When it comes to DIY plumbing projects, it’s important to be able to differentiate plumbing pipes and their specific uses and shelf life. Each type of piping has it’s own set of benefits and catches, but understanding how to identify which pipe will best suit your project will save you both time and money in the future on repairs or repiping. Here is a list of the most common plumbing pipes and their applications and recurring issues.
Cast Iron Plumbing Pipes
This is still a common plumbing pipes type because it was very popular before the 1960’s, so many older homes are still built with cast iron pipes. They are used for vertical drains, horizontal drain lines, and vent stacks. While they are long lasting, they do begin to rust over time which requires immediate replacement and re-piping.
Steel Plumbing Pipes
Galvanized steel pipes are similar to cast iron plumbing pipes because they are used in old houses, have a lifespan of 50 years, and are better to replace rather than repair when they become damaged. However, steel pipes do not corrode easily and also resist shock and vibrations. They are cheaper than copper piping and more environmentally safe, making them a great option for a building that needs pipes with large diameters and are going to be subjected to high pressure.
Copper Plumbing Pipes
Typically used for hot water installation due to their flexibility and corrosion-resistance. The two types of copper pipes include:
- Rigid copper pipes come in three thicknesses and are connected with soldered or compression fittings that can connect to shut-off valves
- Flexible copper pipes are known to be used in dishwashers and refrigerator icemakers. They are also joined with soldered and compression fittings and are easily bendable.
Plastic/ Polythene/ PVC Plumbing Pipes
Probably one of the more commonly known types of pipes because they are inexpensive and easy to construct and use. Segments are glued together using liquid cement and are great for holding cold water supplies. There are three kinds of plastic plumbing pipes including:
- ABS pipes are black and used in residential plumbing. They have a tendency to come loose, unfortunately, and are not permitted in new construction areas.
- PVC pipes are used for drain lines and are known for their strength and ability to keep out harmful chemicals.
- Chlorinated PVC pipes can withstand high temperatures up to 120 degrees Fahrenheit but have a short lifespan from excessive exposure to heat.
Understanding Plumbing Better
The more you know, the more you’ll be able to accomplish the first time around! Knowing the basics of plumbing is great way to get a head start on house projects and fixing common plumbing issues when they arise. Having a friend in the plumbing business is the simplest way to pick up on great plumbing tips and tricks. Deer Valley Plumbing is always willing to offer advice and help their clients learn more about plumbing tactics to help them finish their projects swiftly and efficiently.