What Types of Pipes Are Used in Plumbing?

Plumbing is an integral part of any home or building. It provides us with the ability to access clean water and dispose of waste effectively. Over the years, plumbing technology has advanced, and with it, different plumbing pipes have been developed. In this blog, we’ll explore the different types of modern plumbing pipes, their benefits, and why it’s essential to replace older pipes in your home.

Modern Types of Plumbing Pipes

Copper Pipes

Copper pipes have been a popular choice for many years. Copper piping is durable, resistant to corrosion, and copper pipes can handle high water pressures without bursting. Copper pipes are also easy to install and maintain, providing a lifespan of 50 to 70 years for your water supply lines. Copper pipes can also be recycled, making copper piping an eco-friendly option.

PEX Pipes

PEX pipes (cross linked polyethylene) are relatively new to the plumbing industry, but they’re quickly becoming a popular option. They’re made from cross-linked polyethylene, making them flexible, easy to install, and resistant to freezing cold temperatures. PEX pipes can also handle high water pressures and are suitable for both hot and cold water systems. They come with a lifespan of 25 to 50 years and are budget-friendly.

PVC Pipes

PVC pipes (polyvinyl chloride piping) are commonly used for waste and drainage systems. This durable plastic piping is lightweight, easy to cut, and can be installed quickly. PVC pipe has a long lifespan of up to 100 years and is resistant to rust, corrosion, and chemical erosion. PVC piping is also budget-friendly and recyclable.

CPVC Pipes

CPVC pipes (chlorinated polyvinyl chloride) are similar to PVC pipes, but the chlorinated polyvinyl chloride material has an increased chlorine content, which makes them heat-resistant and suitable for hot water systems. CPVC pipes are easy to install and can handle high water pressures within water supply lines. These plastic pipes are also budget-friendly plumbing pipes and come with a lifespan of around 50 years.

Older Types of Plumbing Pipes

Galvanized Steel Pipes

Galvanized steel pipes were popular in the past, but they’ve become less favored in recent years. They’re made from steel and coated with zinc to prevent rust and corrosion. Galvanized steel pipes have a lifespan of around 20 to 50 years and are primarily used for water supply lines. However, galvanized steel pipe is prone to rust and corrosion over time, which can lead to discoloration of water and eventually loss of water supply. This is why it’s essential to replace older galvanized steel pipe with the newer and more durable plumbing pipe technologies available today.

Cast Iron Pipes

Cast iron pipes, as the name suggests, are made of cast iron. This material is strong, durable, corrosion-resistant, and also fire-resistant. Cast iron pipe was commonly used in home plumbing for over a century, especially in the late 1800s and early 1900s.

However, unlike modern copper pipes, PVC pipes, and PEX piping, cast iron pipes are prone to rust and decay over time due to exposure to water, minerals, and other elements. As rust accumulates inside the cast iron piping, it can cause multiple problems such as clogs, leaks, and even failure of the water supply lines. Moreover, rust can contaminate the drinking water supply, leading to health hazards. These reasons make the replacement of old cast iron pipes an essential and critical task for homeowners.

Polybutylene Plastic Piping

Polybutylene pipes were commonly used for home plumbing during the 1970s until the 1990s. These pipes, made of a type of plastic resin, were lauded for their affordability, flexibility, and ease of installation. However, over time, it became apparent that these plastic pipes are prone to significant damage due to heat exposure, causing them to degrade prematurely and crack or burst more easily.

This degradation can lead to significant water damage, as well as potential loss of water pressure and drinking water contamination due to leaks. Therefore, it is highly recommended to replace polybutylene pipes with newer, more reliable plumbing pipe materials to ensure the safety and longevity of your home plumbing system.

Get Professional Help to Replace Your Home Plumbing Pipes

Different types of modern plumbing pipes are available, each with its own benefits. Copper pipes, PEX pipes, PVC pipes, and CPVC pipe are all options that are available to homeowners. As plumbing technology advances, more efficient and eco-friendly options are becoming available, making it easier to optimize energy and water usage while maintaining the quality of plumbing systems.

Replacing older plumbing pipe types with modern plumbing pipes is essential to ensure water quality, safety, and energy efficiency. As a homeowner, you should make sure that your plumbing system is up to standard in terms of the types of plumbing pipes that make up your water supply lines. Heartland Heating, Air, and Plumbing can assess your plumbing pipes and install new types of plumbing pipes if needed – contact us today to learn more.