Understanding how your drainage pipes works can be a challenging thing to learn!
There is a lot of information regarding this topic, and it often becomes difficult to know where to begin. Understanding the different types of pipes used in a plumbing system is a great start. Whether the plan is to get involved in a DIY plumbing project or hire professional help, know the basics.
Over time plumbing pipes have evolved. What was installed in houses back in the day can now lead to a drenched living room. That’s why we have gathered some information on the five main types of plumbing pipes used in homes.
We hope this guide will help you choose the suitable plumbing pipe to install in your house to ensure that your plumbing piping works for a long time.
We have come a long way from using galvanised iron or steel pipes for our homes. So understanding the pros and cons of the pipes available in the market today is crucial in making an informed decision.
1. PVC Pipes
Polyvinyl Chloride pipes, also called PVC pipes, have gained immense traction because of how easily they work. They are also relatively lighter in weight than galvanised steel pipes, making them a popular choice. PVC Plumbing pipes are made of plastic and vinyl and are pretty rigid.
PVC pipes are ideal for water lines with highly pressurised water. They can also transport potable water, as long as it meets any standards set for drinking water systems. PVC pipes are durable as they do not corrode or rust readily and are affordable.
However, one big issue with PVC pipes is that they cannot carry hot water and are susceptible to warping due to the high temperatures. They are also quite limited in size and unsuitable for tight spaces due to their rigidity.
2. ABS Pipes
For vents and drainage systems, ABS pipes are the best choice. ABS pipes are not very different from the PVC pipe. However, they are more durable than the PVC pipe and resistant to colder temperatures. When trying to identify ABS pipes, look out for the black ones.
ABS pipes are great for external use but are not popular in newer houses. One issue with ABS pipes is that they tend to warp when exposed to ultraviolet rays, which is why they cannot be installed under direct sunlight.
3. Copper Pipes
Copper pipes are the most traditional pipes used for plumbing. There are two main types of copper pipes — rigid copper and flexible copper tubing. The former can be used in the whole house by cutting and soldering together. On the other hand, the latter can be used where some flexibility is needed, like corners.
There are wide varieties of copper pipes in terms of size, making them a popular choice. The problem with copper pipes is that they can be more expensive than some other pipes available. In addition to this, they are not considered environment-friendly.
4. PEX Pipes
These pipes are more preferred to copper piping and are great to use for the entire house’s water supply as they do not corrode or rust, which means that the water flowing in them is clean. It is a plastic tube that is very flexible and can be used in tight spaces and corners, unlike rigid PVC pipes.
It has specific colour codes for different water temperatures, which makes it easy to organise and identify once installed in the house.
5. Galvanised Pipes
Finally, we have galvanised pipes which have been around for a while. Galvanized steel pipe is no longer used in new construction but can be found in old homes like cast iron pipes. Galvanized steel pipes were once quite popular as they proved to be an effective alternative to lead-based pipes (when those were still used).
If you have a house with old drainage pipes that uses galvanised pipes, we suggest finding a better alternative and installing it for a cleaner system.
An in-depth guide to home piping
And with that, we end our short guide on the five main types of plumbing pipes used at home. We hope we have given you an overview to help you identify your lines or the ones worth getting.