If you own or rent a home, it is vital to be aware of how the plumbing system in your home works. If anything goes wrong, you may need to take urgent actions to minimize the damage while waiting for the plumber to arrive. The first step to understanding the plumbing system is to have a general knowledge of the pipes used. In general, plumbing pipes are made of two materials, which are metal and plastic. Each material has its strengths and limitations. Here are ten of the common types of pipes of both materials:
Copper has been in use for nearly half a century now. It is very expensive but highly reliable. It has an impressive ability to tolerate heat and resist corrosion. When used in plumbing, it is not susceptible to leaks because the plumber solders its connections, and the fittings remain tight.
Pipes made of copper are available in three main sizes, which are K, L, and M. M is useful in very thin walls, L comes in handy for medium walls and K is effective in very thick walls. Experts use M and L for interior cold and hot supply lines and K for service lines, which are underground.
These metal pipes are gray and come in your mind when you picture plumbing. Plumbing experts used these pipes extensively particularly for outdoor plumbing during the 1960s. Usually, the pipes were useful for supply lines and were buried.
They pipes offer a slight corrosion resistance and only have a life span of 4o years. Copper pipes normally replace them.
It is very rare to see these types of plumbing pipes in normal households since they are very expensive, even more than copper. They are highly heat and corrosion resistance.
You will usually find them in marine surroundings because the salty seawater will easily erode other kinds of metals.
These kinds of pipes were used frequently in past years because of their durability. Nevertheless, they are not used as often today since they are tricky to work with due to their heaviness.
If you have a busted cast iron pipe that needs replacing, PVC is an excellent choice since it links well with the metal.
Even though these are commonly confused for plumbing pipes, they are not used for plumbing. They are just appropriate for carrying gas and not water. Therefore, if you are looking for metal plumbing pipes to replace your broken ones, stay clear of black iron.
Pipes made of Plastic
Grey plastic Polybutylene
These pipes are also called by their product name Quest. They come in either beige or gray, usually in coils. They are highly flexible pipes that were in extensive use during the 70s all the way to the late 1990s.
The pipes were cheaper alternatives to copper. However, the pipes are no longer in frequent use since they are highly susceptible to leaks.
Chlorinated Polyvinyl Chloride
These plastic pipes are beige or yellowish in color, which are also excellent and cheaper alternatives to copper. In short, these are PVC pipes with an extra chlorination.
They are more dependable than plastic Polybutylene, simpler to install and cheaper. They are useful for both hot and cold water supply. It is highly flexible but you should not burry it. When it freezes, it will crack.
This is commonly known as PVC, and comes in grey or white. They are commonly used to bear high-pressure water.
It is used for main supply into a house, but not suitable for hot water. It is cheap and simple to work with during installation.
Cross Linked Polyethylene
If you live in a new home, you most likely have these pipes in your interior plumbing. It is easy to work with and the fittings are straightforward.
You can use it for water and hot water supplies. It has a high heat resistance than most plastics.
This black, rigid pipe connects effortlessly to metal pipes. It is useful for drainage, vent and waste pipes. It was in use before PVC. It is restricted by many plumbing codes today. However, you can find them in many mobile homes.