Types of Pipes: The Most Common Plumbing Pipes You’ll Find in Homes Today

Pipes of all types have been around for millennia, having been used even in ancient times to transport away waste. Plumbing has certainly come a long way since then. Pipe materials have advanced in recent years to be more durable and easier to work with.

Today, there are five types of pipes used in most older and modern houses. Whether you are moving into an older home, overseeing new construction of your future home, or getting involved in a remodel, you will want to know about each of these pipes and their best uses.

PEX

PEX, which stands for polyethylene cross-linked pipes, are most frequently used on water supply lines. Their flexible plastic construction makes them easy to install, while the simple color-coding makes it simple to figure out whether you are dealing with hot or cold water. PEX tubing comes in red for hot water, blue for cold water, and white for either type of water. Many times, PEX pipes are connected between water manifolds and fixtures, making it easy to turn off single faucets.

Schedule 80 PVC

Gray and durable, this pipe is engineered for high-water pressure applications. Schedule 80 signifies the pipe’s wall thickness. Schedule 80 PVC can withstand at least 200 pounds per square inch of water pressure. That’s more than enough to handle basic residential needs.

The increased wall thickness provides better insulation to maintain water temperature within the pipe.

ABS

Acrylonitrile butadiene styrene (ABS) pipes are also used for drain pipes and waste pipes leading out of homes. In many ways, these pipes are quite similar to PVC pipes except that they are black. Also, they are a bit more durable than PVC pipes as long as they are not placed directly in the sun. However, this piping is not used as frequently in homes as it once was.

Copper

Copper has been a favorite pipe material for years. It has been used for decades and continues to be a favorite for new construction. It is an excellent choice for water supply lines because copper does not change the water’s flavor. However, copper piping can become expensive, and it must be installed with a propane torch to seal joints.

Galvanized

Although galvanized metal pipes were once used frequently and were seen as great alternatives to dangerous lead pipes, they are not used in new construction. However, many homes still have these pipes in both water supply lines and drainage pipes, and plumbers can use galvanized pipes for replacements and repairs. The biggest problem with these is that they can rust, significantly impacting the quality of water in the home.

If you are concerned about the health of the pipes in your home or need to have older pipes replaced with newer ones, contact Courtesy Plumbing. We can switch galvanized pipes to PEX or copper, giving you peace of mind that your plumbing will work well for years. Our talented professionals can also deal with pipe installation in new homes as well as drain cleaning and leak detection in all types of pipes. Instead of wondering about the condition of your home's pipes, turn to us for all the answers and help you need. To schedule your appointment, call (626) 774-7167.