How To Choose Your Plumbing Pipes?

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How To Choose Your Plumbing Pipes?

Do you know all the existing types of plumbing pipes? Learning about the different kinds of lines and their advantages and disadvantages is good. Please read on to find out the truth about the various materials used to make plumbing pipes! You will certainly find this information useful if you’re looking to install or renew your pipes at home.

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PVC Pipes

PVC, which stands for Poly Vinyl Chloride, is known for its versatility, lightweight, and good blockage resistance. Moreover, PVC piping is part of a sink, toilet, or shower drain line and your home’s main water supply pipe.

Pros

    • Affordable: The lightweight properties of PVC decrease the labour necessary for installation and the material’s transportation cost.

    • Resistant to high water pressure: PVC doesn’t easily bend, but the pipe does have some elastic properties that allow it to withstand the constant influx of high water pressure.

    • Resistant to blockages: The smooth inner lining of PVC speeds up the draining process, protecting it against sediment buildup and blockages.

Cons

    • Toxicity concerns: Despite meeting the standards for drinkable water by the American National Standards Institution of the US, PVC pipes have problems with their potential to leach chemicals into drinking water. For instance, the infiltration of high levels of polyvinyl chloride chemicals in water might expose you to dangers of respiratory and reproductive issues.

    • Limited size options: PVC piping has limited sizing options, rendering it ineffective within tight spaces.

    • Warping: Since PVC is a plastic material, it cannot withstand hot water and will warp.

PEX Pipes

PEX, which stands for cross-linked polyethylene, is an affordable plastic plumbing solution that can withstand hot and cold water. Also, it is the most commonly used material for piping nowadays!

Pros

    • Easy installation: PEX uses a “crimp” installation method that involves crimping a ring around a ribbed fitting using a specialized tool. In addition, you can easily retrofit PEX to copper or PVC pipes using the crimp method and specialized fittings.

    • Flexibility: PEX piping is conducive to tight spaces and sharp corners and can stretch for long distances without requiring additional fittings.

Cons

    • Inside use only: Since PEX is susceptible to deterioration from ultraviolet rays, these pipes can’t be used outside.

    • Discrepancy over safety: Studies have shown that chemicals within PEX pipes leach into the drinking water, potentially exposing homeowners to carcinogens. As a result, PEX piping is against the plumbing code in the state of California.

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ABS Pipes

Acrylonitrile butadiene styrene piping, also known as ABS, is a type of plastic piping similar to PVC but black in colour. Furthermore, it is known for its long lifespan but is only used for drain and waste piping.

Pros

    • Resistant to cold temperatures: Although it is not as flexible as PVC, it can withstand colder temperatures better.

    • Easy to install: While PVC pipes need a coat of solvent before applying the cement that holds the pipes together, ABS pipes only need cement. I prefer lines that are durable and easy to install!

Cons

    • Loud transport of water: ABS pipes do not block the sound of water running in them as efficiently as PVC pipes. Therefore, it might disturb you.

    • Warps in warm temperatures: ABS pipes do not survive long in direct sunlight and can warp under intense ultraviolet light.

Copper Pipes

Copper piping can last for over 50 years and is the standard rigid pipe within the plumbing industry. It also withstands high water pressure and comes in various grades of thickness, separated into rigid and flexible categories. Furthermore, a rigid copper pipe is typically used for water supply lines, whereas flexible copper pipes are used in tight spaces where the malleable copper can bend.

Pros

    • Corrosion-resistant: Copper pipes are resistant to corrosion, can handle high water pressure, and tolerate hot and cold temperatures.

    • Environmentally friendly: Copper can be recycled, so your water lines can be made from recycled material or go on to be recycled for future use.

Cons

    • Expensive: Copper piping is more expensive than PVC and PEX.

    • Reduced flexibility: You can not use copper piping in tight spaces where plastic piping would be more reliable.

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Cast iron and Galvanized piping

Although cast iron and galvanized piping are rarely installed in new construction homes, you may have these pipes if you have an older home that was built in the early 20th century.

Pros

    • A cast-iron pipe is solid and durable and is still used today for parts of water distribution systems.

    • Cast iron pipes are heat-resistant.

    • They also reduce the sound of moving water.

Cons

    • Both pipes are prone to rust and corrosion over time.

Now that I have a clear idea about the common types of plumbing pipes and the pros and cons of the materials they are made from, I can choose my ideal piping style! Which kind of plumbing pipe did you like and why? Please do not forget to share your comments below!

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