What’s The Difference Between Plumbing Pipes? Which Should You Have In Your Home?
Not all plumbing pipes in your home are the same. Do you know the differences?
Copper Plumbing Pipes
Copper pipes have long been considered the standard in the industry. Because they offer durability and reliability, they have been used in construction for many years. They provide superior corrosion resistance, and work well for both hot and cold water supplies. That means you won’t have to worry about what’s in your drinking supply when your home is built using copper pipes as corrosion won’t build up and contaminate your water supply. Copper is a rigid material and may require additional fittings to put pipes together, making it more costly than using other materials when making changes to your home.
Galvanized Plumbing Pipes
While used consistently in the past, galvanized pipes aren’t used as frequently anymore. Galvanized steel can produce rust, which is leached into the water supply. You might also find galvanized pipes used for both non-potable or gray water supplies,
PEX Plumbing Pipes
PEX pipes – cross linked polyethylene – are more affordable than copper and easier to install. It requires minimal maintenance, is flexible, and durable over time. It also tolerates extreme temperatures, rarely leaks, and is considered an environmentally friendly option. This is a great resource to work with when retrofitting, as its flexibility allows it to be snaked into areas where copper piping would be more difficult.
PVC Plumbing Pipes
PVC pipes – polyvinyl chloride – are another popular residential plumbing choice. They are affordable, durable, and come in a variety of sizes and fittings to meet any demand. They won’t corrode or rust, making them great for high-pressure needs. You will find PVC pipes with different labels and designations telling you what it can be used for. Some work for sewer while others work for high pressure situations. Not all are for potable water applications, some come with health risks. PVC pipes cannot stand up to extended hot water usage or exposure to UV light.
CPVC Plumbing Pipes
CPVC – chlorinated polyvinyl chloride – is closely related to PVC pipes. It has all of the benefits of PVC piping with improved durability, as well as the addition of chlorine to make the drinking water that flows through it safe. This also makes it safe for hot water to flow through, making it a better alternative than copper piping. It’s also more flexible, quieter, and produces less thermal loss. It is more costly than PVC, but with the added benefits, it’s a great contender.
What plumbing pipe is used in your home?