If you’re remodeling the home, you may need to make adjustments to the plumbing system. But when it comes to pipes, it’s important to know the different types and their uses. Here’s a brief overview of the seven different types of plumbing pipes.
- Stainless Steel
Stainless steel has a very modern and polished look, but it’s expensive. This type of plumbing pipe is typically reserved for areas at risk of corrosion and near coastal areas. Stainless steel pipes are available in both flexible and rigid forms, and require special couplings to attach them to other types of pipes.
PEX piping is made of plastic and is commonly used in residential and small business settings. It requires minimal maintenance, has a fast installation process, but a higher upfront cost. Unlike copper piping, it’s a leak-free piping option. However, PEX piping can’t be used in outdoor settings because UV rays can damage the exterior plastic layer.
The most traditional plumbing pipe option is copper, due to its durability and reliability. Copper piping has superior corrosion resistance, but it needs to be soldered together, potentially requiring additional fittings. Copper piping is great for use with hot and cold water.
PVC plumbing pipes are used in sewage applications and for cold and hot potable water. They vary in thickness and configuration depending on the specific way they’re being used.
Galvanized piping used to be the standard for residential projects, but has since been replaced with other options because of the rust that can build up inside small diameter galvanized pipes. However, galvanized pipes can still be used to transport gray water or non-potable water.
Brass piping is rust resistant if it’s made with 67 percent to 85 percent copper. Brass piping with 85 percent copper is called red brass piping. This type of piping is long-lasting and doesn’t cause friction loss inside the pipe. Brass piping is easier to thread than steel pipes and comes in straight lengths up to 12 feet.
- Cast Iron Piping
Cast iron piping is heavier than other types of pipes and is typically used for water distribution systems or underground installations.