Common Types of Plumbing Pipes

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Common Types of Plumbing Pipes

There are several different types of pipes used in plumbing, each with its own pros and cons. Some types of pipes were put into use recently to replace old plumbing piping, while others have stood the test of time. The type of piping you choose depends on the purpose for which it’s being used, the type of plumbing jobs, and your local building codes.

PEX Pipes

PEX pipes are a popular choice for plumbing projects, as they offer a variety of benefits over other materials. These include a low cost and flexibility. They can be molded to a curved shape or bent around corners, and are easy to cut with a pipe cutter.

They are also freeze resistant, which is important in Texas, where freezing temperatures can cause pipes to crack and burst. This can lead to a big mess, especially during the holiday season when pipes are more likely to be exposed to harsh weather conditions.

For this reason, it is essential to choose the right type of PEX pipe for your project. The three main types of PEX pipes are PEX A, PEX B, and PEX C.

PEX A is a more flexible and durable pipe than the other two. It is often used for large, long repairs that don’t require bending.

PEX B is cheaper than PEX A and is the least prone to kinking and cracking. It is also a good option for short repairs. It is a good choice for hot water and cold water systems. It is also very durable and resists corrosion, particularly when exposed to acidic or alkaline water.

PVC Pipes

PVC pipes are one of the most popular types of plumbing pipes, and they’re used in a wide variety of applications. They’re also lightweight, durable and cost-effective, so they’re a great choice for any homeowner.

There are a few different types of PVC pipes, and they each have their own unique qualities. The most common type is unplasticized PVC (PVC-U), but there are other options as well.

C-PVC, or chlorinated PVC, is another option, and it has several advantages over PVC-U. For one thing, it can withstand a wider range of temperatures than PVC-U can.

However, there are a few drawbacks to this type of pipe. For one, it tends to be a bit more brittle than other types of pipes.

The second type of pipe is called high impact PVC, or PVC-Hi, and it’s a newer type of PVC pipe that manufacturers have invented by inserting various chemicals into Unplasticized PVC (PVC-U).

It’s able to resist heat and pressure better than other types of PVC, and its strong construction can resist many common impacts. It’s also very long-lasting, so it’s a good choice for underground pipes that handle pressurized fluids. Lastly, PVC pipes can be painted and are recyclable, which is important to many homeowners and professionals.

Copper Pipes

Copper pipes are popular among homeowners because they’re durable and easy to install. They’re also nontoxic, so they won’t leach harmful substances into your water supply.

There are a number of different types of copper pipes available, however, so you need to know which is best for your plumbing system. In general, you’ll want to choose pipes that match your home’s needs and budget.

The type of pipe you choose depends on how it’s used, and what your local plumbing codes require. You may also need to decide if you want flexible or rigid pipe.

Soft copper piping is easier to bend than rigid piping, and can be fitted in tight spaces without the need for elbow fittings. This type is usually used for venting and drainage applications, but it can also be installed in a variety of other places where flexibility is needed.

Rigid copper pipes are harder to bend than soft piping, but they are usually more affordable. They can be joined using a solder or sweat connection, but they may need elbow fittings to make turns around sharp corners or obstacles. They can also be welded or crimped for strength. In addition, they’re less likely to leak than soft copper piping.

ABS Pipes

If you’re looking for a durable pipe that won’t flake, peel, rot, dissolve or fade then ABS is the material to go with. It’s a cost-effective option and is used in many different plumbing applications.

It’s a black plastic that’s softer than PVC and more suited for outdoor underground use. It’s also resistant to extreme cold temperatures and can handle sunlight well if it doesn’t get exposed directly.

Unlike PVC, ABS pipes are connected to each other through special cement, a one step process. This is an advantage for the installer as they only need to hold the joints together for a few seconds before the glue sets.

They’re also a little easier to cut than PVC, as they don’t need primer. The downside to this is that it can be messy and take time to dry, making it a bit more complicated and requiring more effort on the part of the installation team.

It’s important to check your local plumbing codes before trying to join PVC to ABS piping. Most codes restrict this, as it can lead to leaks and other problems. It’s usually best to connect both types of pipes using fittings instead of glue.

Flexible Pipes

There are many types of plumbing pipes, but flexible pipes are one of the most versatile. They’re easy to handle and can withstand a lot of weight. This makes them an excellent choice for anyone who is installing a pipe system, or even just working on their home’s plumbing.

These flexible pipes are made from materials that can resist a wide range of chemical products. This means that they can help keep your piping system functioning properly, even when you’re exposed to things like bleach and other harsh chemicals.

They can also be rot-proof, meaning that they’re less likely to be damaged by root growth and other environmental conditions. This makes them an ideal choice for a variety of projects around the home, including extending water lines to new fixtures and moving pipes along walls or other obstacles.

In addition to being able to move around obstacles, flexible pipes are also much quicker to install than traditional copper or galvanized metal pipes. In fact, you can usually install a whole plumbing line from a faucet to a shutoff valve in about 10 minutes.

The global flexible pipes market size was valued at $0.8 billion in 2019 and is expected to generate $1.2 billion by 2027. The market is growing at a CAGR of 4.7% during this period.

Galvanized Steel Pipes

Galvanized steel pipes were commonly used in plumbing prior to 1950 (some sites say until the 1960s). This type of pipe was covered with a zinc coating to prevent corrosion and rust.

However, over time, these steel pipes corrode on the inside and clog with mineral deposits. This can lead to lowered water pressure and increased risk of leaks or bursts.

The rust and mineral buildup narrows the interior of these pipes, reducing their capacity to hold water. This can also decrease water flow and pressure, especially when the pipes are backed up.

If a home uses this type of pipe, it’s important to inspect them regularly. A professional plumber can identify potential problems and make repairs before they become costly.

A common sign that your galvanized pipes need replacing is a decrease in water pressure. This can be a sign of leaks or problems with your water heater, but it’s a good idea to check the water pressure in your entire home.

Rusty brown or yellow water is another indication that your galvanized pipes need to be replaced. This happens when the iron in the pipe gets into the water, making it change color from clear to rusty brown or yellow.

Cast Iron Pipes

There are a variety of different types of plumbing pipes that can be used to move water from one location to another. Some of these pipes are more common than others, and knowing which ones are best for your needs can save you time, money, and headaches in the long run.

Cast iron pipes are very common for water-distribution systems. They are also very durable and have excellent resistance to corrosion.

These pipes can be used in both indoor and outdoor applications. They are also easy to install and can be made to look attractive.

They can be installed as part of a larger water-distribution system, or in a home’s underground plumbing. They are also available in many different sizes and have a wide range of pressure classes.

Unlike polybutylene pipes, cast iron pipes can be made to look attractive and are usually very durable. However, they are more expensive than other types of pipes, and may be more difficult to work with.

They are also more prone to damage from tree roots, which can cause leaks and damage your property. This can lead to a variety of issues, including black water and sewer backups. If you have cast iron pipes in your home, it’s important to replace them as soon as possible.

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Casey Loeber

Casey Loeber is the founder of His mission is to share the best information online about plumbing jobs and help plumbers lead fulfilling careers.

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