Main Types of Plumbing Pipes Used in Homes

The plumbing system in your house is made up of the different types of pipes used. The most common ones are copper, galvanized steel, PVC, and PEX tubing. Each one has specific qualities that make it suitable for certain types of installations. These differences are the key to understanding why they are not interchangeable. This article will provide an overview of the various plumbing pipes used in homes and their typical applications.

PVC Pipes

PVC pipes are one of the more common types of plumbing pipes that are used in homes. They have a solid, malleable inner core with a thick layer of polyvinyl chloride on both sides. PVC has many advantages over other materials, including being able to withstand highly acidic and caustic liquids such as chlorine and sodium hydroxide. These liquids corrode most metal piping. In addition, installing them is easy and requires no special plumbing fittings types or skills. PVC pipes can be used for drains, water supply lines, gas lines, and conduit installation.

Large diameter PVC pipes are often used as main water lines to carry high volumes of water inside buildings because they rarely corrode and are inexpensive. PVC pipes are often used to connect auxiliary pieces of the plumbing system, including showerheads, bathroom faucets, and toilet fill valves.

PEX Tubing

PEX tubing is a flexible and durable polyethylene plastic pipe. It can be used to transfer both hot and cold water and gases like air without any additional insulation. PEX piping systems suit domestic hot-water supply lines to large industrial projects because of their durability, corrosion resistance, and flexibility. The PEX tubing is connected to its fittings using crimping tools and can be installed in both hot and cold water plumbing systems. Depending on the specific application you are planning over it, you can get it in different colors.

Copper Pipes

Copper pipes are made of a combination of high-grade copper alloy and lead. Due to the presence of lead, it is used only in plumbing systems that aren’t going to come into contact with drinking water. However, they have an enviable reputation for being durable and long-lasting. Therefore, they are a top choice for heating applications such as water supply lines, hot water recirculation loops, and steam lines.

Flexi Pipes

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Flexi pipes are flexible PVC or PE-Xa tubing that can be run between floor joists and wall studs to supply water and drainage runs. This is a versatile product that makes it easy to layout the length of the drainpipe without having to cut and join individual pieces, as would be required with conventional piping. It also allows for easy installation of water supply lines to out-of-reach locations.

Plumbers also use flexible pipes as drain systems because they can be routed easily between the shower stall and the main drain, which is typically located under the kitchen sink. The end of this flexible pipe needs to be securely attached to the mainline. This can be done with a unique piece of pipe called a saddle joint.

Galvanized Steel Pipes

Galvanized steel pipes are available in different gauges and lengths. The choice should be based on the expected water pumping pressure and flow rate needed for your plumbing system. Galvanized piping is usually sold as a coil to minimize costs. These coils can be welded together to provide any length of galvanized pipe you need. They can also be joined and connected to other types of piping with special fittings. Sleeve joints and T joints provide a 90-degree bend, and 45-degree elbows are all available for connecting pipes in the system, respectively.

Cast Iron Pipes

Cast iron is a mainstay of the plumbing industry because it is durable and carries water without rusting. However, it can be pretty expensive to install in comparison with other types of pipes. Depending on its environment, it also needs regular maintenance, including being repainted every three to five years. This piping typically comes in sections of 10 feet, and the individual pieces are connected with special fittings.

Pipes play a critical role in your home’s plumbing system by supplying water, gas, and sewage to various locations. The above-discussed pipes are some of the most commonly used types of piping around, though there are several other different kinds as well, depending on your specific application.

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