Plumbing may not always be in your line of sight, but that doesn’t lessen its importance in homes. It serves an essential purpose of supplying water and draining waste – two things you need to have good hygiene at home. Having good working knowledge about the kinds of pipes used in homes can substantially save you a lot of time and effort in fixing frozen pipes and noisy leaks.
Additionally, knowing the right kind of plumbing pipes could potentially keep your water consumption efficient, saving you more money on excess water used. This, in turn, saves energy and keeps water supply at an optimal level, lessening the chance of drought. Know that there are two kinds of plumbing systems: water supply and drain. Understanding the distinction between them will make it easier to work with the plumbing you already have at home.
Supply adds pressure that pushes the water upward and through pipes to reach the faucet. This is why there are valves that control how much pressure is needed to bring water in or shut it off in case of plumbing damage. Drainage pipes, meanwhile, have no trouble traveling out as they’re already directed downward.
7 Types of Plumbing Pipes
- What it is: Polyvinyl chloride or PVC pipe is easy to work with because of its lightweight and easy-install features. It doesn’t rust like other pipes, is crush-resistant, and inexpensive, making it a great option for both supply and drain uses.
- Best uses: It can be used for both hot and cold potable water. It can also be used for sewage, too.
- What to look out for: PVC pipes have a variety of thickness, which is important for its use. Double-check the diameters on the surface before using them. They are also prone to leaks if glued.
- What it is: Galvanized steel pipes are known for being durable. Its exterior is coated with zinc to protect it from indoor humidity and outdoor elements.
- Best uses: Indoor water supply or outdoor tubings like fence posts and scaffolding.
- What to look out for: Galvanized pipes are prone to interior corrosion and bursting because its zinc coating reacts to minerals in the water. There’s also a chance of leakage if not fitted well.
- What it is: The most commonly used pipes in the construction industry is copper because of its corrosion resistance and reliable connections.
- Best uses: It’s best for water supply because it holds no health risks.
- What to look out for: Depending on the size of the pipe, it can be used for water supply, fire protection, and drainage. It’s a lot more challenging to work with on a DIY basis as it requires a specific level of skill to put together.
- What it is: Made of cross-linked polyethylene, this plastic material piping is a newer plumbing alternative. Its flexibility makes it easy to install and is strong enough to handle water pressure. PEX is inexpensive, less likely to corrode, and conserves energy by lessening heat transfer.
- Best uses: It’s only used for water supply.
- What to look out for: It must be installed strategically as it cannot be directly exposed to UV light, extreme heat, and flames.
Cast Iron Pipes
- What it is: Cast iron pipes are normally chosen in place of PVC for water supply, storm drainage, and sewage system. They are also easily recyclable, making them an excellent option for the environmentally conscious.
- Best uses: Drain and sewage.
- What to look out for: They are heavy and tough to install for DIY projects. They are also prone to rust.
- What it is: Brass plumbings are durable, long-lasting, and resilient compared to other metals. They’re great for transporting hot water, malleable enough for inexpensive installations, and resistant against corrosion.
- Best uses: Its ability to withstand high heat and intense pressure makes it ideal for water supply.
- What to look out for: They cannot be used with iron pipes as they can cause iron electrolytic decomposition.
Stainless Steel Pipes
- What it is: Stainless steel pipes are known for their resistance to corrosion, durability, and low maintenance cost.
- Best uses: This plumbing is best for water supply because it doesn’t tarnish and is easy to clean.
- What to look out for: It’s more expensive than the other types of plumbing materials available in the market.
If you ever find yourself needing to work on an impromptu DIY plumbing project or you need to discuss your plumbing system with a professional, you’ll be able to easily work through it with the right information on pipes and plumbing systems. You’ll also be able to save time and money!