If you look around your home or in the plumbing section of a home improvement store, you may be surprised at how many different types of pipes there are. Why isn’t there just one material if they’re all doing the same job? Well, some plumbing has different purposes and newer technology has replaced some older styles.
Here are the advantages and disadvantages of some of the most common types of pipes you’ll find in your home.
Used for many years now, copper is the most common pipe material we see in homes and businesses.
- Very durable against pressure and temperatures
- Naturally corrosion-resistant
- Material is recyclable
- Lightweight metal
- Connections require soldering, so installation is more difficult
- Prone to developing pinhole leaks
- Material more expensive than plastic options
The newest type of piping to hit the plumbing industry, PEX is made of a flexible plastic that is popular in residential and commercial settings.
- Ideal for indoor water supply lines
- Less likely to corrode or burst
- Easy to install with clamp or push-fit fittings
- Can be damaged by UV rays so outdoor use is limited
- Higher initial cost
While it was very popular in the past, galvanized pipes are not widely used for new installations. You can still find these types of pipes in older homes.
- Less expensive than copper pipes
- Available in wider diameters than copper pipes for large installations
- Prone to corrosion, which leads to broken pipes
- Rust can build up inside pipe and contaminate water
PVC is a rigid plastic that is generally used for drain lines. It’s available in many different sizes for various indoor and outdoor uses.
- Installation relatively simple with glued fittings
- Cost-effective compared to other materials
- Does not corrode and resistant to breaking
- Not as strong for pressurized use
- Should not be used for potable (drinking) water
Need a plumber?
It can be useful to know the basics of your home’s plumbing. But when you need the expert for a repair or installation, the name to trust is Reichelt Plumbing. We’ve been proudly serving Northwest Indiana and South Cook County, IL for over 25 years. To schedule a no-hassle appointment, call (219) 322-4906 today.