through walls, ceilings, and other areas of your home. One nice benefit of PEX piping is it is
color-coded. The color-coding distinguishes between cold and hot water lines making the plumber’s job a lot easier.
This type of pipe shares similar qualities to PVC pipe but are more resilient to cold temperatures making them ideal for drain lines that allow water and waste material to flow out of your home into a septic or sewer system. ABS, or acrylonitrile butadiene styrene, is also a good choice for venting pipes. Venting pipes help regulate the air in your plumbing system assuring that water and waste drain out of your home by preventing a vacuum from forming that would prevent or slow drainage. These pipes are easiest to identify because they are always black in color.
Copper pipes are a very popular choice for use in sinks, showers, and bathtubs. Lasting a very long time with a 50-year guarantee, they are rust and corrosion resistant and guarantee a good quality of water coming into your home. Copper pipes are tolerant of both hot and cold water and can withstand high pressure. They are slightly more expensive than plastic pipes but their longevity and durability far outweigh any additional cost. Another advantage is because of the rigid structure of copper pipes they can be used in very tight spaces.
Cast Iron and Galvanized Pipes
Cast iron and galvanized piping can be found in early 20th-century homes but are no longer being installed in new construction. Because of its good durability, it was often used for sewer or other drain lines. These pipes are thick and able to reduce the sound of running water throughout your home but they are prone to rust and corrosion which is why they are slowly being replaced by either PVC or PEX pipes.
As one can see, there are many types of pipes available on the market and which type you use depends on the job. It is important to know the advantages of each type of pipe material as well as any limitations each type carries to assure your plumbing will function well and last a long time.
Don’t know which pipes to choose from? Contact us today and we’ll gladly assist you. We are plumbing and piping specialists in Irvine, Orange County.