The Different Types of Pipes You’ll Find in Your Home
Plumbing has come a long way since the clay pipes that supplied water and carried sewage away in ancient Greece. Pipes that carry hot and cold water to every fixture in a house, as well as a necessary drain and vent system, are made of a variety of materials today. PEX, PVC, ABS, copper, and galvanized pipes are often found in homes these days, in both ancient and new construction.
However, not every pipe is appropriate for every situation, nor are all varieties up to code. Building regulations establish standards that should be followed not only to safeguard public safety but also to preserve property. In this article, we go over the common uses for each type of pipe and why some pipes are more suited for specific plumbing projects than others.
PEX (polyethylene cross-linked pipe) is a low-cost plastic tubing that's popular for water supply lines since it doesn't leach traces of rust or corrosion into the water like other types of pipes (such as galvanized). It's also easy to set up. Its physical flexibility makes it easier to work with and manipulate than more rigid PVC pipe and the ability to employ many connection methods allows it to work with a number of tool alternatives." Its color-coded architecture adds to the convenience of keeping the plumbing in order. PEX tubing comes in three colors: red for hot water, blue for cold water, and white for either hot or cold water.
In a home's sewage system, polyvinyl chloride (PVC) pipe is commonly utilized. Drain, Waste, and Venting (DWV) is a type of PVC pipe used in drain, waste, and venting systems. It should be utilized in applications with low-temperature and low-pressure needs which means it's perfect for a toilet's drain line but not for highly pressurized water supply lines or carrying hot water.
A black pipe found in a sink, tub, or toilet drain is most likely constructed of acrylonitrile butadiene styrene (ABS). ABS is another common material in DWV systems, and it operates in a similar way to PVC. ABS pipe is available in the same sizes as PVC pipe, which is not surprising. However, it is no longer as prevalent in new buildings as it once was. It's a little more robust than PVC in high-impact situations, but it can't be exposed to direct sunlight.
Copper pipe has been used for decades and may be seen in both older and newer homes around sinks, showers, tubs, and other fixtures. It's still a popular choice for water supply lines because the metal has no effect on the water's quality. The most significant disadvantage of copper plumbing is that it requires the use of a propane torch for installation, which is far from DIY-friendly. If not enough heat is provided at the joints, the solder will not flow into the junction to form a sufficient seal. However, too much heat can obstruct effective connection sealing. Copper pipes in your home must be installed or repaired by a professional plumber.
Although galvanized tubing is no longer used in new construction, it was formerly common and may be found in many older structures. Galvanized pipes have a tendency to rust over time. If your property has galvanized water supply lines, replacing them with copper or PEX lines to ensure clean, clear drinking water is a smart idea. PEX is commonly preferred in retrofitting situations because, as previously stated, the tubing is flexible, making it easier to fish through openings inside the walls without having to remove drywall.
The PowerX Water sensor can measure all of these pipe types. Our non-invasive, easy-to-install sensor measures your water usage via ultrasound and alerts you to any leaks and show you in real time how much water your home is consuming and how to cut back and save some money.