When it comes to plumbing projects, they can be overwhelming, especially when you have to find pipes, and you realize that there is a wide variety of options available in the market. You can find pipes made from different materials, ranging from PVC, PEX to galvanized metal, stainless steel, copper, and brass. Here is an overview of the most popular types of plumbing piping and when they are considered best for use. So, let’s get started.
The most commonly used type of pipe for all residential plumbing is the PVC pipe. The Polyvinyl chloride (PVC) pipe is white piping that you find in various plumbing applications.
Pros of PVC Pipes
Some of the great things about PVC pipes is that they are affordable and versatile. They are available in several different fittings and sizes. Moreover, since they are non-metallic, they have excellent insulation properties, so they are great for almost all plumbing processes and applications involving cold and warm water.
PVC pipes are a great choice for domestic use because the pipes do not corrode over time. This means that you only need to replace these pipes when are they are damaged, and their appearance is seldom damaged. The real test is when PVC pipes start leaking, and this is when they need replacement. Another key advantage of using PVC pipes for plumbing applications is that they are easy to work with. Since they do not require metalwork or welding, it is generally inexpensive and easier to work with PVC pipes. Another feature that makes PVC pipes a perfect choice is their strength and durability. While they are non-metallic, PVC pipes work best even under high-pressure applications.
Cons of PVC Pipes
While PVC pipes come with many advantages, you should be aware of some of the drawbacks.
Perhaps, the biggest concern associated with using a PVC pipeis that it cannot be used for hot water applications. The materialis not designed to handle the heat, and when in contact with hot water, PVC will wrap. Therefore, it is not a great choice if you are looking to deliver hot water to different parts of your home. Moreover, it will degrade when exposed to UV light. A little exposure to sunlight may not be damaging, but if your pipe is likely to be in contact with the sun for longer, then it is best to look for alternatives.
In all, it is one of the best pipes for indoor applications and underground plumbing. Some of the applications where PVC pipes serve the best include:• Drain lines from the sink, toilet, and bathtubs • Main water supply line that runs to the house • Vent stacks • Other applications involving high water pressure
If you look at the standard for most plumbing applications, copper pipes are perhaps the best. Copper pipes are there for quite a long time, and there are good reasons for that.
Let's look at what makes copper pipes one of the best pipes for all plumbing applications.
Pros of Copper Pipes
Copper pipes are highly durable and have a long lifespan. Moreover, since these pipes are metallic, they can tolerate heat well. Furthermore, copper is resistant to corrosion and does not rust or degrade when in contact with water and sunlight. Therefore, it is safe for use with drinking water as well.
Cons of Copper Pipes
These amazing benefits come with just one major drawback, and that is the price. Because of its strength, durability, and functionality, copper pipes are one of the most expensive piping materials that you can find in the market. And it will cost you more when you are investing in it, but the use of copper pipes will put your pipes at risk of theft if you have a vacant house. So make sure you keep this factor in mind when planning to use copper pipes for your plumbing applications.
In all, copper pipes are a great choice, and they can be used for the following applications.• Supply of drinking water • Supply of hot water to different parts of the house • Refrigerant lines for the HVAC system • All underground plumbing applications
PEX piping is considered to be one of the best innovations of modern times. Cross-linked polyethylene (PEX) is a plastic material that is most commonly used for water supply piping systems. This extremely flexible pipe can literally snake through the entire home and bend as required. Some of the advantages of the PEX pipe are highlighted below.
Pros of PEX Pipes
As mentioned earlier, PEX pipes are incredibly flexible, which is perhaps the most significant advantage of PEX pipes. They can bend around every corner in the house. Moreover, they can hold really well in cold conditions as it is more temperature-resistant than other types of pipes. Furthermore, PEX pipes can be merged with the existing plumbing system, so they are an excellent retrofits choice.
Another great feature of PEX pipes is that they are durable for hot water applications; however, they cannot be directly connected to the hot water heater. And this is perhaps the only drawback that is worth considering when investing in a PEX pipe.
In all, the highly flexible and durable PEX pipes are best suited for:• Retrofitting when renovating older homes • When remodeling, PEX pipes are best for snaking through the walls • Areas of the house with little or no ventilation and where the use of glue can be dangerous
If you prefer metallic pipes, then you can always go for galvanized metal pipes. A steel or iron pipe is galvanized with zinc that reduces the risk of corrosion and rust. While galvanized pipes are primarily used in construction, they can also be used for plumbing applications.
Pros of Galvanized Pipes
Galvanized pipes are highly durable and can last up to 100 years. Moreover, since they are corrosion and rust-resistant, this type of pipes are ideal for water lines and gas lines.
Cons of Galvanized Pipes
Galvanized pipes are heavy in weight and difficult to repair. Moreover, they can clog and chip over time, so these are some of the major drawbacks despite its durability.
In all, galvanized pipes are best for:• Water supply lines • Underground and outdoor plumbing applications
Professional Plumbers Can Help You Make the Right Choice
There are some other types of plumbing pipes, including CPVC, brass, and stainless steel, and each comes with its own set of advantages and disadvantages. Choosing the right type of pipes for plumbing applications is not always easy, and only a professional plumber can guide you about which type of pipes best serve your needs. If you are getting started with a plumbing job, make sure to do your research and have a formal discussion with your professional plumber regarding the type of pipes yourplumbing job requires.
Not sure about the best professional plumber in town? Contact Mesa Plumbing. Our trained and dedicated staff will guide you about making the right choice of pipes for your plumbing jobs. Call now at 480-832-1660 to schedule an appointment or visit our website.